With a frenzy of eleventh hour re-signings, teams are thinning the ranks of available free agent defensemen. John Michael Liles and Adam Foote are staying in Denver, and Lilja has decided to remain with the evil forces in Detroit. Kevin Lowe decided not to risk getting his hand bit by teams with larger wallets in the UFA pool, and instead made a trade to bring Lubomis Visnovski from the tar pits to the oil fields.
So what does this mean for the boys in blue? It means that teams that may have been willing to let one of the top prizes go for a better bargain a little further down the ladder might be getting a little jittery about the sparsity of talent that'll be running out of the gates at noon today. When you're looking at settling for Jeff Finger instead of Mike Green, that extra million or so per year for Brian Campbell or Brooks Orpik starts to look more doable.
Traditionally, UFA day has begun with a few major signings right out of the gate. While it's exciting to watch, especially if this year one of those signings is announced by Don Waddel standing next to Brian Campbell, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. The biggest name players aren't going to be hurt by waiting a few days to let other players find their places into rosters. As long as the big fish is out there, nobody with enough bait in their tackle box is going to settle for a guppy and go home. If I were BC or Hossa or one of the others who looks to make big money, I'd wait several days until I was sure I'd heard from every team that might possibly consider throwing riches my way to fill a void on their roster.
That being said, Soup, there's no team that can offer you the opportunity and the money that Atlanta can, so go ahead and sign DW's autograph book at 12:01 pm today, ok?
For the Chronicle, this is Razor Catch Prey.