As free agency period kicks in, the first order of business are restricted free agents. The deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to RFAs is today. Over the weekend the team made QOs to all six RFAs in the organization (Brandon Sutter, Simon Despres, Nick Spaling, Philip Samuelsson, Jayson Megna and Bobby Farnham), and indeed several reporters tweeted this morning that the offers were extended over the weekend. The team will begin negotiating with Sutter's team on Wednesday.
Brian Gibbons and Harry Zolnierczyk are both unrestricted free agents. It is believed that the team would like to retain Gibbons; however, he is looking for a one-way deal, which the team may not be willing to entertain. Brooks Orpik will most likely be targeted by the Buffalo Sabres, who bought out Christian Ehrhoff over the weekend.
Sam Gagner swooshed through Tampa on the way to Phoenix (leaving a part of his salary was there). Edmonton acquired Teddy Purcell and BJ Crombeen from Tampa. Phoenix had bought out Mike Ribeiro prior to that, which explains why they made a move for Gagner.
All is quiet in Toronto for now, though James Reimer requested a trade and there's still the tiny issue of Dave Bolland.
The free agent pool this year is not as deep as in some other years. Top FA forwards include guys like Stastny, Vanek, and Iginla. Top FA defensemen include Dan Boyle and Matt Ni$kanen, whose agent sees no trouble about getting him a 7-year deal, and good for him.
And then there are top FA goalies, like Ryan Miller, Jonas Hiller and our old, old, old pal Marty Brodeur. Weekend rumors of Brodeur being a Pens target to presumably mentor Marc-Andre Fleury finally did me in. Brodeur is a mentor like Brett Favre was a mentor.
Get ready for the craziest two days of the off-season. Here we go.