Wednesday, July 1, 2009

2009 free agent season is finally here

The day is finally here. With the 2008-2009 season, the annual NHL Awards and 2009 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 4-hour simulcast of TSN's extensive coverage starting at 2:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time following NHL Live.

Before then, you can always pay attention to a handful 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 From The Rink hockey blog
Inside Hockey
Max Hockey

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.

Meantime, three notes to report since late last night...

*The Ottawa Senators had in place a major trade in which they would have sent disgruntled forward Dany Heatley to the Edmonton Oilers for Andrew Cogliano, Dustin Penner and Ladislav Smid. However, Heatley did not waive his no-trade clause, so it has not gone through. Stories circulated throughout the evening that it was done, then he flat out rejected it and then before my head hit the pillow, it was just on hold. We shall see if Heatley goes anywhere.

*The Anaheim Ducks have re-signed forward Erik Christensen to a one-year contract extension.

*And within the last 40 minutes, TSN reports that the Vancouver Canucks have re-signed both Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin to 5-year, $30.5 million contracts.

Enjoy the long anticipated July 1st day and may your favorite team not disappoint you. Happy Canada Day to everyone north of the United States border.

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