Hopefully this year puts to rest the notion that deadline deals and big free agent signings don't work.
If you look at Philly, it's obvious that this strategy can work.
In addition, Pitts made the big Hossa / Dupuis move and Dallas improved themselves greatly with Brad Richards.
It's time for Gainey to move this off season.
Pittsburgh would still be where they are minus Hossa. I think they should beat phillie without him also...it's in the finals against a top team where he will prove if he was worth those 4 assets.
The Richards trade was not very costly for Dallas, they took on salary so he only cost a back up goalie and SO specialist.
I hope we keep pursuing UFA's, probably with more luck this time of year, but there has to be a right fit. You can't just spend wildly and hope they will help your team. Some of these contracts will look awful in 3-4-5 years.
The 3 area I think they will look at(I don't see them making a move in nets)...
1-a top 6 winger that goes to the net hard
2-depth at center, if Pleks or Koivu goes down, we need a guy that can play top 2 lines, maybe sign/trade for a 50-60 point centerman and play Chipchua/Lappy 4th line.
3-pick up a veteran d-man to insulate the young guys(Brisebois or other).
Personally, I'd like a mentor for Price in nets, not that I dislike Halak but it's very tough having just 2 kids there...but it seems the front office does not agree.
What to me is even more important than UFA's is to get our RFA's and upcoming UFA's to extensions...
This summer Gainey can extend everybody but S.Kost Price Hamrlik and Markov.
Obviously A.Kost is the key player this summer. Guys like Higgins Komi Pleks Koivu Kovy the team should try and extend. Lats will also be RFA in a year...I can see maybe getting 2 more years at 1.25-1.5/year.
Lapierre Halak Gorges and O'byrne are all RFA's also. Hope they can extend them for under a million for 3-4-5 years.