The Maven's Haven

  • Sunday, July 29, 2012

    Free Agency Frenzy: It's Not Free!

    So, the report has it that Martin Brodeur engaged a big-time -- as in Pat Brisson -- agent as Free Agency Day descends on us this Sunday. Do you believe it? Me? Nay.


    Meanwhile, Marty's buddy -- at least for the moment -- Zach Parise has had an equally large-image rep (Don Meehan) ready to find a pot 'o NHL goal for the Devils' (for now) captain.


    Apart from the fact that they have been teammates in New Jersey, Parise and Brodeur share a common theme along with dozens of other big leaguers. They know that "Free Agency" ain't free; at least not to ownership who'll match the National Mint if necessary to secure their favorite player prey.


    That's why the likes of Ryan Suter, Jaromir Jagr, Matt Carle, Alex Semin and Jason Garrison, among other significant free agents, figure to be wealthier next season than they are right now.


    While it's conceivable to imagine Parise skating for another club in 2012-2013, the idea of Brodeur wearing anything but Devils black, red and white challenges the imagination.


    However, just because Marty allegedly -- as in allegedly -- secured a representative does not mean that he's saying bye-bye to either Newark, Bayonne or other New Jersey points East or West. It could be that he merely wants to hammer out a reasonable deal with the Devils.


    OR, there's always a possibility that even at the advanced age of 40, Monsieur Brodeur will seek greener -- as in $$$$$ -- pastures elsewhere. That's why the Free Agent Frenzy could also be renamed the "Money-Money-Money Melodrama."


    Surely, if Parise's agents haven't committed to the Devils by Midnight, Saturday, you can bet your bottom shinguards that the odds are no better than 50-50 that he's remain in the Lou Lamoriello fold.


    And, if Zach seeks total freedom, there are any number of teams lining up around the corner looking for Parise's John Hancock. The media mass keeps repeating the likes of Rangers, Red Wings, Wild; why even the Stanley Cup champion Kings might even jump into the moolah morass.


    Suter, among the NHL's best defensemen, is another fascinating case. My buddy, Stu Hackel, writing for Sports Illustrated.com, figures that the Red Wings would be an ideal landing pad for Suter. Hackel's logic is impeccable since Detroit needs a replacement for the retired future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom.


    Another compelling question surrounds the future of Jagr, who played capably for Philadelphia, but appears willing to look elsewhere. The Maven is just wondering -- wondering, that is -- about how Double J would look in an Islanders uniform.


    Speaking of Jack Capuano's sextet, it appears as if P.A. Parenteau will seek his fortune -- and I do mean fortune -- in a county other than Nassau. Pal Hackel figures that the Red Wings would be a solid spot for Parenteau as a linemate for Pavel Datsyuk. (Not a bad thought, I say.) However, I see the francophone-seeking Canadiens going after Parenteau with more francs than Detroit care to offer.


    Of the Rangers' free agents of note, Martin Biron figures to be back as Henrik Lundqvist's support-system. I'd be more than astonished -- if such a feat is possible -- should Biron exit Manhattan. Then there's the matter of Brandon Prust who apparently is in Calgary GM Jay Feaster's crosshairs. According to my logic system, Prust wants enough to stay on Seventh Avenue -- and the Blueshirts appreciate him enough -- so that my odds are in the Rangers' favor.


    My personal favorite -- one I'd grab if I was either Glen Sather, Garth Snow or Lou -- is  Garrison who totaled 16 goals and 17 assists for Florida thanks to his blue-line howitzer. An older version of Garrison, also available, is my buddy Sheldon Souray.


    Somebody will do well latching on to Alex (I Won't Come Cheap) Semin who was a 40-goal man just two seasons ago. The Maven considers him an ideal "Sather Project," the kind of player many general managers would rather not have as a challenge. But Slats may love to take on Semin -- simply because it's a worthwhile challenge.


    Other free agents worth considering include:


    • BRYCE SALVADOR: After a super season, he'll command good bucks but I believe he'll stay in Newark.


    • DUSTIN PENNER: Winning a Cup is enough to have him camp out again in LA.


    • SHANE DOAN: if he forsakes Phoenix, there's a lot of leadership that would be nice to have either in New Jersey or Long Island.


    • TRAVIS MOEN: I love his size and grit -- and what a neat name!


    Seatbelts on, everybody, this is going to be SOME ride!


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