Word is that Florida dman Jay Bouwmeester has rejected a long term contract offer and is determined to go to arbitration with the intention of getting a one year deal which will make him a UFA next summer. This could get interesting cause there is no way Florida wants to or can afford to lose J-Bo for nothing so if he won't sign a long term deal, they'll be forced to trade him sometime this year. Can you imagine the bidding war that will go down if this guy hits the open market? I mean, this guy's a horse of defenseman and will only be 25 next summer. If a 31 year old Wade Redden can get $6.5 million a season then somebody might offer Bouwmeester $6.5 billion.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne signed an extension with Nashville. He'll be Dan Ellis' backup this year and that's not a bad gig to have cause although Ellis had a great year last year, we'd have to see a few more seasons like that before we're convinced he's the real deal. Also, Ellis has never handled a heavy workload and there was concerns about his durability and his weight retention during last years stretch drive and playoffs. Barry Trotz is on his third #1 goalie in the last 3 seasons, so he's shown that he's not afraid to make a switch and his team has remained fairly solid defensively.
Minnesota avoided arbitration and resigned RFA Pierre-Marc Bouchard, not sure about you but this guy always leaves us wanting more... he's a good little player who has consistently been around 60 points but he's really only a one/two-category player, he'll get assists and maybe PP points but that's it, goals, PIMs and shots are all well below par.
Colorado avoided arbitration and resigned RFA Marek Svatos. If this guy could stay healthy and learn how to pass the puck and pick up a few assists then he might be a valuable fantasy player.
In other borderline fantasy hockey news... York signs with Columbus. You'd have to be wearing some pretty thick BlueJacket-tinted goggles to think he's going to have any impact... we'll withhold his first name to see if that will help make this more interesting, ah hell... this could be Jason York, Mike York or Thom Yorke and this paragraph wouldn't change a bit.
Good news for Edmonton fans, Erik Cole actually seems pretty fired up about playing up there, he even went as far as saying that his kids are looking forward to playing in the snow... we'll see what tune they're singing after they realize that the winter lasts about 9-10 months up there.
Distraction of the Day
What's distracting us today... we'll be heading down to the Saddledome for the Calgary development camp, hopefully we'll see some scrimmages today, the drills are getting tiresome. Read on another fantasy hockey website that Mikael Backlund has been "dominating" at camp and will definitely make the team this year. Well we've been there for 2 days of the camp and I guess he has been dominating the pylons in stick-handling drills (he did makes them look like pylons) and I guess he's literally been skating circles, around, umm, the faceoff circles. We'll wait to see some more intense game-like action before we use such strong words cause that doesn't really help our loyal readers.