Yes, Canada Day is also known as NHL Free Agent Day. In between flipping burgers on the BBQ, hockey fans are asking "hey did we sign <enter name of overrated player> yet?" Depending on who your team signed some fans are not only ordering their jersey but are planning that Stanley Cup parade route for next summer.
Yesterday I touched on some of the deals that left a lot of hockey fans scratching their heads. These are the signings that make some GM's look like brilliant men.
#5. Eric Belanger (C) - Edmonton Oilers
Why it's a great deal: I have to admit first that I'm a big Andrew Brunette fan. My buddies give me a hard time when I draft him every single year in our hockey pool. Why do I draft him every year? I draft him because he's a consistent player. Yes, he's 37 year's old but he's also guaranteed to get you at least 50 points. Plus, he never gets hurt, he's appeared in all 82 games 7 out of the last 9 years. Last year he had an off year playing for a terrible Minnesota Wild team and got 46 points but look at Chicago's left side and it's a little bare. Don't be surprised to see him put up some big numbers on Chicago's second line next season.
Why it's a great deal: Interesting that I said the worst contract so far was the Ilya Bryzgalov signing. Similar to the Oilers, GM George McPhee saw a hole in his lineup and not only filled it but did it for a great price. The Capitals finished first in the East last year only to once again lose early in the playoffs. One of their biggest weaknesses was their 3 goalie carousel of young and inexperienced goalies. McPhee went out and got the 35 year old who is a veteran of 11 NHL seasons and put up a very respectable 2.55GAA and 6 shutouts last year for a terrible Florida Panthers team. The only knock against Vokoun is that he's only appeared in 5 NHL playoff games. But with a one year contract the Capitals have nothing to lose. At least they're not on the hook for 9 years like the Flyers are with their goalie.