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Zdeno Chara has signed with the Boston Bruins as unrestricted free agent. The deal is worth $7.5 million US over five seasons.

Do we find it any coincidence that Chara ended up in the same city as a bitter (but not quite former) assistant GM, Peter Chiarelli, who will only be finished fulfulling his duties to the Senators, 14 days from now?

Obviously not. Hired by the Bruins, but still employed by the Senators. That's pretty convenient when you're talking about the pre-free agency period -- a time that was supposed to be devoted to negotiating with a player's current team.

Nice pull, C. $100,000 less than Nicklas Lidstrom? Where are Z's Norris trophies? Where are his Cups? Oh, that was for potential FUTURE awards? Uh huh. Sure.

UPDATE: Ed Jovanovski has signed with Phoenix for five years, at $6.5 million US a season. Obviously Mucks is on a nap break. And the Leafs, unable to bag Chara, and with no collateral to land Chris Pronger, have chosen to pay Pavel Kubina $20 million US over four years. Just because everyone said Kubina was going to be overpaid, doesn't mean you have to follow through and then some.

UPDATE #2: The Leafs have nailed down Hal Gill. Next big fish D-man to watch? Jay McKee. McKee possesses the elements that Ottawa is looking for, but is the epitome of a stay-at-home defenceman (a characteristic that is never bad to have on a team, but Ottawa just lost a scoring blueliner). Boston has also bagged Marc Savard. Boston now has two solid centres in Savard and Patrice Bergeron, or the makings of a fierce scoring line if Berge is placed on RW. Stay tuned.

UPDATE #3: It barely warrants mentioning, but Brian Pothier has signed in Washington. The deal is for four years, but terms were not disclosed. If the speculation was true that the defenceman was asking $2 million, then he won't be missed. Ottawa is now down to five blueliners.

No more updates unless something major happens.

UPDATE #4: The sick-to-my-stomach signing has offically occurred, with Jay McKee going to St. Louis. Seriously?

I don't know how I feel about the Joe Corvo signing yet, because frankly, I know very little about him. His offensive numbers seem promising, but it sounds like he has issues in his own zone. TSN has him labelled as a No. 6 or 7 defenceman. 4 years at $10.5 million? Sigh.

Martin Gerber was a surprise. The potential is there, based on Olympic and NHL performances this year. Whether or not this placates the masses remains to be seen. People are still up in arms over the defence situation.

More later.

11 responses to "Coincidence? I think not."

  1. Pothier is now off to the Capitals also.The two D Ottawa has lost were only after the $.I am damn glad Z went to a sadsack team where he won't hurt anybody. He'll last less than half his contract there, unable to justify those dollars. In Ottawa he was surrounded with talent and team play. In beantown he'll be exposed. To think for a million less he could have played on a contender.

    I am just as surprised by Jovanovski's choice of destination, the Coyotes turn over players faster than any team in the league. He must have a Gretzky fixation or something. As far as Savard goes, he's a pure lightweight - the intensity is never there when the going gets tough.

    Chiarelli will no doubt be investigated - it is all too suspicious. Considering that Chara was practically the first FA signed today, it's a bit too obvious.

    reality check

  2. E,

    I'm surprised about your thought on Hal Gill (sarcasm?) The guy has always reminded me of a slightly more talented Wade Belak. Also, the price tag for Toronto's top-4 is a hopeless 17.1 million - has a team ever gone to the Cup with so many assets dedicated to a handful of defensemen? The other thing I find strange is the makeup - none of Kaberle, McCabe, or Kubina are true #1 d-men - they all have flaws in their game. I have always wished for a true #1 guy like Pronger, along with someone more complimentary to balance him out - a guy like McKee, maybe. I don't know, I just find their D pretty strange.

    RC - you're way off with your Boston comments. Sadsack team? Their top-4 D now consists of Chara, Mara, Stuart, and Tanabe - there is no doubt about the competitiveness of those four. They've got great young guns up front in Bergeron, Boyes, and Kessel, plus added Savard to play behind Bergeron. Their activities today can only be described as a coup. They landed 2 of the top-3 UFA's available (Elias is the other, I think), and also, and robbed Chara from a divisional opponent. I think Muckler made a big mistake in choosing Redden instead, and not paying Chara what he wanted. There has never been a player like Chara in the league. He's an irreplaceable asset, whereas Redden clones can be found in many places - Ottawa has one in Meszaros on their own club.

    And for a team criticized for being soft, Ottawa became a lot softer today by letting him go.

    The first thing I thought about Chara's signing was the Chiarelli connection, but it was the Senators who insisted on receiving a draft pick for losing him, AND making him stay to clear up loose ends. If they didn't want him to go to Boston, they shouldn't have granted permission in the first place...

