While people clamor for the marquee moves (see: Brad Richards) on free agent frenzy day, July 1 is often like a buffet. Teams load up on the nourishment they need but then they often see other tasty things available (Chinese food and pizza and BBQ ribs … why not?) and add them to their plates.
That kind of bloat might cause some salary cap indigestion, but it gives fans and writers more to chew on. With each minor signing, Friday’s hopeful frenzy might get less and less frenetic. To keep you up to date with the moves that fail to earn their own headlines, here are some of the smaller contracts handed out to pending free agents.
David Jones signed a one-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche reportedly worth a very reasonable $2.5 million. Jones bested his totals from the previous three seasons combined in 2010-11, scoring 27 goals and notching 45 points overall. That 27-goal mark tied him for the team lead with Matt Duchene. It’ll be interesting to see if Jones can duplicate (or even improve upon) those numbers as Colorado hopes to bounce back from what became a lousy season.
For whatever reason, the Vancouver Canucks decided that Andrew Alberts earned a two-year deal worth $2.45 million. Alberts must have a pretty good agent because that’s a nice haul for a flawed defenseman such as himself.
The Montreal Canadiens locked up defenseman Yannick Weber to a two-year deal reportedly worth $1.7 million overall. After playing three games with Montreal in 2008-09 and five in 09-10, Weber appeared in 41 games last season, compiling one goal and 10 assists for 11 points while averaging 16:34 minutes per contest.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger