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Free Agent Frenzy 2015: Live Blog

MGreen

Sunshine State Hockey will be live blogging from 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM EST during the first day of NHL free agency. Stick with us all day for updates on the biggest signings and possible trades.

11:32 AM – We are officially live and just 28 minutes away from the start of free agency. Some early reports indicate that more than eight teams are interested in Joel Ward, including his current team, the Washington Capitals.

11:40 AM – David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that the Bruins and Red Wings are in the mix for Mike Green. On the trade front, it seems Calgary and Toronto have talked about a deal for Phil Kessel, but nothing incoming yet.

11:45 AM – The Calgary Flames have re-signed goalie Karri Ramo to a one year contract. That takes him off of our top 30 UFA list.

11:52 AM – A highlight reel of the good and bad free agent signings from 2014 is being shown on the NHL Network. Dave Bolland was the first player shown on the bad list.

11:57 AM – The Penguins are currently the front runners for Phil Kessel.

12:00 PM – Free agent frenzy begins now!

12:02 PM – Blackhawks have signed newly acquired forward Artem Anisimov to a five year contract. Anisimov was traded to Chicago in the seven player deal for Brandon Saad.

12:10 PM – Toronto signs Matt Hunwick

12:11 PM – The signings are rolling in. Colorado signs Beauchemin to a three year contract. Goalie Thomas Greiss has signed with the Islanders for two years, $1.5 million per year.

12:14 PM – Adam Pardy re-signs with Winnipeg for one year while Washington signs Taylor Chorney.

12:21 PM – Just a reminder for Panthers fans. Scottie Upshall, Tomas Kopecky, and Brad Boyes are all free agents and will not be brought back to Florida.

12:27 PM – Hearing both Mark Letestu and Andrej Sekera are close to signing with the Edmonton Oilers.

12:38 PM – Paul Martin inks a four year deal with the San Jose Sharks.

12:41 PM – Andrej Sekera and Mark Letestu have signed with the Edmonton Oilers. Sekera will receive $5.5 million per for six years.

12:45 PM – Forward Blake Comeau goes to Colorado for three years. Chicago brings Viktor Tikhonov back to the NHL.

12:47 PM – TSN’s Bob McKenzie reporting that Michael Frolik might be heading to Calgary, nothing official yet but it seems to be a long term deal.

12:48 PM – David Pagnotta reporting that Michal Neuvirth has signed with Philadelphia.

12:49 PM – Brad Richardson and Steve Downie have signed with the Arizona Coyotes.

12:51 PM – Panthers seem to be searching for a backup goalie. That market is shrinking fast.

12:54 PM – Phil Kessel has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Kasperi Kapanen, Harrington, and a first round pick.

12:58 PM – Michael Frolik to Calgary is now official.

1:02 PM – Goalie Anders Lindback signs a one year contract with Arizona.

1:05 PM – Panthers quiet so far today. George Richards reporting that Tallon is working on a new contract for Huberdeau.

1:13 PM – Vancouver signs Matt Bartkowski to a one year contract worth $1.75 million.

1:16 PM – Barret Jackman moving from the Blues to the Predators for two years, $4 million per year.

1:19 PM – Florida Panthers sign three minor league players, goaltender Mike McKenna, forward Shane Harper, and defenseman Sena Acolatse.

1:21 PM – Zbynek Michalek is heading back to Arizona on a two year deal.

1:29 PM – Another backup goalie off the table as Jhonas Enroth signs a one year deal with LA.

1:31 PM – More pieces to that Phil Kessel deal. Details still coming in but Nick Spaling is heading to Toronto as part of the trade.

1:37 PM – Alex Burmistrov is coming back to North America, and back to the Jets on a two year contract.

1:51 PM – Rangers sign Diaz.

1:53 PM – Tampa Bay Lightning sign Eric Condra to a three year contract.

2:08 PM – Cody Hodgson signs with the Nashville Predators.

2:14 PM – Vancouver trades Kassian and a 5th round pick to Montreal for Prust.

2:19 PM – John Moore heads to New Jersey for three years.

2:26 PM – The finalized Phil Kessel trade can be seen on Sunshine State Hockey by clicking here.

2:27 PM – Senators sign Zack Stortini.

2:33 PM – The Flames sign Derek Grant, former Ottawa center, to a two way deal.

2:40 PM – We lost one in the shuffle of this frenzy. Toronto signed P.A. Parenteau.

2:42 PM – Aside from those minor league trades earlier in the day Florida has been completely silent so far. It is possible that they make no moves this year, which puts pressure on the young guys to carry the Panthers to a playoff berth this year.

2:52 PM – TSN’s Darren Dreger reporting that Viktor Stalberg is now a member of the New York Rangers.

