Thin Air: Start of free agency

Free agency starts tomorrow, and I couldn’t be less prepared. It all seems so fast, like the dates get mashed together so quickly. Everyone is making announcements, teams are hiring and firing with wild abandon, and things seem to pile up. My news reader is stacked with articles left unread, and just not enough time to read them in. That’s what I get for doing this, I suppose.

Some quick hits before the news comes out fast and furious:

Avs- Thanks to big bonuses due to Joe Sakic and Rob Blake, there will be less salary to go around under the cap. Enough will be paid out that it basically nullifies the cap increase. These bonuses were agreed to before the new CBA and cap were put in place. Sure, they deserve the cash, it’s too bad about the cap impact though. I wonder if this is one of the reasons Sakic took a pay cut, because it really isn’t one.

Terry Frei writes this at

Sakic’s $5.75 million salary for 2006-07 was moderate, but a bit misleading.
When he and Rob Blake
re-signed with Colorado in 2001, twin $3 million bonuses due five years later
were part of their deals. Those bonuses will be shaved to $2.3 million because
of the 24 percent rollbacks under the new collective-bargaining agreement but
will count against the Avalanche’s cap next season. It means Sakic will take up
a shade over $8 million under next season’s $44 million cap. Put another way,
the bonuses effectively will eat up the increase in cap space for the Avalanche
and definitely were an issue when Colorado, fearing a potential $5 million-plus
arbitration award to Alex
, shipped him to Calgary.

– There is going to be a lot more goalie movement out there. Which also means there will be a few older goalies who get pushed to the outside. There are still some holes to fill, but mostly in the backup position. Look for some serious money to be spent, as the position became a lot more valuable last year.

Mark Denis goes to Tampa. Is this a solution? Is Tampa going to settle for more ineffective goaltending? Jeez, these guys just don’t learn, do they?

Avs – The Avs resigned Karlis Skrastins (3 year, $7.2 mil) land Brett Clark (2 year, $3 mil) today. Clark, I grudgingly say, is alright. I gave him a bad rap, because every time I turned on the TV, he seemed to be doing the wrong thing. But the Avs are big on him, so I’ll give him a chance. Skrastins is a good resigning. If you can call him one thing, it reliable. With the deals, that puts the Avs at 31.8 million in cap money spent, not including the 2.3 million bonus money owed to Sakic and Blake. I didn’t include it because I don’t know the terms. And that is without signing Blake yet (although it does include Leopold). If it’s 2.3 each against the cap, that puts us at 36.4 mil used up. No Svatos, no Liles, no Blake, no backup goalie, no secondary backup goalie. Oh, yeah, and no Hinote yet, either.

– Tonight is pickup hockey for me, and tomorrow, I will be staying in to watch the opening bell hijinx, and nurse the sore parts. The fun starts at 10am MST or 12pm EST. Get your vices early, it’s going to be fun.


  1. Cool blog, interesting information… Keep it UP

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