Finally, July 1st is here and the Lightning embark on a Free Agent extravaganza. The thing is though...they started a little early. I've been holding off writing this post simply because the moment I put anything up about who has been acquired, it would change and I would have to revamp the whole thing. But with a few dotted lines signed, I figured it might be time to actually say something about all of this hubbub.
First things first, I have to say how incredibly happy I am that Prospal is back on the team. You really can't hate on the guy who licks his lips on the jumbo-tron after just scoring a goal or making an assist. To be quite honest, I missed it during his absence. In all seriousness, Prospal is a strong member on the team. He was finally coming into his own when he got pulled. Maybe he shouldn't have told Torts to shove it up his butt on SunSports, but what are ya gunna do? Hockey players say the darnedest things! Looking past his funny accent, you must remember that last season was a career high for him with 33 goals and also 38 assists in 80 games with Tampa Bay and the Flyers. I'd say that's pretty damn good. Oh Vaclav, how I love you so.
RYAN MALONE. RYAN MALONE. RYAN MALONE. All during the Stanley Cup Finals, I kept saying to the TV (Yes, I talk to the TV), "I want Malone on the Lightning." Then I wake up one morning, stumble on to the computer, and I come to find out that it actually came true! Reason why I liked Malone? Two shots to the nose in two games during the Stanley Cup finals, and he literally didn't care. He just did this thing, hung out on the bench with cotton up his nose and still got 16 points during the playoffs. Plus he had a 51 point season during the regular season. That is fine by me! Now, we've got him for 7 years and I'm stoked! Also, that picture of Malone just proves he's a badass. Normally, I only use that term for Andre Roy, but I think that Malone has earned it from everything I've seen of him while playing for the Penguins. Welcome to Hockey Bay, Malone. Now, take off that sweater and let me see your tattoos! Just kidding! Or am I?
In with the Ryan Malone deal, we also can add Gary Roberts to the roster. I like when announcements are made about players who are experienced, veterans, and can do a lot for the rookies. That's just a fancy way of saying that they are old. None the less, Stamkos needs a line and apparently the Lightning are building one from scratch. Roberts has definitely got some miles on him, and hopefully he'll be a good addition to the team. Minus the whole being 42, going into retirement, coming back from retirement, being out for a good portion of the 2006-2007 season due to injury and the whole being old thing. I especially like his contract though. "The Lightning signed Roberts to a one-year contract that pays him a minimum of $1.25 million, with $10,000 extra for every game played in the regular season, a possible bonus of $820,000." Most random contract that has ever been drawn up.
Brian Rolston. He's a blip on my radar and not even official yet. I'll get back to you on this one. But props for actually being born in the US?
Who the hell is Janne Niskala? Moving on...
His agent, George Bazos, said he hadn't heard anything from the Lightning that would indicate they were planning on asking Boyle to waive his no-trade.
But Bazos raises a fair question: Why all the focus at forward in Tampa when it was a lack of defense that kept the team from winning?
"They haven't had any trouble scoring goals. They've had the stars up front," Bazos said. "You remove [Boyle] from that team, I don't care who you have up front, they're a worse team. Players like Boyle, they're not replaceable. It'll be interesting to see what happens." - From SportingNews.com
There are about 20 more things I could add in regards to all of this. But I figure July 2nd will be a better day seeing as how thats when the crap will really hit the fan. Plus, I have a job to go to and such.