2:54 PM – The Buffalo Sabres have signed 2015, 2nd overall pick Jack Eichel to a three year, entry level contract.

3:01 PM – Ruslan Fedotenko signs a two way contract with the Minnesota Wild.

3:10 PM – Blues LW Vladimir Tarasenko has received an offer sheet from the Dallas Stars for six years, $45 million, reports are that St. Louis will match.

3:11 PM – Carolina inks TJ Hensick.

3:14 PM – Mike Kostka signs a two way deal with the Ottawa Senators.

3:30 PM – We will be live blogging for 30 more minutes. It seems the signings and trades are starting to slow down.

3:31 PM – Former Blue Jackets player Brian Gibbons has signed with the Rangers.

3:41 PM – Penguins sign D-man David Warsofsky to a one year contract.

3:46 PM – George Richards just tweeted this quote from Panthers GM Dale Tallon: “We would have signed someone if it was a bargain. We weren’t going to overpay and block one of the kids.”

3:51 PM – The biggest signing of the day, Detroit inks defenseman Mike Green to a three year contract. Green was listed as our top available free agent.

3:56 PM – We will be live for just four more minutes. There are still plenty of big names available for the taking, such as Martin St. Louis, Justin Williams, and Joel Ward. Be sure to check all the major NHL news networks for any breaking deals after 4:00 PM. If the Panthers make any moves after 4:00 PM we will report them as soon as they happen.

4:00 PM – It is time for us to sign off for the evening. Thank you for joining us today and we hope everyone enjoyed our coverage of the 2015 free agent frenzy.

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Free Agent Insanity

Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Shane Doan, Jaromir Jagr, Jason Garrison. That reads like a potential line for an NHL All-Star game, when in reality it could be a new line for one of the league’s 30 teams, if they want to spend that kind of money. Having players of that caliber available at this time of year could only mean one thing, free agent frenzy.

The National Hockey League’s free agency period kicks off today at 12:00 PM EST and all 30 NHL GM’s will be looking to improve their respective clubs while also filling the holes created by UFA’s who decide it is time for a change of scenery (or a chance at more money). Speaking of filling holes, that may be the theme of New Jersey’s free agency, especially if they lose both Zach Parise and Martin Brodeur. Shockingly that is a very real possibility considering the team’s current financial issues. It must be a tough time to be Lou Lamoriello.

While there are plenty of big names on the free agent market there are also just as many on the trading block. Columbus continues to try and find a trade partner that will take superstar Rick Nash off their hands but the Jackets are having a tough time doing so because of their understandably high asking price. The Canucks are in a similar position in regards to goaltender Roberto Luongo, but at this point the return they are asking for my not be justified because of his big contract. There are teams interested in Luongo’s services, including the Florida Panthers, but Canucks general manager Mike Gillis will have to lower his asking price before a deal gets done.

Speaking of the Panthers, they have come up in many conversations on the eve of free agency. Florida is rumored to be interested in such names as Ray Whitney, PA Parenteau, Jiri Hudler, and even Martin Brodeur. We would have to believe that the Cats signing Brodeur would only happen if Tallon and Co. remove themselves from the Luongo talks. At this point it is too early to tell what the Panthers plans are entering free agency, but one thing is certain. It is definitely exciting to hear Florida mentioned with the likes of Brodeur and Luongo. This just goes to show that having good ownership and management goes a long way in earning respect from the other 29 teams in the league and the players.

Marc’s take:

If anyone would have told me at the end of the playoffs that the Panthers would be involved in talks regarding Roberto Luongo or Martin Brodeur I would have laughed in their face. Now there is a very real possibility that one of the two superstar goalies (or both?) will end up in South Florida. Bringing in either netminder would be good for business in the sense of ticket sales, but if I were in the position Dale Tallon is in I would easily choose Brodeur over Luongo. While it may be a fun novelty to some to have Roberto return to Sunrise let’s not forget that there is this 22 year old goaltender in San Antonio named Jacob Markstrom that has been pegged as “the best goalie not playing in the National Hockey League” waiting for his turn between the Florida pipes. Martin Brodeur is the better choice at this time because of Luongo’s long contract, unless the Panthers have given up on Markstrom because of his recent injuries. That would be an entirely different, and highly disappointing, situation. No matter what happens between now and the start of the 2012-2013 season we all just have to remember “in Tallon we trust”. Right?

The following links are from various sources regarding free agency. We figured that this would make it easier on everyone to follow the insanity that is about to unfold. Be sure to keep checking back with Sunshine State Hockey for updates during this very busy time for the Florida Panthers and the 29 other teams in the NHL.

Top 30 UFA’s – The Fourth Period

Open For Business – On Frozen Pond

Eastern Conference Free Agents – TSN

Western Conference Free Agents – TSN

Free Agent Tracker – TSN

Don’t forget to tune in to the NHL Network’s live coverage of the first day of free agency starting at 12:00 PM EST.

