Tuesday, July 1, 2008

2008 free agent season is finally here

The day is finally here. With the 2007-2008 season, the annual NHL Awards and NHL Entry Draft all done, the one main event left before a quiet two months of summer is of course the first day of the free agent season.

Many fans (including me) will eagerly be monitoring the transaction wires, the National Hockey League web site and team web sites, plus the reliable sports news pages. At noon today, that starting gun will sound (figuratively) and stressed out, sleep-deprived team general managers will scramble to grab the player or players they want by spending millions of dollars to do so.

No one knows for sure who will go where as speculation has been running high with some high profile players eligible to test the market.

You can certainly tune in to TSN, Rogers Sportsnet, The Score or even the NHL Network for the latest signings and possibly trades as this first day of the free agent season has arrived. For American viewers, NHL Network will show a simulcast of TSN's extensive coverage at 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time and again at 7:00 PM for all the updates you need.

Before then, you can always pay attention to a few sources that I expect will be constantly bringing us up to speed as the signings are announced and they include:

Spector's Hockey
The Fourth Period
Kukla's Korner
James Mirtle's hockey blog

As I said at the trade deadline, Lyle Richardson (who is a very reputable journalist that runs the Spector's Hockey site) is someone I highly recommend to bringing you instant analysis on his blog that is also accessible at FOX Sports' NHL page.

An update on some signings completed this morning as 12:00 PM is just minutes away...

*Brian Rolston has told the Tampa Bay Lightning that he will test the free agent market even though the team acquired his rights from the Minnesota Wild over the weekend.

*Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin are close to signing lucrative contract extensions with their respective teams.

*The Detroit Red Wings re-signed defenseman Brad Stuart to a 4-year, $15 million contract.

*The Edmonton Oilers traded forward Raffi Torres to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward Gilbert Brule.

*The New Jersey Devils re-signed defenseman Bryce Salvador (4 years, $11.6 million) and forwards Jay Pandolfo (3 years, $7.5 million), David Clarkson (2 years, $1.675 million) and Barry Tallackson. The team decided to decline the contract option for forward Sergei Brylin, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.

*The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed forward Pascal Dupuis to a 3-year, $4.2 million contract.

*The Washington Capitals signed defenseman Mike Green to a 4-year, $21 million contract extension.

Enjoy the long anticipated July 1st day and may your favorite team not disappoint you.

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