July 2 Open Thread: "Hey Buddy, Can Ya Spare A Top 6 Forward?"

Salary cap war is hell

4:35 PM ET - Another D man off the list as Rob Scuderi heads off to LA on a four year, 13.6 million dollar deal.

3:01 PM ET - Speaking of RFA's, Via Puck Daddy, Toronto resigns RFA Mikhail Grabovski to 3 year, $8.7 million deal.

2:15: PM ET - Three new Canuck signings folks...and by that I mean warm bodies for Manitoba. Or, conversely, Salo insurance. Via Canucks.com, please welcome back into the mix Nolan Baumgartner, Lawrence Nycholat and forward Matt Pope.

Nycholat was lost on waivers late in the season to Calgary who then lost him to Colorado who I believe never used him. Baumer has been here before and will return to patrolling the Moose blueline. Pope inked his entry level deal right before the draft.

Color me not impressed if I see more Nycholat than Rome this year (unless the former has figured out soft passes + middle of the ice = angry fans).

1:45 PM ET - Via TSN Tracker, Karlis Skrastins leaves Florida for Dallas on a two year deal. Strike another defenseman off the list.

11:52 AM ET - Via TSN Tracker, Adrian Aucoin lands in Phoenix on a one year deal. He and Jovo can laugh like school girls at their mutually piss poor defensive coverage. Labarbera, however, will not be pleased.

11:46 AM ET - Via TSN Tracker, Mark Recchi resigns in Boston for a year and Nik Antropov joins the Thrashers on a four year, $4 million dollar deal.

11:13 AM ET - Via Kukla, Ilkka Pikkarainen has signed a deal with the Devils (and is giving Ossi a challenge for most confusing name in the NHL). Via the TSN Tracker, Chris Thorburn resigns with Atlanta.

**********************************

After day one, the scorecard reads thusly:

In: Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Aaron Rome

Out: Mattias Ohlund, Jason Labarbera

Not exactly inspiring stuff, but the summer is a long time folks. Of the top five free agents available in the world yesterday, don't forget we did snag two of them. We'll find our top six forward and bottom four defenseman soon enough. Keep an eye out for Luongo's extension that should be coming down soon as well.

Last year Gillis added Pudge and Blackout on day #1. It took a day to confirm Johnson and Sanford and it wasn't until July 3rd he added Cullen and Bernier. Demitra signed on July 10th, Krog on July 11th, etc. It would appear he's following a similar, non-sexy approach.

Also, since Gillis ran this route last year, may as well keep an eye on the RFA's out there. Just skimming the list shows some quality guys or decent projects including Phil Kessel (already rumored in about five Boston to Toronto trades), Cam Barker, Kris Versteeg, Jack Johnson, Dan Fritsche (now a UFA), Tomas Plekanec, Guillaume Latendresse, Travis Zajac, Scottie Upshall, Keith Yandle and Shaone Morrisonn. Sure, some of these like Versteeg fall in the 'no chance in hell category' but if Gillis took a roll at Backes and was in position to do so with Bernier, he certainly isn't shy enough to try again.

Lastly, anyone else excited to potentially have the biggest bitch in the league on our doorstep? Keep an eye on the Wild too as they're bound to improve with Havlat locked in now.

I'll have real work today so if you see anything before we drop it in the comments.

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