July 1st & D-Men
Looking at the UFA’s (unrestricted free agents) that are available in this year’s crop of defensemen, there are a few puck movers that could certainly be a help to the CBJ core:
Number one on the list is Brian Campbell out of SJ, but his taste of the Western Conference travel may send him north of the border to Toronto or other parts of the East. Brian is originally from the London Ontario area, and with some turmoil with Bryan McCabe and his “no trade” clause, the ACC could see a new highly skilled face.
John Michael Liles is assuredly going to get a huge pay raise, but all indications have him heading back to the Avalanche with a 4+ million/year for four-year deal. This is called supply and demand in that position, and with the Red Wings showing puck control and having “Stanley” to show for it, all teams are tweaking the back end to resemble that trait.
Wade Redden played 11 years in Ottawa and several circumstances have dropped the value of his stock over the past couple of years. It will be interesting to watch the money team’s step up to the plate and lure Wade to their fortress… could he be a fit for the CBJ?
Our own Ron Hainsey is going to test the market and should. He will be a player that several teams will inquire about, and it is Ron’s time to collect. Quietly he has improved his game and has been part of growing with a young franchise. Brought in of the waiver wire, it will be interesting to see where #6 ends up this year.
Other names that are in the market place are Brooks Orpik, who proved he is playing some of his best hockey in the Cup finals against Detroit; Brad Stuart who is a top four d-man in Detroit; and the player that intrigues some of the GM’s around the NHL is Mark Streit out of Montreal. He has the offensive ability and possesses a heavy shot from the point on the PP. What scares most about Mark is that he played on the wing for part of the season, which sends a red flag about his play in his own zone.