Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tough Guys Finding New Homes Across the NHL

A quick recap of where some of the NHL toughest players have landed:

Tampa Bay Lightning sign forward David Koci to a one-year, two-way deal worth $525,000 in the NHL, $100,000 in the minors

Tampa Bay Lightning sign forward Gary Roberts to a one-year contract.

Tampa Bay Lightning sign forward Ryan Malone to seven-year, $31.5 million contract.

Whilst Malone and Roberts are sporadic fighters, they both make the Lightning a tougher team. The "team tough" term is thrown around quite a bit these days, sometimes undeservedly so. But there is no denying what Melrose is putting together here in Tampa Bay. Not sure exactly what will happen with Koci with Andre Roy as the resident tough guy. It's hard to believe they would dress both on a regular basis.

Columbus signs UFA defenceman Mike Commodore to a 5 year deal worth $18.75-million

Commodore will fit right in with a team that already has a couple of tough cookies in Boll and Tollefson. While they still don't have a legit heavy, playing against Columbus will not be an easy task.

Colorado signs UFA forward Darcy Tucker to a 2 year deal worth $4.5-million

The Avs also added Per Ledin, a Swedish forward that racked up 137 PIMs in 52 games last year. Sounds like Scott Parker will have a few pests to protect next year in Colorado.

NY Rangers sign UFA forward Aaron Voros (undisclosed)

Voros is a perfect fit in New York. Where as Ryan Hollweg kept the gloves glued on last year, Voros isn't afraid to drop em. Colton Orr will appreciate the extra help as well.

Pittsburgh signs UFA forward Eric Godard to a 3 year deal $2.25 million

Probably the most interesting tough guy transaction. The Penguins now have to decide what to do with Georges Laraque, the guy many consider to be toughest in the league. It's hard to believe Godard would sign on to play with a team that could be shipping him back-and-forth between the AHL and NHL, so I think Laraque is a goner. A perfect fit for Big Georges? New Jersey. The Northeast has a lot of toughness this year.

Phoenix signs UFA forward Todd Fedoruk to a 3 year deal worth $3.175 million

The Fridge is reluctant to go with the big boys these days. But a healthy year last year and some time off to rest might lead to an increase in scraps for him. And with Brain McGrattan, another new addition, and Daniel Carcillo riding shotgun, the Coyotes could challenge the Ducks as the most penalized team in the league next year.

San Jose Sharks re-sign forward Jody Shelley to a two-year contract.

Shelley wasn't impressive last year, only winning a grand total of two fights. But the guy can skate and contribute offensively; and it doesn't take much for him to drop the mits.

Vancouver Canucks sign UFA forward Darcy Hordichuk to a two-year deal

Apparently the love for Darcy has already started in Vancouver. Hordichuk is training MMA-style with Chuck Lidell this off-season. And word from his trainer is that he has increased his punching power five fold. Darcy says he can't wait to come to the Western Conference as there are more tough guys to dance with. Things should be exciting in Vancouver with a legit heavy and one of the league's biggest pesst, Andrew Burrows, stirring up trouble.

1 comment:


1) Probably Koci's signing signals that Roy's tenure with the Bolts is over. Lookigforward to seeing a rematch with Koci and Chara!