Since I talked about the guys we lost in the last blog, I figured I should mention those who's fates are still unknown. Nichol, Bonk, DeVries, and Ortmeyer ar all UFAs who have yet to be signed by anyone, including Nashville. I guess I'll give my take on these four.
Nichol: Of the four, I think Nichol is the only one who should be signed. If we can get him cheap, I'd be happy with seeing him do fourth line and PK duty. Granted he can lose his head sometimes, and he's had some issues with concussions. However, I think he's a good leader and someone I'd like to keep around.
Bonk: This was a gross overpayment two years ago. One which I haven't been too pleased with. I will not be sorry to see him walk. Yes, it was fun to yell his name when he had the puck, but the play just is not good enough to warrant another contract. I'd much rather see a bunch of the young, energy guys doing third and fourth line duty next season. That doesn't mean I won't forget his awesome contribution to the comeback in Montreal in 07-08, but it's time to move on.
Inside joke note: "You just got Radeked" is twenty times more funny than "You just got Bonked!"
DeVries: Or Disease, Febreeze, and Dinosaur as he has so lovingly been called over the past two years. Veteran defenseman or not, I will be so glad to see his grossly oversized salary off the books. If the Preds decide to bring him back, it had better be for much less than he was making. He's another one of those who is a terribly nice guy off the ice, but I just can't stand to have on the ice. He wouldn't make a horrible 7th d-man, but I'd rather have the rookies in the top six.
Ortmeyer: Oh Jed, you lovable man you. Jed Ortmeyer might be the most adorable thing to ever put on a Preds uniform. He is another amazing person, note person, not player. Injuries screwed him the past couple years, and he spent some time in Milwaukee last season. Again, with the younger guys coming up, I'd rather see them playing limited minutes to get the experience at the pro level. Love him to death, but he's more like a career AHLer.
Now, I'm still hoping for another FA signing. Would love for that signing to be a forward so we don't have to watch Ward on the second line with Erat and Legwand, but budget constraints will likely see this dream fail. Nothing is set in stone now. And things can change throughout the season. The first glimpse of how the team will shape up won't come until September, so I guess I've got a few months to speculate. Although, rookie camp starts next week. Too bad work will all but prevent me from seeing any of it. Oh well, the time off from hockey can be nice. I've been enjoying the outdoors and the joys of being an adult and juggling two jobs. My summer class starts in two weeks, so no hockey is actually a very good thing right now. Free agency is about all I have time to keep up with.