Just before free agency opened up this year, I listed a UFA All Star Team. This was the best 23 man roster I thought could be made by signing unrestricted free agents. This is an exercise to see how good a team can become by investing heavily in free agency. It is usually a method to show that free agency is not as big a contributor to team success as building through younger players via drafts and trades. It shows that despite all the media attention that free agency gets, it doesn’t significantly change the playing field.
All 23 players on the 2009 UFA All Star Team have signed new contracts in the NHL this season. A couple signed slightly before they hit the market as unrestricted free agents (as I picked the team hours before the free agent market opened up).
Here is the 2009 UFA All Star Team listed with their new team, their new salary cap hit from their new contract and their old team.
As the final entry in my pre-season preview, I will look at the predicted standings in the East Conference. My West Conference predictions are here. The Northeast Division is here, the Atlantic Division is here and the Southest Division is here.
Here is my predicted standings for the East Conference:
Here is my predicted order of finish in the Southeast Division:
The season is barely underway and I continue with my pre-season predictions. Here are my Northeast Division predictions and here are my West Conference Predictions. Today I proceed to the Atlantic Division.
Here is my predicted order of finish in the Atlantic Division:
My pre-season predictions continue today with the Northeast Division. Here are my West Conference predictions.
This is the predicted order of finish for the Northeast Division this season:
Today Mats Sundin announced his retirement. I like to write a career perspective for players who retire that I consider future Hall of Fames, such as Sundin.
Mats Sundin was born in Bromma, Sweden on February 13th, 1971. He was raised in the Swedish hockey system. Sundin first came to the notice of North American scouts in the 1988 European Junior Hockey Championships where he scored nine points in six games as a fifteen year old. Sundin was quickly promoted to the Swedish division two, where he was playing against men many years older than them and managed 18 points in 25 games. NHL scouts had seen enough to select him first overall in the 1989 entry draft by the Quebec Nordiques. This was the first time ever that a European had been selected first overall.
As I continue with my pre-season predictions, here is my predicted order of finish for the West Conference teams. To see blurbs about each of the teams in question, you will have to look to my division previews(Northwest, Pacific and Central).
This is my predicted order of finish in the West Conference:
Here is my predicted order of finish in the Central Division:
I am continuing with my pre-season predictions today. I have already done the Northwest Division and today proceed to the Pacific Division.
Here is my predicted order of finish of the Pacific Division teams:
The Phoenix Coyotes situation has dragged on way too long. They are all but guaranteed to spend the upcoming season competing for last place in the league as a result. I think the NHL should have either allowed the move to Hamilton long ago or contracted the team. It is awful to see the mess they created that seems to be getting continually worse.
One part of the mess was coaching. Wayne Gretzky was the Phoenix Coyote coach. He was also a minority owner of the team. He owned about 1.4% of the team when it went in to bankruptcy. This makes him insignificant in the ownership scheme of the team, but important in terms of lending his name to the franchise as a goodwill ambassador. For this role and his coaching job he was paid $8 million a year. That made him the highest paid coach in the NHL - if you ignore his other roles with the team (which make up some of his salary).
About The Puck Stops Here
Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.
Why am I blogging? I want to.
Why are you reading it? ???