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First Look at the Free Agency Frenzy: Atlantic Division

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(PS: Sorry this is going up so late today. I fell asleep at the computer while making the final edits last night, and slept in today.)

You should all know by now that I recently found myself adventuring through CapGeek, looking at what each team is dealing with this summer. Since there was quite a bit of information in there, I have decided to share the interesting stuff here with you guys.

Division by division, I am looking at each's teams UFAs and RFA's for this year, FAs for next year, and give a quick summary of their situation. Of course, I will also look at what players we could poach from those teams, whether through UFA negotiations or trades or offer sheets. If you want more info on a team's non-roster players, those are towards the bottom of the CapGeek pages for those teams. With all the other divisions done, all we have left is the Atlantic division.

(If you want to check out the other divisions, here are the links for the Northwest, Northeast, Southeast, Central, and Pacific.)

New JerseyDevils

Capgeek page, 2011-2012 individual stats

2012 RFAs: Mark Fayne

2012 UFAs: Zach Parise, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Ryan Carter, Petr Sykora, Cam Janssen, Steve Bernier, Stephen Gionta, Bryce Salvador, Peter Harrold, Martin Brodeur, Johan Hedberg

2013 FAs: Patrik Elias, Travis Zajac, Dainius Zubrus, David Clarkson, Jacob Josefson, Adam Henrique, Eric Boulton

What are they up to? For a team that has a solid Vezina-quality goaltender for 20 years, they are about to deal with the uncertainty of the future. Marty has already said he wants to stick around for another year, so they are probably cooking up a short-term contract right now. He is quickly approaching retirement though, and with backup Johan also being 39 years old, and most of their goalie prospects still on entry-level contracts, this will be interesting. Meanwhile, Ilya Kovalchuk is the only forward they currently have signed past the summer of next year. Unless Lamoriello pulls off some magic, there is potential for an implosion here.

Can Vancouver poach anyone? Here is a team with lots of UFAs to choose from. Some are distant dreams, others should be avoided like the plague. Seriously, Bernier's gaffe in Game 6 could cost him a job for September. This is still a place where Cory Schneider ends up, if GMMG decides to stick with Roberto Luongo here in Vancouver.

New YorkIslanders

Capgeek page, 2011-2012 individual stats

2012 RFAs: Matt Martin

2012 UFAs: Jay Pandolfo, P.A. Parenteau, Micheal Haley, Mark Eaton, Steve Staios, Milan Jurcina, Dylan Reese, Al Montoya, John Grahame

2013 FAs: Marty Reasoner, Josh Bailey, Mark Streit, Travis Hamonic, Evgeni Nabokov

What are they up to? Their forward core is mostly good to go for the next couple years, with lots of their star players signed to multi-year contracts. It’s the defense where they need to re-sign players, especially with 3 of their regular guys (Eaton, Staios and Jurcina) all becoming UFAs this year. They will also need to take a good look at their goaltending, since the only one they have signed past next year is the injury-prone Rick DiPietro. Nabokov is around for another year, but suffered an injury at the end of the season, so there's no knowing what is happening on that front.

Can Vancouver poach anyone? Parenteau is the only Islander who really caught my eye. He had 67 points in 80 games this year, 3rd most on his team. The right-winger, along with John Tavares and Matt Moulson, pretty much did the majority of the scoring for this team. He is coming off a contract with a $1.25M cap hit. I wouldn't mind giving him a chance here.

New YorkRangers

Capgeek page, 2011-2012 individual stats

2012 RFAs: Mats Zuccarello, Michael Del Zotto, Anton Stralman

2012 UFAs: Ruslan Fedotenko, Brandon Prust, John Mitchell, Steve Eminger, Jeff Woywitka, Stu Bickel, John Scott, Martin Biron

2013 FAs: Artem Anisimov, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Ryan McDonagh, Michael Sauer

2014 FAs: Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Brian Boyle, Mike Rupp, Chris Kreider, Dan Girardi, Henrik Lundqvist

What are they up to? This year’s priority is the defense with only 4 players signed so far for next season. Count it as almost guaranteed that Del Zotto stays in New York. They will also need to decide whether to re-sign or replace Biron as a backup goalie. However, New York needs to start watching the cap, with several of their core players, including star goalie King Henrik, having contracts expiring in 2013 and 2014.

Can Vancouver poach anyone? A couple of their guys this year are quite tempting. Although getting any of their RFAs is a dream, it never hurts to dream. Prust or Bickel could be options for the bottom 6, although Prust has history against the Canucks. We should probably keep an eye on this team over the next couple years, to see if we can grab any of their good players when they run out of money.


Capgeek page, 2011-2012 individual stats

2012 RFAs: Jakub Voracek, Harry Zolnierczyk, Tom Sestito, Marc-Andre Bourdon

2012 UFAs: Jaromir Jagr, Blair Betts, Pavel Kubina, Matt Carle

2013 FAs: Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds, Jody Shelley, Eric Wellwood, Zac Rinaldo, Kimmo Timonen, Andreas Lilja, Sergei Bobrovsky

What are they up to? This team is already right up against the cap, with several members of their player core signed long-term. They would probably like to make some adjustments, but will be looking for the best deals they can get. Recent word has had Ian Laperriere announcing his retirement, and another 1-year contract in negotiations for Jagr.

Can Vancouver poach anyone? Quite a few of those names are tempting, but since both our teams are against the cap already, there is no way we could try dumping any unwanted salaries on them. Anything we would try to do with them would likely be through a trade. Carle would be a good possibility for defense: he had 38 points in 82 games, and led the team in TOI/G.


Capgeek page, 2011-2012 individual stats

2012 RFAs: Eric Tangradi, Matt Niskanen, Brian Strait

2012 UFAs: Steve Sullivan, Arron Asham, Steve MacIntyre, Richard Park, Brent Johnson

2013 FAs: Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Tyler Kennedy, Matt Cooke, Pascal Dupuis, Craig Adams, Dustin Jeffrey, Ben Lovejoy

2014 FAs: Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Joe Vitale, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang, Deryk Engelland, Tomas Vokoun

What are they up to? Let’s just say that Pittsburgh really needs a big boost in the salary cap, since pretty much their entire team has expiring contracts over the next couple years. With Sid, Geno and Jordan likely to take up a lot of money, they will likely have some trouble keeping the rest of their forwards. They already made the first splash of the off-season by acquiring and signing Vokoun for 2 years, so this likely means that either Johnson is not coming back or Marc-Andre Fleury is on the trading block (most likely the former).

Can Vancouver poach anyone? Although a couple of this year’s FAs would be worth a look, it’s the FAs for next year that are tempting. Kennedy, Dupuis and Adams have all done well in Pittsburgh, getting the job done when the stars aren’t at full capacity. These guys would be a steal for bolstering Vancouver’s 2nd of 3rd lines.

Well, we've come to the end of my 6-part series. As we can see, there are quite a few teams with work to do this summer. The draft starts on Friday June 22nd, and RFAs have to receive qualifying offers by Monday June 25th. On July 1st, the free agenzy frenzy begins. What will happen?