Do you remember the year Ray Bourque left the Bruins for the Avalanche? The next season he won the only Stanley Cup of his incredible career, then retired? It was flag-waving, heart-soaring, Disney-worthy stuff. A Boston sport radio station bought billboards in Denver to wish Ray luck.
If you weren’t crying, you were the Devils. No – they were crying too.
This kind of thing doesn’t just happen. Lately more and more players are moving teams in hopes of a final dash to the little table and a reason to shake Bettman’s hand like they mean it. 2013-14 will be no different. Here’s a look at some veteran guys trying to get their grooves back.
Jarome Iginla – Boston Bruins
Dust yourself off and try again. After the trade deadline excitement that sent Iginla to the
Bruins Penguins this season, he has landed on the Boston roster. I would have loved to see him get a full season with Crosby, but the Penguins have $5 to spend and Iginla, at 36, is not a bargain bin guy.
Really this time.
He’ll find a good fit with the Bs, whose team has changed quite a bit from what Iginla would’ve joined in March. The deal is 1 year/$6 million (base salary plus incentives [link]) – a short term, high price, ‘show me what you’re working with’ contract. Smart move by the Bruins, good choice by Iggy.
Daniel Alfredsson – Red Wings
If you’re old and want to win before you die, consider the Red Wings! That should be their slogan. After 17-years in Ottawa, Daniel Alfredsson peaced out in one big cloud of proverbial dust.
Read the very funny Puck Daddy take on his departure (Harrison blows the cover on my lobster metaphor for good measure). Alfie got 1 year/$5.5 million, a lot like Iginla, except he’s already 40. He basically told the Wings to meet him at the dealership with the keys to a Camaro and no jokes about a mid-life crisis. Will it work? Both teams finished 7th in their divisions last year with 56 points. If we were betting our last, fixed-income retirement dollar, we’d go with the Red Wings too.
Danny Briere – Montreal
I just threw up in my mouth a little. Apparently fifteen teams were interested in Briere… and he chose the Habs. Ugh, Danny, WHY!?! I speak French! I can estimate distances in metric! (No, I can’t.) Why don’t the Capitals care about me and bring me polite, elfin forwards once in a damned while?! All they did was big fat nothing and I’m stuck here with Mike Green’s hand tattoos and Nicklas Backstrom’s babydaddy rumors. It’s not like we don’t go to overtime! GAH.
Old picture. Nice arms.
I admire the gutsiness of Danny’s choice. He didn’t want to leave Philly, and he could’ve gone to the Islanders – they are $23 million UNDER the cap [CapGeek.com] and after the DiPietro debacle, they’d hardly be fazed if a washed-up old guy fails to hit the 20 goal mark. Instead, Montreal is an impossibly tough media market. A veteran player coming off an underperforming season and a compliance buyout could be made to suffer – and already has. Google it, you’ll see a lot of Montreal fans are more sick about this than I am. Danny signed for 2-years, $4 mill/year.
Now that Danny is a Hab and I’ll have to follow them a bit, here’s one Canadiens blogger rationally considering Danny’s career, potential and role on the new team. He writes himself into being almost excited to have Briere on board. That’s good enough for me. As is this hilarious blog post, complete with LOTR reference.
Milan Hejduk – Not the Avalanche
For a second there, it was going to be “old folks dance at the family reunion” with Hejduk and Tanguay in Colorado. Sadly, only I want that and just for Throwback Thursday’s sake.
Word is the Avs will not resign the UFA, who has been with the organization since 1998. Last season, the Avs gave him a 1-year, $2 million deal. He won’t get that again. At 37, his agent says the best look will be a contract with incentives for putting up points (these count against the cap). That sounds reasonable to me. With teams giving $4 million-plus, single year deals without guarantees, I imagine Hejduk will find a place that has room under their cap to spend next season.
Jaromir Jagr – Who wants him?
One of many changes so far this off-season, the Bruins will not renew their lease on Jagr. He made $4.55 million on last year’s contract with Dallas/Boston. His agent says several teams are interested in signing the 41-year old [link]. Any guesses? He’s still got it – 9 P in 11 reg season games, 10 A in 22 playoff games – but not to the tune of $4+ million.
(Note: We are not talking about Lecavalier here because 33 is not old. Jerks.)Tags: Daniel Alfredsson, Danny Briere, jarome iginla, jaromir jagr, milan hejduk