Even though it looks like the Brad Richards sweepstakes will extend into a Day 2, there’s still been action this evening in the free agent market. Ruslan Fedotenko decided to stay put and re-signed with the New York Rangers for another season at $1.4 million. Meanwhile, a couple free agents decided sign with new teams: Daniel Carcillo signed a one-year deal worth $775,000 to play a depth role with the Chicago Blackhawks and Michal Handzus moved up the 101 freeway to San Jose by signing a two-year deal worth $2.5 million per season.
Here’s what they’re saying around the league about the deals…
The New York Daily News looks at Ruslan Fedotenko returning:
“Rupp and Fedotenko have different skill sets – Rupp is more of a straight-up bruiser, while Fedotenko is an agitator and penalty-killer extraordinaire. So while they are not equivalent players, it will be interesting to see which one John Tortorella prefers to utilize alongside Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust – if, of course, those two remain linemates in 2011-12.”
Tim Sassone from the Daily Herald looks at the Carcillo deal:
“Carcillo’s signing came late in the day and should draw mixed reviews because of his reckless style and habit of taking bad penalties. But he is an energy guy and a hitter who will help protect the likes of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.”
Sharks GM talked about Michal Handzus’ game fitting in San Jose (via San Jose Mercury News):
““He can penalty-kill and play in front of the net on the power play,” Wilson said. “He’s very professional in how he approaches the game. He is an absolute workaholic who is a fitness nut. And we’ve seen first-hand what he can do.”
Each player going to their new team should provide depth in bottom six roles. Carcillo will provide energy for the Blackhawks while their stars are depended upon to score. Handzus will try to fill the role that Manny Malhotra held two years ago for the Sharks—a role that was noticeably void this season. Fedotenko is a combination of both as he can get under the opponents’ skin and can kill penalties.
None of the deals are the sexiest moves of the day, but its moves like these that determine an average team from a good team. Their performances next season could go a long way towards helping their respective teams towards success.