Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Behind the scenes of the 2012 Free Agent Frenzy

Just a reminder that there was a time when Zach
Parise was capable of actually signing something.
The last 48 hours have marked the “free agent frenzy” period in the NHL – the first opportunity for unrestricted free agents to consider offers from teams around the league. Despite a relatively thin crop of available players this year, fans were expecting plenty of movement and big dollar deals. They weren’t disappointed.

By the end of the first day, reports had the total spending spree at almost $200 million. That total only grew on Monday, with several big names who sat out day one coming to terms.

It all made for a hectic few days, and you’d be forgiven if you missed a few details here and there. Here’s a rundown of the major moments the past two days.

Sunday, 8:48 a.m. – For the fourth straight day, Dennis Wideman wakes up muttering “I had the craziest dream” before realizing he was indeed sleeping on a giant pile of Jay Feaster’s money.

Sunday, 11:03 a.m. – People all around Toronto take a break from thinking about free agency to head out with friends and family to celebrate Canada Day – or, as the entire Maple Leafs roster refers to it, “only three more days until July 4”.

Sunday, 12:42 p.m. – As the first signings trickle in, HBO 24/7 producers go ahead and start writing the “Jonas Gustavsson shuts out the Maple Leafs” epilogue for this year’s final episode.

Sunday, 2:13 p.m. - After spending the entire day frantically working the phones, the Minnesota Wild front office decide that everyone in the media has now heard that they plan to be in on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter and they can maybe call a few hockey players now.

Sunday, 3:30 p.m. – Upon being informed of his trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nick Foligno executes a modified version of his family’s famous “Foligno Leap” that he calls the “Foligno Flop On To The Floor, Curl Up In A Ball, And Sob Uncontrollably”.

Sunday, 4:46 p.m. - After signing a four-year deal with the Avalanche, P.A. Parenteau cleans out his locker at the Nassau Coliseum, says a tearful goodbye to the team trainers and equipment staff, and walks out the building dragging a hilarious novelty suitcase that makes a noise that sounds just like John Tavares shouting “Let me out of here!”

Sunday, 6:12 p.m. – Various teams that have spent the day making pitches to Martin Brodeur start to wonder if it’s a bad sign that he always spent the entire negotiation meeting staring at a picture of the Devils’ logo and softly singing “My Endless Love”.

Sunday, 8:29 p.m. - Jason Garrison leaves the Florida Panthers to join the Vancouver Canucks because, apparently, he just really likes playing for Roberto Luongo’s former team.

Monday, 3:48 a.m. – Nashville Predators free agent Ryan Suter is wide awake, pouring through the details of the various offers he’s received that day. Meanwhile, Nashville Predators free agent Andrei Kostitsyn is also wide awake, although the bartender reports that he doesn’t seem to be aware that free agency has begun.

Monday, 9:32 a.m. – During his drive in to the office, Scott Howson begins to feel like all the signs are telling him that now is the time to trade Rick Nash, in the sense that Rick Nash has purchased every billboard in Columbus and they all read “Stop stalling and trade me before I come over there and strangle you”.

Monday, 2:24 p.m. – An NYPD spokesperson releases a statement acknowledging that no, Glen Sather has not yet handed out any massive contracts yet this year, but they’d still appreciate it if every agent in the league would stop phoning in wellness checks on him.

Monday, 4:55 p.m. – A bemused Zach Parise meets with the media to ask them why they’re all hanging out in his agent’s parking lot before slapping his forehead, screaming “Oh my god, free agency!” and staring in horror at his phone’s screen reading “You have 7,000 new voicemails”.

Monday, 6:57 p.m. - After two days of sitting angrily beside his silent phone, Shea Weber submits an offer sheet for a #6 combo to the Chinese food place across the street.

Monday, 9:36 p.m. – With a sinking feeling in his stomach, Justin Schultz realizes that the “Recent History of the NHL” DVD that he’s been watching repeatedly for weeks actually includes a second disc labeled “1991-present”.

Monday, 11:58 p.m. – The guy in charge of preparing the NHL owners’ “We need a lockout because we just don’t seem to have any money” slide for the next round of CBA talks sighs heavily, tosses his laptop into his fireplace, and goes to bed.




18 comments:

  1. The Justin Schultz comment had me in stitches. And I suspect the Nick Foligno comment has more truth in it than any of us know.

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  2. 11:03 and 12:42 made me cry a little on the inside. However, love that the caption is back this week.

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  3. People asked if I was ok after I read the Schultz line I was laughing so hard

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    1. but you're ok, right?

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  4. I love the Foligno and the Schultz ones, but my favorite wasthe Parentaeu one. "Let me out of here!" :D

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  5. Not to be 'that guy' but isn't it "poring through" not "pouring through" details?

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    1. It's hot in Nashville. He was sweating a lot.

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    2. Ha, good one. I live here... I'm not sure 108* heat the last few days is the best way to convince him it's "Hockey Tonk, USA"

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    3. Also would have accepted "Suter is poring / Andrei is pouring"

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  6. The Parise line was brilliant, explains everything. :P

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  7. Schultz!

    Pure beauty, DGB. I'm still a little pained that he didn't sign with us. That jab was sweet.

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  8. Maybe after watching the 1967-present DVD he decided to sign with a team that stands a chance of getting to the finals within the next half-century.

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    1. I don't see what that has to do with signing with a team on which he'd be the best defenceman, since that's a little telling about the team's overall quality.

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  9. The Justin Schultz joke is one of your best yet :)

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  10. Two weeks with no DGB? Noooooooooooooo

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    1. Mike Pelyk's HairdoJuly 12, 2012 at 8:01 AM

      The nerve of this guy, taking time off from hockey in the middle of July!

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    2. Keep reading same article. Finding funnier each time I read it. Trees funny too. Not sure I can wait for full two weeks. SQUIRREL!!!

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