Free Agency Recap: Day 2

Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg will continue to be a tandem for two more seasons.

Getting it out of the way first, there is no news in the Ryan Suter and Zach Parise sweepstakes. Both players haven’t decided where they will sign but there’s plenty of teams in the mix. If I were to make any bold predictions, look for Parise to return to New Jersey (more on that below) and Suter to sign with Detroit. Here’s a recap of notable signings made in the NHL today.

Flames got hot for Hudler

His contract with Detroit ended just a couple days ago. Jiri Hudler kept the door open for a return to the Red Wings but he went where he could get the most money and that came from the Calgary Flames. The Flames signed him to a four-year, $16 million contract. There was no way he was getting anything near that from the Red Wings or just about any other team. The Flames grossly overpaid for a player that reached a career-best 25 goals last season. Of those 25 goals, 23 of those came at even strength and new bench boss Bob Hartley is expected to use him on the power play. Go figure right? He never lived up to the hype and expectations when he became a full-time NHL’er in 2006-07. The season prior with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins he scored 36 goals and 96 points. The best he could ever muster in the NHL was 25 goals last season and 57 points in 2008-09. He won’t be missed should the Red Wings sign Parise or even Alexander Semin.

Brodeur and Hedberg Back with Devils

They may lose Parise, but at least they were able to keep goalies Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg. If Parise stays, it would be because of what’s going to be behind him in goal. Both goalies signed two-year deals, and Brodeur will receive $9 million while Hedberg receives $2.8 million. Brodeur was looking to test the free agent waters, which would have been about as awkward as Michael Jordan in a Charlotte Bobcats jersey. Brodeur is arguably the greatest goalie of this generation and seeing him in another uniform would be different. He didn’t reveal the teams in the hunt for his services but it was rumored that Toronto and Chicago were willing to make an offer. In 61 games over the past two seasons with the Devils, Hedberg won 32 and also went 17-7-2 with four shutouts, a 2.23 GAA and a .918 save percentage this past season. They are stable in goal the next two seasons but it does leave them without someone notable in the pipeline to take over for Brodeur.

Montreal Carey’s on with Price

Keeping in the area of goaltending, the Canadiens secured their starting goalie spot for the next six seasons as they signed Carey Price to an extension. Signed through 2018, Price will receive $39 million in his six-year contract.

“It’s an honor to put on the Habs uniform and I’ll hopefully have the opportunity to play there for a lot longer now. Now I can just focus on the goal of winning a Stanley Cup. I don’t have to worry about re-signing every other year. So I’m looking forward to working towards our goal.”

Carey Price  in a conference call with reporters Monday evening

New general manager Marc Bergervin made the bold signing as Price was set to become a restricted free agent and was subject to lucrative deals from other franchises. The deal will now put Price among the stratosphere of the highest paid goalies in the NHL, trailing only Pekka Rienne and Henrik Lundqvist. The deal is the richest handed out in the long history of Montreal hockey. The additional pressure will not necessarily affect Price, because he already has enough pressure being the goalies for the Montreal Canadiens. His main goal and focus is to bring the Stanley Cup back to Montreal. This season will mark 20 years since a team north of the border won the Cup as the Canadiens last won it in 1993.

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