We’re 3 hours away from the beginning of the free agency period and I’m so giddy with excitement that I can’t sleep. Yes, I am a hockey nerd and proud of it. This being my first real post, I figured what better way to make myself look like an idiot than try to guess what Chevy and his staff will do when the clock strikes 12:00 (EST).
First off, it’s no secret that the True North folks are intending to build this team “the proper way”. What exactly does that mean? It means good scouting, good drafting, and good development from within. That last sentence has become fairly cliché in hockey circles, so while I’m at it, let me throw a couple more clichés at you:
- we’ll only use free agency to supplement the core that we’ve built through the draft
- you don’t build a winning team by overpaying in free agency
- we’re not just one piece away from winning the cup (which implies that we’re not going to break the bank on player X - who happens to be Brad Richards in this case)
That last one is a real beauty because it applies not only to free agency, but also to the trade deadline. All kidding aside though, those clichés are popular for a reason – they are generally true. Although I would love for Chevy to make a huge splash today and go after some big guns, it’s just not a wise strategy for a budget team who is nowhere near ready to contend. So while it pains me to say it, I’m willing to be patient and give these guys 3 to 5 years to build a team “the proper way”.
All that being said, there is no doubt that this roster will need some pieces added to it this summer. Without further ado, here is my top 5 list of the kinds of players that Chevy might target in free agency:
5. Radim Vrbata, RW
4. Antti Miettinen, RW
3. Tomas Fleischmann, LW
2. Michael Ryder, RW
1. Scottie Upshall, RW
0. Temmu Selanne, RW (this is a pipe dream but I couldn’t not include him)
I started off talking about each player individually, but the reasons for targeting these guys are so similar, I was just repeating myself. None of these guys are superstars (Selanne exlcuded), but they can all chip in offensively and are very serviceable top 6 or top 9 players who can slot into the Jets roster and add some depth. It’s also worth noting that all of these guys (possibly with the exception of Fleischmann) can play the right wing if needed, which is a huge organizational weakness on the depth chart. Hopefully Chevy can make something happen and shore up what is looking to be a fairly anaemic offense.
Happy Free Agent Day and Happy Canada Day!!! I can’t wait to settle in on the couch and find out that I was nowhere close on any of these guesses.