Free agency is a time generally reserved for welcoming new players into the fold, as the Oilers and Canucks did, or for being excited about the possibility of signing a true difference maker, as fans of the Flames and Leafs can be tonight.
Still, it’s also a time for departure, and each of the four cities in the Nation Network lost at least one player to another team today.
Adam Pardy – Signed a two year, $4.0 million contract with Dallas. Newfoundlanders in Southern Alberta (I believe there are one or two) now have one less player to cheer for, as Bonavista’s Adam Pardy left the only NHL organization he’s ever known. Given the dollars involved, it’s probably not a bad thing the Flames let him go.
Sheldon Souray – Signed a one year, $1.65 million contract with Dallas. There was a brief spell, somewhere in between the injuries, the public complaints about management, and the later injuries, when many Oilers fans regarded Studley Wonderbomb as the future captain of the team. Now, he’s one more veteran the city is all too happy to see leave.
Jim Vandermeer – Signed a one year, $1.0 million contract with San Jose. Vandermeer’s time in Edmonton began inauspiciously, as he was acquired in exchange for Patrick O’Sullivan, sparing Phoenix the rouble of buying him out. He struggled early, but played well enough down the stretch that I doubt anyone would have been too upset to see him back in a depth role.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere – Signed a two year contract with Colorado. Giggy’s time in Toronto began on a high note – he posted a 0.916 SV% after coming over in trade from the Ducks – but a lacklustre season and the emergence of James Reimer left him on the outside looking in. Still, while Giguere may not have had a memorable run like fellow veterans Curtis Joseph and Ed Belfour, he did manage to avoid Toskalol status.
Tim Brent – Signed a two year, $1.5 million contract with Carolina. The player so nice Anaheim drafted him twice established himself as a regular in 2010-11 after a nice run with the Marlies the previous year. A depth player, to be sure, but an honest worker and one who left no doubt that he was giving it his all – something that he got some welcome recognition for earlier this year.
Raffi Torres – Signed a two year, $3.5 million contract with Phoenix. Ah, Raffi. A Canucks-killer before he played for them, he did the same thing in Vancouver that he does everywhere else: played decent hockey, scored in wildly inconsistent bursts, and hurt things on the ice. He’s now seen two game seven losses in the Stanley Cup finals and been a contributor all along the way.
Tanner Glass – Signed a one year, $750,000 contract with Winnipeg. While rationally I think most Canucks fans would admit that the loss of Glass won’t mean a great deal on the ice, I still suspect that his departure was an unwelcome one for many. In talking to a pretty broad spectrum of the fanbase, and Glass is a guy that almost unanimously earned some level of respect or admiration from the fans. I’m sure he will be popular in Winnipeg.
(Sorry for the crummy start to the clip above; the bit I’m referencing is about 1:00 in.)