19 Good Reasons To Avoid Signing Free Agents

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Mar 3, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman

Wade Redden

(6) warms up before the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Blues 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

1. Wade Redden – After a dreadful final season in Ottawa where his game took a giant step back, the Rangers saw fit to sign him to a 6 year, $39M contract.  After two years occupying more than $6M in cap space, the Rangers thought he would be best suited to make his millions in the minors rather than eat up a roster spot for that price.  He was bought out of the last two seasons at the first opportunity for amnesty buyouts.

2.  Jeff Finger – Few people had even heard of the defenseman that the Leafs ponied up $14M over 4 years that could have probably been had for 1/3 of that.  After two years of being a part-time player, he was banished to the minors for the final two years, and didn’t even get signed anywhere this past season.

3.  Sean Avery – The problematic forward somehow got Dallas to think he could change, and signed a 4 year, $15.5M contract.  He played 23 games for the Stars before his mouth got him in trouble and he was indefinitely suspended by the club, and then for some reason the Rangers took him back on re-entry waivers, relieving the Stars of a big headache.

4. Brian Rolston – New Jersey took a chance on the 35 year old, for a second go-around in the swamp.  However, his skills had diminshed and with an over 35 contract, the Devils could do little to relieve themselves of the 4 year, $20M contract during which he never surpassed 40 points.  They finally found a taker before the final year of the deal, and he was sent to the Islanders.

5. Markus Naslund – Despite his numbers dropping for 5 straight seasons in Vancouver, the Rangers (sensing a pattern here?) took a chance on Naslund for 2 years and $8M.  It worked out so well for both sides, that Naslund played the second year of the deal in Sweden.

Apr 8, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center

Tyler Bozak

(42) against the New York Rangers at the Air Canada Centre. Toronto defeated New York 4-3. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

So there you have it, and no doubt with the numbers that are being thrown around for the likes of Tyler Bozak and David Clarkson, it will happen again.  These are players who are legitimate NHLers, but because of the market, they will end up getting probably close to double what their actual talents and comparables are getting.

So is the life of the NHL.  What lockout?