Source(s): TFP, Miami Herald, TSN

NHL Free Agency – Day 1 (Live Blog)

It’s finally National Hockey League free agency day! All thirty NHL General Managers will be looking to add players to their clubs to help them improve in the 2011-2012 season. Sunshine State Hockey will be live blogging all of the rumors, trades, and signings today from 12:00 PM EST to 5 PM EST.

11:42 AM – It looks like the party has already started so we might as well get the live blogging going. There are a couple re-signings/signings to report before noon.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed James Wisniewski to a six year deal worth $33 million.

The Minnesota Wild have re-signed Josh Harding to a 1 year contract for $750,000, so scratch him off the Panthers list.

Detroit re-signs both Patrick Eaves and Jonathan Ericsson to three year contracts.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have withdrawn their contract offer to Jaromir Jagr.

We will be back in twenty minutes for the official start of free agency.

12:02 PM – The free agent market is officially open. Here we go folks. Also worth mentioning that the Canucks re-signed Salo and Higgins before the market opened.

12:04 PM – Penguins have re-signed Tyler Kennedy to a 2 year, $2 million deal.

12:08 PM – We don’t see Brad Richards agreeing to a deal today, especially since GM’s are actually lining up to talk to him. It’s being reported that Detroit is out of the Jagr sweepstakes.

12:24 PM – Someone from the Denver post reported on Twitter moments ago that Colorado has contacted the Tomas Vokoun camp.

12:27 PM – Detroit re-signs Drew Miller to a 2 year deal.

12:38 PM – Devils hold on to Andy Greene by re-signing him to a four year contract.

12:43 PM – Tampa Bay has signed UFA goalie Mathieu Garon to a two year deal and agreed to an entry level contract with Brett Connolly.

12:51 PM – Two tough guys off the market. Chicago signs Jamal Mayers and Edmonton signs Ben Eager. One year contract for Mayers, three years for Eager.

12:53 PM – Florida Panthers have signed goalie Jose Theodore to a 2 year deal. This would make us think that the Panthers and Vokoun are finished.

1:06 PM – Dallas signs Adam Pardy for two years.

1:11 PM – The Florida Panthers have signed Scottie Upshall to a four year contract worth $14 million.

1:20 PM – The Philadelphia Flyers have signed Jaromir Jagr.

1:25 PM – Some minor signings to announce. The Blues re-sign Matt D’Agostini to a two year deal. Phoenix signs Mike Smith, Boyd Gordon, and Raffi Torres. Washington signs Jeff Halpern to a one year deal.

1:32 PM – The Stars sign former Panther Radek Dvorak to a one year contract worth $1.5 million while Jan Hejda joins Colorado for four years.

1:34 PM – The Jagr to Philadelphia deal is for one year, $3.3 million. That’s a bit expensive for someone at the end of his career.

1:35 PM – Panthers bring back former Cat D-man Ed Jovanovski for four years, $16.5 million. 1:47 PM – The Panthers have made one of the biggest splashes in the free agent market during day 1 by signing Jose Theodore, Scottie Upshall, and Ed Jovanovski.

1:50 PM – Blackhawks sign forward Andrew Brunette.

1:54 PM – The Ed Jovanovski contract breaks down like this: $4M, $4.25M, $4.25M, $4M. 1:57 PM – Florida Panthers sign Marcel Goc to a three year contract.

2:02 PM – It seems we have our first trade of the day. The Washington Capitals have traded goalie Semyon Varlamov to the Colorado Avalanche for a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick in either 2012 or 2013.

2:07 PM – A lot of people are wondering what’s going to happen to Tomas Vokoun. Some say Florida still might be in the mix, but we doubt that.

2:08 PM – Marcel Goc’s contract is three years, $1.73 million each year.

2:18 PM – This one got lost in the frenzy. The Flyers signed former Panthers D-man Andreas Lilja.

2:21 PM – The three biggest names on the market are still available even after all these signings. Brad Richards, Tomas Vokoun, and Tomas Kaberle all still looking for places to call home.

2:26 PM – Radim Vrbata re-signs with the Coyotes for $9 million over three years.

2:31 PM – Max Talbot signs with the Philadelphia Flyers. With Jagr and Talbot choosing Philly over Pittsburgh the rivalry gets a little more heated.

2:34 PM – Reports claim that the Colorado Avalanche have signed Semyon Varlamov to a two year deal worth $5.5 million. The contract for Max Talbot in Philly is five years, $9 million.

2:37 PM – Only 8 of the top 30 free agents ranked by the Fourth Period have been signed.

2:38 PM – The Winnipeg Jets make their first signing of the day and it’s hometown boy Derek Meech. The contract is a two way deal for one year.

