Michael Ryder to Explore Free Agency
Jonathan Cheechoo received a mutual release from the San Jose Sharks and is trying to land a job with an NHL team. The former 50 goal scorer will likely have to settle for a two-way deal. Last season in Worcester he recorded 18 goals and 47 points in 55 games. He knows he needs to get faster and quicker which is why he’s hired a personal trainer and is working out twice a day at the University of Stanford. Representatives for Cheechoo have contacted several teams including the St. Louis Blues.
Ryder to be free…
You can expect Bruins sniper Michael Ryder to be a free agent on Friday. He saw his minutes decline in Boston once veteran Mark Recchi was brought on board. He showed in the playoffs what he’s capable of doing as he can still find the back of the net. I’m wouldn’t completely rule out a return to Boston but Florida may take a hard look as well. His point per minute ratio is rather impressive.
Ian White anyone?
I thought White looked good in San Jose but it appears he will not be returning to the Sharks.
Blues looking at goaltenders?
Sure there are veteran guys like Marty Turco and Michael Leighton available but do they interest GM Doug Armstrong? Ray Emery is likely looking to be a number one and Jaro Halak is settled into that position for now. One thing Ty Conklin brought to the table was the ability to play the puck. I thought the Blues often had an easier time breaking the puck out of the zone when Conklin played as a goaltender with puck skills can help in this area. Playing the puck is not one of Halak’s biggest strengths.
Should the Blues target a goaltender that can play the puck?
I’m not sure a guy like Turco or Leighton would push Halak as one guy(Turco) is a true backup while the other has been a waiver goalie most of his career. There are some other options out there, the question is will Armstrong look for a guy on a two-way or a one-way contract?
There is no reason for Blues fans to get all worked up with the Matt D’Agostini situation. The guy has a very strong arbitration case and there’s a good chance he’d get north of $2 million as a reward. The Blues don’t want to pay that much. The sticking point in the negotiations was almost more about the term than the actual dollars. D’Agostini wants two years and the Blues were only offering one. If he was going to sign a one-year deal he wanted a salary closer to the $1.8-1.9 range. As of a few weeks ago the Blues were offering closer to $1.5. Now we will all sit back and see what his true value will be in free agency.
You can say all you want about the factors that contributed to the season D’Agostini had but at the end of the day the guy scored 20-plus goals in the NHL. The Blues, specifically Armstrong, knows this.
The team is not turning their back on this guy as the two sides will continue talking in hopes of getting a deal done. Obviously if a team gives D’Agostini what he’s looking for he’ll likely move on. Understandably so, the Blues want to pay him for his entire body of work, not just one year.
The Penguins did the same thing with Tyler Kennedy.
Would Blues fans have any interest in a Marty Reasoner or Jamie Langenbrunner?
More to come,