Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Free agents are far from free

Dean McAmmond, Tom Preissing, Mike Comrie and Oleg Saprykin: these are the Senators' unrestricted free agents on July 1st. You're going to hear alot of rumours as soon as July starts, so let's just predict what will/should happen with this interesting group of players.

In not-so-random order:

Mike "I could be good... one day" Comrie: He had some good games, but not enough. If I were GM John Muckler I would put a low offer on the table and see what happens. Maybe that "play for a contender" discount actually works.

Best case scenario: Signs with the Sens for one year at 1.5 - 2 million with bonuses.

Likely scenario:
He walks. Something tells me he'll go back to some obscure hockey market (like Phoenix or Columbus or Florida) and the media in Ottawa will never see him again.

"2Fast2Valuable" McAmmond: Everyone seems to like what McAmmond brought to the Senators this year. He's fast, aggressive and puts up reasonable numbers. Given a choice between Comrie and McAmmond I would pick the more dependable Deano. He probably raised his stock this year with the Senators, to which I say 'kudos'.

Best case scenario: Signs with the Sens for 2 years at $950 000 per.

Likely scenario: It's hard to say how this one will go. I think this Canadian kid enjoys playing in a hockey town, but I can't help but think there's a team that will offer him $1 million or more for a 1-year deal, but the sens might match it.

Oleg "Freakin'" Saprykin: Bryan Murray seemed to take a shine to this guy, playing him instead of Patrick Eaves on several occasions, including Game 5 of the Finals. He was supposed to be our 4th liner and saw alot of success in that role playing with McAmmond and Christoph Schubert.

Best case scenario: Let him walk and have a minor leaguer fill his shoes on the energy line.

Likely scenario: He'll find a home somewhere...

Tom "you shoulda drafted me when you had the chance!!" Preissing: Tommy P is the most interesting free agent for the sens because he had a great regular season (didn't do anything spectacular in the playoffs, did he?) and he certainly deserves a big raise. How big? Well let's not go crazy here... A team is likely going to offer him something big like $2.5 million per season for 3 years. Unless we unload Redden I don't see that happening.

Best case scenario: The Senators are freed of the lead weight salary of Wade Redden , and are then able to sign Preissing for his market value - $2.5 M if needed.

Likely scenario: Tom Preissing is 28 years old and toiled in the college/minors for many long years. He will go to the highest bidder, no matter where that is - he's probably got a young family to provide for and not much time to make this hockey career worth the effort. I see another team scooping him up, and I'll be sad to see him go.
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