Pronger traded to Edmonton, Bobby Holik to the Thrashers, big money contracts all around for guys who don't deserve what they are getting paid, and now Chicago is a major player.
Yes, that Chicago... And no, I am not just basing this on their signing of Adrian Aucoin.
I'm basing it on the new speculations where Nikolai Khabibulin will end up.
The Trib reports that Brad Lukowich is fielding offers from several teams right now.
Now, people are goingg to complain about the Lightning standing still and how big a mess they are getting themselves into by doing so. There's one factor that's easily dismissed - how many RFA's have been re-signed with their teams? Just how many FA's are still out there on the teams making these big signings? That's food for thought.
Until we start seeing major RFA signings it's going to be hard to guage just how painful some teams are going to have it under the cap. The Lightning see escalating salaries for the likes of Vinny, Dan Boyle, Martin St. Louis and other FA's but how fast will the payout bubble burst in the res tof the league? Or are the Lightning being much more conservative under the cap than they should be?
How fast will the cap tighten for every team in the league with these numbers being thrown out for Gonchar, Gelinas, and the like? Now RFA's have their asking prices with thanks to UFA's who put up similar numbers.
If THIS offseason is crazy, just wait for the next few off-seasons when the market corrects itself and teams realize they can't afford players they want to keep around, thanks to these signings that are taking place today.