Despite a dearth of true talent under the Unrestricted Free Agent column heading, the 2011 off-season has brought a free agent spending spree like no other upon the NHL. (Be confident, true believers, Pucked in the Head is hard at work on a Seven Things about the Free Agent Firesale column. Well, maybe not ‘hard’ – and ‘work’ is a strong word – but trust me, we’re talking big game about maybe hashing something out over beer sometime before training camp. Or not, whatever.) Most agree that the New York Rangers were the undisputed winner, signing the cream of the crop Brad Richards to a nine-year, $60 million deal. And who’s to argue with Glen Sather, considering his wonderful track record with signing UFAs to big dollar contracts?
Well, us, that’s who. Since taking over the Blueshirts, the guy’s been an absolute disaster on July 1.
1.Scott Gomez had scored an average of 64 points per year with the New Jersey Devils in the first seven years of his career, winning the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year and two Stanley Cups along the way. He turned that consistent, tier-two play into a first rate deal on Free Agent Day in 2007. Slats rewarded him with big bucks, $51.5 million over seven years. Gomez responded with an average of… you guess it, 64 points over the first two years of the contract. Despite giving the Rangers precisely what they had paid for, fans reacted poorly – in 2009, Gomez was traded to the Montreal Canadiens for a cricket bat, three buckets of fried chicken and a box of chewing tobacco. Continue reading