Sigh, I had this post mostly done and I misclicked, then Firefox ate it. Doing my best to recall what I'd said.
First, the second half of today's big news, doesn't warrant its own post: Steve Yzerman has hung them up. See ya later Stevie, we'll miss you, but I think it was the right decision.
Free agency. First, non-Oilers signings, big name ones and others that caught my eye.
Jason Arnott: Nashville, 5 years 22MM. He's going to look good with Kariya and Steve Sullivan. Arnie was a guy I was kind of hoping Edmonton would look at (more on that later) - I think this is a decent signing by a smart GM.
Mike Morrison: Phoenix, who cares. Curtis Joseph had better be prepared to start 60+ games still, because I think the 'yotes are going to need it. I like Morrison, but I don't think he's the answer.
Zdeno Chara: Boston, 5 years 37.5MM. Ottawa loses a dandy to a conference rival, but there's no way they could afford him. "Disappointed to leave Ottawa," but I'm sure the bigger salary will help him get over it. Allegedly Redden signed for less to leave room in the Sens's salary structure for Chara - guess he should have talked to Big Z first. Chara allegedly rejected an 8MM/yr contract from LA in order to stay in the East (and perhaps he likes Chiarelli) but at those numbers... it was still about the money.
Jamie Langenbrunner: re-signed with NJ, 5 years 14MM. Great deal for an above-average player, the guy most often rumoured to be an Oiler in the last several years is likely a Devil for the rest of the best years of his career. Too bad, I think he'd have done well in Edmonton.
Ed Jovanovski: Phoenix, 5 years 32.5MM. With Boynton, the Coyotes are going to have a punishing blueline. With an ageing Cujo and Mike Morrison in goal, they're going to need it.
Doug Weight: Saint Louis, not sure of the terms. Ouchie for Carolina, although Weight's not young and he's been showing it.
Willie Mitchell: Vancouver. I think Lowetide liked him; I haven't seen enough of him to judge myself, but by all accounts he's a hard-hitting defensive blueliner, just the guy Edmonton was looking for.
Toronto and Tampa Bay get their own categories. First, TO. I'd think JFJ had lost his mind for the deals he's given Kaberle, McCabe, Kubina, and Gill, but I'm not sure he's had one ever since taking over the Leafs. At least he bought Domi and Belfour out - too bad the buyout for Eddie the Eagle was much higher than it should have been, thanks in no small part to JFJ's lack of foresight. Lowe-haters, it could be worse!
Big raspberry to Jay Feaster, who has almost 21 million dollars tied up in three forwards. "It is terribly painful to trade Syd, and yet in the cap world, given the commitments we have already made and the priorities we have established, we simply do not have the luxury of continuing to carry his salary," he said. (Source.) Cry me a freaking river. Sydor was a relative bargoon at 2.13MM.