    Too many words, I know.



  3. Corvo is a decent little D-man who I thought would slip under the radar. He's a decent fill for Pothier.

    Gerber though, you should be ecstatic - he was the best UFA goalie available, and he cost nothing off the roster. What if Havlat can be traded in a package for Pronger (oh my god!)

    Back to Gerber - the only reason he lost his seat to Ward is because he got the flu and lost 15 pounds in the first round. Otherwise, it might have been him holding the Smythe. This guy can play. I rate Ottawa's netminding problems as over with.



  4. Woops...I just noticed Corvo has had some dealings with the law:



  5. You know who wouldn't want Pronger here? Boo Boo. Apparently they don't get along (I'm unaware of the details).

    The Universal Cynic

  6. With Toronto lacking the funds to go after Chara, and the trade bait to land Pronger, they were obviously forced to seek out d-men with certain elements, but not one that possessed all. It's only to be expected.

    As for your Hal Gill comments, I can see why you might make the Belak comparison -- big guys that don't skate well. But it could be worse. It could have been another Aki Berg clone. Ottawa's top three right now are Wade Redden, Chris Phillips and uh, Andrej Meszaros?

    The Universal Cynic

  7. I love this segue:

    Corvo was arrested in November 2002 in Boston after he grabbed a 34-year-old woman's buttocks in a restaurant. Restaurant staff told him to leave, but Corvo returned, punched the woman and then kicked her when she fell to the ground, police said. Corvo was given a three-year suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to assault. Corvo was also suspended for three games by the Kings.

    And on that note, Corvo also played NCAA hockey at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

    "And on that note"? Is Western Michigan University a hotbed of assaults towards women as well?

    The Universal Cynic

  8. For sure, I knew Toronto would have to settle for lesser lights if they couldn't land Chara, but I was hoping for some more complimentary guys (well, at least in regards to Kubina). All these almost-#1 D-men still don't equal a Pronger...I just find it a very odd defense. Undeniably better, at least. Yes, I'm glad to see the last of Berg. Why am I complaining, actually? The team is automatically better just because Aki is gone.

    The only problem is Ferguson blew his wad on D, and forgot about forwards. It's easily explained: This morning, he must have done a Google search over a bowl of Cheerios, so to better determine how to assemble a fantasy lineup. That's when he spied a line someplace saying, "defense wins championships." So then, he greased up his hair for the Big Day and grabbed the wallet. "Defensemen it is!" he bellowed.

    You forgot Volchenkov, with Schubert and Lee for depth.


  9. Lee is expected to stay at the U of ND, and Volchenkov isn't anywhere close to remaining consistent. I love Schubert, however. I think he's got potential to blossom nicely.

    The Universal Cynic

  10. Most of the signings that made sense today are the teams that kept their players.

    Gerber to Ottawa solves a pressing issue. They can stop talking about the Dumbinator now.

    I'm surprised anybody wanted to go to the Leafs considering they are freefalling. As usual they had to overpay. Kubina is good but not worth that mullah. Gill was expendable in Beantown and he was in their top four. Doesn't say much for him.

    Boston got slightly better but still won't make the playoffs. If Savard can get 90+ pts with Kovalchuk and Hossa as wingers, he should be good for 70 with Boyes and Murray. Keep in mind the likes of Savard, Mara, and Tanabe have a patern of two years here and two years there and keep moving along. There's reason for that. The trio's playoff experience is nil.

    One thing is for certain, things will get tighter in the division with Buffalo and Ottawa being set back a little and TO and the Bruins closing the gap some. The Habs true to form have yet to budge. If they pull Arnott out of a hat as is rumoured, things will be very interesting.

    Colorado has to feeling totally reamed having traded Tanguay away to make room for signing Blake, only to lose him back to the Kings.

    I guess this how things will be with a cap. Players signing in odd places. Just like last year with Foote in Columbus, the Chara, McKee and Jovanovski deals strike me funny. They could have helped some very good teams become contenders but it seems they chose top dollars over Cup rings.

    reality check

  11. Chara is just one more Euro disinterested in everything but the cash. His stats were padded on the offense first Sens now his wallet his padded where he can't possibly find those numbers. I was a Bruin fan till the Sens came to Kanata. I can't see me cheering for those losers now. They have no direction and this ain't no fresh start.

    I like Ottawa grabbing Gerber. Makes a great tandem with Emery. Let the baby food puns begins in the Sun. Corvo I don't know from Adam but from what is revealed here, he sounds like the kind of bastard Muckler likes.

    I hope the Sens are not (Arnott) done signing.

    daisy bomb