2:48 PM – Carolina Hurricanes sign goalie Brian Boucher for two years at $1.9 million.

2:52 PM – Peter Budaj signs with Montreal for two years.

3:00 PM – Rangers sign Mike Rupp to a three year deal worth $4.5 million.

3:06 PM – Red Wings sign Mike Commodore.

3:11 PM – We are taking a ten minute break. Hopefully nothing crazy happens while we are gone.

3:27 PM – We’re back with some updates. Steve Sullivan signs a one year deal with the Penguins. New York Islanders sign Marty Reasoner to a two year deal. Washington locks up Joel Ward and Roman Hamrlik. Ward for four years, Hamrlik for two.

3:34 PM – Erik Cole has signed with the Montreal Canadiens. The deal is for four years at $18 million.

3:37 PM – Edmonton signs Darcy Hordichuk and Cam Barker. Alex Auld signs with the Ottawa Senators for one year. Two former Panthers netminders working together in Ottawa.

3:44 PM – New Panthers: Ed Jovanovski, Marcel Goc, Scottie Upshall, Jose Theodore. Panthers leaving Sunrise: Darcy Hordichuk, Marty Reasoner, (Tomas Vokoun?).

4:00 PM – The Florida Panthers have acquired Kris Versteeg from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a 2nd round pick in either the 2012 draft or the 2013 draft and a 3rd round pick.

4:10 PM – Edmonton trades Kurtis Foster to the Ducks for Andy Sutton.

4:12 PM – The Buffalo Sabres have signed Ville Leino to a six year deal worth $27 million.

4:18 PM – Another signing that slipped through. The Boston Bruins have signed Benoit Pouliot to a one year deal.

4:20 PM – Marco Sturm signs with the Vancouver Canucks for one year, $2.2 million. A bit overpaid for Mr. Sturm’s services.

4:22 PM – Hurricanes sign forward Alexei Ponikarovsky.

4:25 PM – The league is taking notice that the Florida Panthers mean business. This tweet just came in from Anaheim forward Bobby Ryan:

“Anybody feel like FLA is winning the race today? Tons of action! Some good pickups too.”

4:34 PM – Sheldon Souray has signed with the Dallas Stars for one year.

4:35 PM – San Jose realizes it’s the first day of free agency and signs Jim Vandermeer to a one year deal.

4:40 PM – 20 minutes until our live coverage of day one comes to an end. It’s been fun.

5:00 PM – Last deal of the day to end our live coverage on is one for the Florida Panthers. The Cats have signed Tomas Fleischmann to a four year deal worth $18 million.

A big thanks to everyone who joined Sunshine State Hockey for our live coverage of the first day of free agency. As soon as we hear any more news about the Florida Panthers, Brad Richards, Tomas Vokoun, or any other top free agents we will publish it.

Calm Before The Storm

The day is almost here hockey fans. We are just under 15 hours away from the start of the National Hockey League free agency period. Will the Florida Panthers make the biggest splash since they have the most cash to spend? Will there be a bidding war between the Maple Leafs and Rangers for the services of Brad Richards? Will Jaromir Jagr finally choose between the Penguins, Canadiens, or Red Wings? All of these questions and more will be answered starting tomorrow.

Sunshine State Hockey will be live blogging all of our free agency coverage tomorrow starting at 12:00 PM EST all the way until 5:00 PM EST, so be sure to check the site for all of the latest rumors, trades, and of course signings.

We want to go back and take a look at the five UFA’s Sunshine State Hockey picked for the Panthers to consider. For those who are new to the site or just don’t remember what we are talking about click on the links below to read each article. The purpose of these articles was to highlight five different unrestricted free agents that we thought the Florida Panthers should target come July 1st.

Five UFA’s For The Panthers To Consider – #1

Five UFA’s For The Panthers To Consider – #2

Five UFA’s For The Panthers To Consider – #3

Five UFA’s For The Panthers To Consider – #4

Five UFA’s For The Panthers To Consider – #5

The players highlighted in the articles above are:

#1 Ed Jovanovski – UFA
#2 Brooks Laich – Resigned by Washington
#3 Brad Richards – UFA
#4 Ville Leino – UFA
#5 Radek Dvorak – UFA

The only player not available in that list is Brooks Laich because the Washington Capitals locked him up for six years before he hit the free agent market. With that in mind SSH would like to put a new name in the list of players for the Panthers to consider tomorrow, Max Talbot. Will Florida listen to us and target all five of the unrestricted free agents listed? Only time will tell.

Be sure to check back tomorrow starting at noon EST for our live coverage of the free agent frenzy. For a guide on the top 30 players on the market visit the Fourth Period’s website by clicking here. See you all tomorrow!