Today is the day. As of 12 PM EST, how teams will be shaped for the 2014-15 season and beyond will be decided in some way within the next few hours. There will be players with loads of offers for loads more money. There will be those players flying under the radar. As pending unrestricted free agents were able to talk with teams in advance of today, expect plenty of deals to be announced. But don't be surprised when something out of the blue happens. Today is the day of Free Agency Frenzy. Here's the unofficial anthem:
The salary cap for the 2014-15 season is $69 million. After buying out Anton Volchenkov's contract ($4.25 million more in space) and re-signing Adam Larsson ($0.9 million less in space), the New Jersey Devils have approximately $13.06 million in cap space according to CapGeek. From the same source, here's a list of pending free agents:
Restricted Free Agents (all qualified, most need new deals): Jacob Josefson, Eric Gelinas, Keith Kinkaid, Brandon Burlon, David Wohlberg, Scott Timmins, Maxime Clermont, Mattias Tedenby, Alexander Urbom, Harri Pesonen. Note: Tedenby and Urbom are KHL bound and Pesonen is going to Lausanne
Unrestricted Free Agents: Mark Fayne, Ryan Carter, Steve Bernier, Stephen Gionta, Martin Brodeur, Mike Hoeffel, Rod Pelley, Riley Boychuk, and Harry Young. Young will get an AHL deal per Gulitti.
Expect the majority of the restricted free agents to return to the organization. It's up to the unrestricted free agents themselves if they want to return. Gulitti did report that Lou did make an offer to Fayne but expressed doubt that he would take it. Reports out of TVA Sports claim six teams are interested in Brodeur; he appears to be on the way out. Who knows what's up with the CBGB line.
As far as the Devils' needs, they could use help at wing - always for scoring - and a backup goaltender provided they don't go with Keith Kinkaid. The Devils do have ten forwards signed for next season and Josefson would make it eleven, so they won't be able to radically change their forwards unless Lou makes some moves. Defense appears to be set with or without Fayne as Larsson is re-signed and Gelinas will be. $13 million isn't a lot but it could make them players for a contract or two. Of course, one never knows with Lou. After all, the Devils were in a similar spot last season and signed Clowe, Olesz, and Ryder last summer.
As with last year, this is your open post. Please use the comments in this post to discuss everything that's happening in free agency (signings! trades! what crazy thing Buffalo will do to reach the cap floor!) throughout the league as well as the Devils. Usual rules apply (keep comments clean, on topic, respect each other, etc.). Please, please, please do not share unconfirmed rumors and "news" from false sources like fake Twitter accounts, Eklund's Hockeybuzz, "insiderr," a "rumor breaker," etc. There's going to be a lot going on, especially after noon. It is a frenzy, after all. So there's no need to muddy the waters of actual news. For the benefit of everyone, link to legit sources and don't make things up. Being right is more important than being first. Anyway, use the comments to discuss everything that's going on today. Alex will have separate posts on signings when they happen and Brian will have a round-up post tonight. I will be away but that's OK because the hockey doesn't stop - and there will a whole summer to talk about what all of today's decisions by teams and players will mean for next season and beyond.
Thank you for reading and enjoy the 2014 version of Free Agency Frenzy. Remember, it all begins at noon.