Florida came to an agreement on a one year deal with RFA Jay Bouwmeester, as we mentioned the other day, he rejected all of their multi-year offers and seems intent on becoming a 25 year old UFA next summer. Good for him. This should be a wake up call to the league, not that they didn't know it could happen, but I can't imagine owners or GMs around the league can be pleased that they could lose their best young players for nothing at age 25. And what must Bettsy be thinking? well probably not much but what he should be thinking is that one of his prized southern US franchises will have given away its best goalie, forward and defenceman in the span of 3 years.... not good for business.
Tampa Bay is going to announce at a presser today that they've signed Steven Stamkos to an entry-level deal. Anyone else hoping that Art Williams appears, grabs the microphone and calls Stamkos "the LeBron James of Hockey". I don't think anyone needs that kinda pressure but good old Artie might not have been that far off the first time. Vinny only had 28 points in his rookie year but has since become one of the top 5 players in the league, not anywhere close to Michael Jordan's level but he would be infinitely more popular and well known if he was in, say Montreal. Back to Stamkos, its a given he'll be on the team, it more of a matter of who he lines up with. Assuming the Prospal-Lecavalier-St.Louis line is re-united then that would leave Stamkos to play with Ryan Malone and Radim Vrbata... not great but not terrible.
The NYR re-signed RFA Fredrik Sjostrom, who was the 11th overall pick by Phoenix in the 2001 draft. This guy hasn't really figured the NHL out yet (in 4 seasons his best is 23 points) and he should only really be known to hockey fans as the 3rd biggest Swedish bust of the last 15 years, behind Victoria Silvstedt and Lars Jonsson (7th overall in 2000 by Boston).
So we've really been avoiding discussing the whole saga with Mats Sundin, its kinda out of control... but now they've sucked us in, those bastards... so after all this talk that Mats is going to make his decision on August 1st, now his agent, JP Barry, has said that Aug 1st is a "soft deadline" and that is just to decide if he's going to play, if he decides to play then the decision on team could come later. Alright, well I don't want to get into semantics here but I think JP & Mats might have just created a new buzzword which is sure to take over corporate america faster than the "Out-of-Pocket" invasion of 2005. I mean, in consulting we always had the "client deadline" and the "real deadline", just so that you could deliver the final product early or most likely you sat on your ass until the client deadline was tomorrow before you even looked at it but you get the picture. I've also heard about a "hard deadline" and I assumed that anything with the word dead in it must mean that its pretty firm. But never heard of a soft deadline, can you even call that a deadline? Sounds more like "Well I might make a decision this week or maybe I won't, wait and see." Either way, have to give kudos to JP & Mats for their creativity and I think I speak for all the consultants when I say that they'll be "super-pleased".
Distraction of the Day
What's distracting us today... again with the knee, went to the doctor yesterday and he said it feels "loose" and I said "we are still talking about my knee, right?" Then he started rhyming off things like MCL, ACL, ACLU, PCP... I lost track. So basically he said, stay off it for a while and check back in 10 days. On the bright side he did say that I still have full use of most of my brain... and thats about all I need to run this site so I hope you enjoy... say a prayer for me would ya.