Atlantic Rising

July 6, 2007

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Remember back in the innocent pre-lockout days of the NHL when seemingly the only teams that ever signed free agents were the Flyers and Rangers? The Devils, Islanders and Penguins were pretty much left out in the cold watching their divisional rivals splurge cash on the likes of Pavel Bure and Tony Amonte. The Flyers would always seem to wash out in the playoffs while the Rangers failed to even make the postseason.

Well these days, the Rangers and Flyers are still the ones spending the most cash, but they're not the only ones.

It seems the overall depth of talent in the Atlantic Division has improved so far this offseason. Even when the Islanders seemingly had their roster gutted after the first day of free agency, they have found a way to spot competent replacements.

The Penguins haven't even made that much noise in terms of free agents, but they still managed to bring in a consistent 20-goal scorer in Petr Sykora and two-time All-Star in Darryl Sydor.

A quick look at the comings and goings this offseason to the Atlantic Division.





With the exception of the Devils, who never seem to rely on individual players, every team in the Atlantic Division has added at least one player who has been an All-Star.


EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS

Dave Molinari gives us some more information on Sidney Crosby's contract negotiations .

Winger Colby Armstrong is going to arbitration.

Will we see Angelo Esposito in a real Penguins jersey next season?

We wouldn't really mention this mind-numbing garbage from ESPN, but Sidney Crosby's involved. The "World-Wide Leader" is staging a "tournament" to determine the "ultimate sports star." "ESPN Research" (There's one to stick on your resume) determined Sidney Crosby is a seven seed out of a field of eight in the Billie Jean King (huh?) bracket. As a result he draws second-seeded Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter in the first round. How exactly are these two to compete you ask? Well you vote for them in what is basically a glorified popularity contest on July 11.

So we have Derek Jeter of the Yankees whose games are on the "WWL" about eight days a week. (Yes we said eight). And he's going against Sidney Crosby who plays a sport that had approximately 8:43 worth of highlights from the 2006-07 season on the "WWL." In a popularity contest. Yeah ...

Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek finally decides to come back for one more season at least.

The Canadiens re-signed blue-liner Mathieu Biron and signed Blues defenseman Jamie Rivers.

John Paddock will be the next head coach of the Ottawa Senators.

Devils defenseman Brad Lukowich goes back to Tampa Bay where he won the Stanley Cup in 2004.

The Ducks re-signed defenseman Maxim Kondratiev who they originally acquired in a trade for new Penguins winger Petr Sykora.

The Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes are the only teams to not sign a free agent -- yet. Who will budge first?

The Toronto Globe and Mail has the entire list of players who elected salary arbitration.

Random YouTube find of the day: The 2006-07 Penguins on NHL 94:

PenguinsArrivalsPlayerPositionHis storyDany SabourinG2006 AHL goaltender of the yearDarryl SydorDTwo-time All-StarPetr SykoraRWHas reached the 20-goal mark eight timesDeparturesPlayerPositionHis storyMichel OuelletRWScored 19 goals in 2006-07Jocelyn ThibaultGBack-up played in the 2002-03 All-Star gameFlyersArrivalsPlayerPositionHis storyDaniel BriereCLast season's All-Star game MVP was 10th in the league in scoring with 95 pointsScott HartnellLWSixth overall pick in 2000 is a two-time 20-goal scorerJoffrey LupulRWSeventh overall pick in 2002 scored 28 goals in 2005-06Jason SmithDFormer Oilers captain was second in the NHL in blocked shots with 228 last seasonKimmo TimmonenDAll Star has reached the 40-point mark each of his last five seasonsDeparturesPlayerPositionHis storyJoni PitkanenDSmooth skater managed to score 43 points on the blue-line for a horrendous Flyers teamGeoff SandersonRWJourneyman has reached the 20-goal mark eight times in his careerDevilsArrivalsPlayerPositionHis storyDainius ZubrusCHas reached the 50-point mark both of his last two seasonsKarel RachunekDTop-six defenseman with size (6-foot-2, 212 pounds)Kevin WeekesGCompentent No. 2 goaltender won't be asked to do a lot as Martin Brodeur's back-upDeparturesPlayerPositionHis storyScott GomezD2000 Calder Trophy winner has reached the 60-point mark five timesBrad LukowichDRugged defensive player has never scored more than 19 points in his NHL careerBrian RafalskiDOffensively-gifted blue-liner has been a three-time All StarRangersArrivalsPlayerPositionHis storyChris DruryC1999 Calder Trophy winner scored 30 goals each of the last two seasonsScott GomezCDeparturesPlayerPositionHis storyBrad IsbisterLWJourneyman hasn't played more than 60 games in an NHL seasons since 2002-03Michal NylanderCA playmaker who worked well with Jaromir Jagr. He reached a career-high of 83 points last seasonJed OrtmeyerDThird- or fourth-linerKarel RachunekDKevin WeekesGIslandersArrivalsPlayerPositionHis storyMike ComrieCHas reached the 20-goal plateau four times in his seven-year career.Ruslan FedotenkoLW2000 Second- or third-liner scored a career high 26 goals and 41 points in 2005-06Bill GuerinRWFour-time All-Star has scored 20 or more goals 11 timesJon SimRWTied a career high with 17 goals last season. Will be joining his eighth NHL teamDeparturesPlayerPositionHis storyJason BlakeRWPesky 33-year-old reached a career high of 40 goals last seasonSean HillDJourneyman will still need to serve part of a 20-game suspension for violating the NHL's drug policy next seasonViktor KozlovCHuge (6-foot-5, 235) player scored a career high 25 goals in 2006-07Tom PotiDSlick skater scored a career-high 44 points last seasonRandy RobitailleCSigned with Lokomotiv Yaroslav of the Russian Super LeagueRyan SmythLWPower forward has reached the 30 goal mark four times in his careerAlexei YashinCCareer underachiever has the last four years of a 10-year contract bought outRichard ZednikRWPlayed in only 42 games last season due to health and personal reasons


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