"Whether we get something done with Tampa or not, we haven't talked to Tampa yet. We have 24 hours," Rolston said in a phone interview. "But as far as I'm concerned, it's no different today than it was yesterday. I'm a free agent July 1. I wanted to go to July 1 and see where I'm at in the NHL market. This is the last time I might become a free agent."
I'm hesitant to say anything at this point, given how well my expectations of the Malone affair turned out. Malone's deal with Tampa really does beggar belief; after draining so much money from the Lightning vault I (following our esteemed comrade Zach in the comments) can't imagine that Rolston would be willing to take a back seat to Lecavalier, St. Louis, Stamkos, Prospal, and now Malone for not that much money. If he signs with the Thrashers he gets to play the most important position in hockey--first line center--with a goal-scoring force of nature named Kovalchuk. He'll be recognized as someone who plays with and enhances the superstar, rather than what he'd be in Tampa: a 2nd line winger who plays only a supporting part to marquee names like Lecavalier, Stamkos, St. Louis, etc. He'd be co-Top Dog with the Czar.
If the Thrashers somehow sign Brians Campbell and Rolston (they have the money to lavishly overpay them, to overpay them beyond Ryan Malone's wildest dreams) this will be a happy Chronicle. Make it happen DW.