Today is the day. At 12 PM EST, unrestricted free agents will be able to talk to and sign with any team in the National Hockey League. After shoring up their depth, The New Jersey Devils will have six unrestricted free agents hitting the market today. The biggest one is Zach Parise. He's considered to be the top forward available on the market and he's already in demand by Pittsburgh and Minnesota. It may be an amount far too much for what some Devils fans would find acceptable, though there will be disappointment by most given how highly he's regarded. The goaltending tandem of the last two seasons, Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg, have not been re-signed so they can look for new deals as needed. Additionally, Petr Sykora, Alexei Ponikarovsky, and Bryce Salvador will also hit the market. Fans are focused on Parise and Brodeur, but the other four will make their choices today as well.
Unlike last summer, which was relatively quiet, the New Jersey Devils will get a lot of attention. In addition to having their third-best forward from last season and their legendary goaltender available to take offers from other teams, they also need to spend cap space. With the intended buyout of Eric Boulton, the Devils are still at around $45 million of cap space used for next season according to CapGeek. The salary cap floor for 2012-13 is $54.4 million, so the Devils will need to meet that mark by mid-September. Their best chance of doing so will be today as many of the unrestricted free agents are acquired (and sometimes overpaid) on July 1. We will not only see what Parise, Brodeur, and the rest will decide; but also what the Devils do in response. Whatever happens,
the reactions are already written complete with worthy and not worthy targets for blame will happen.
Anyway, this kind of open thread worked out last year, so we're having it again. This is an open thread for all NHL free agency discussion. If there's a signing or a trade going on in the league, then this is the place to bring it up. If you want to praise or mock another team for something they just did, then this is the place to do it. Any signings or other moves made by New Jersey will get their own post eventually; but you can bring them up here first.
As usual, please follow the rules at all times, and please, please, please do not report rumors as news or fake news. This is a place to discuss what's happening, not what you think is happening. Link to sources (actually link to them, don't just dump the URL in the text box and hit post - this includes Tweets, use the timestamp on a Tweet to link to it); give credit to sources; and actually listen to reliable people who knows things (e.g. Gulitti, Chere, beat reporters, anyone at TSN or CBC, CapGeek. Not Hockeybuzz or some random person on Twitter). This gives respect to the sources and let's everyone who's reading this know what's really going on from people who actually know what's going on.
Lastly, please be excellent to each other. A lot can happen today - especially for New Jersey. There's no need to take it out on other users here if whatever happens displeases you. Thanks and enjoy the frenzy.