The story of the off season thus far is the moves Florida General Manager Dale Tallon bringing his former players to him. The big splash was the once unmovable, inexcusable big deal given to Brian Campbell. Tallon brought in one of the NHL’s prototypical puck-moving defensemen, a small smooth skater with a great pass. Next up is the nearly incomprehensible $3,000,000.00 per year to depth forward Tomas Kopecky. Kopecky has never topped 15 goals per year. By comparison, Michael Ryder the two time thirty goal scoring, Stanley Cup Champion is going to make only half a million more.
Today the never fully unpacked Kris Versteeg joined the Florida Panthers. Versteeg, who was once traded for the electric Brandon Bochenski, was today acquired for a second and a third round pick. This is actually a jump in value. Versteeg since leaving the Bruins organization has had several cities to call home. From Boston he went to Chicago just long enough to win the Stanley Cup. From there he was part of the enormous firesale that saw him go to Toronto for just long enough for his passport to come in. Next stop was the Flyers where he was on hand to experience the second round sweep by the Boston Bruins. Now the NHL’s most famous rapper has disappeared from the city of brotherly love faster free cheesestakes.
Added to the mix are several newcomers to the Tallon constellation. The eldest is Ed Jovanovski who once upon a time was drafted by the Florida Panthers. Scottie Upshall is another of the players who can be a native tour guide in almost half the cities in the NHL. The crease was the next position to be scratched off was goaltending. Marcel Goc and Jose Theodore (hopefully) will be filling the void in net while prospects develop. All in all an odd week, with some very interesting guys in the fold, but no real high end talent. They can be an interesting team to watch this season, and will probably rack up more points than last season, but a playoff berth is not in the cards without direct demonic intervention.