Wow - hasn't this free agent frenzy just been THE MOST?
Yep. That was sarcasm. Something you'd never expect from SLGT or myself, right? I was a bit tempered going into July 1st, because I had the sneaking suspicion - like so many of you did - that the Blues wouldn't make a splash in a kiddie pool, let alone the free agent market. I was right - they just decided to run through the sprinkler system of free agents. Does it surprise anyone, though?
My Twitter feed so far (at least until 2:15 Eastern today) has been a mishmash of "well, we expected this - let's just go with it" to "these aren't bad depth signings, and I'll keep telling myself that to make myself feel better" to "ZOMFG BLUES GONNA COME IN LAST PLACE IF WE DON'T THROW MONEY AT AN OVERRATED FREE AGENT." I tend to be between options 1 and 2.
Thankfully, the Blues' first move on July 1st was to re-sign Matt D'Agostini. Then we got the Adam Cracknell depth re-sign. Then Brian Elliott, who Doug Armstrong basically said was there to push Bishop. When you follow that up with Kent Huskins, Brett Sterling, and Scott Nichols, you certainly have a free agency for the seasons.
Are any of these signings bad? No. Huskins is this year's Darryl Sydor (and a sign that Ian Cole'll be the first emergency call up instead of wasting time on the bench here). Brian Elliott used to be an excellent college goaltender until the Senators sucked the life out of him before trading him to the Avalanche who further stomped on him. Maybe playing behind a team that's at least average'll help. If not, then the Rivermen have a pretty decent tandem either way. Brett Sterling gives the Rivermen the player that's owned their asses on a plate for his entire AHL career, and he gives the Blues an NHL ready call-up that if used correctly can score. The Penguins understood this, and he skated his way to five points in seven games. The Thrashers did not and shoved the mighty-mite (the man is tiny) on the 3rd and 4th lines and watched him get run over. It's a pretty smart signing for a franchise bedeviled by injury.
Today's signing of Scott Nichol's interesting just because he missed almost 20 games last year because he missed a check on Erik Johnson in February and wound up checking himself into the boards like you do on NHL '11 if you miss your target. Nice.
Anywho, I didn't expect anything more from the Blues than what they've given us so far. Good? Bad? Wish they'd sign someone who was an immediate impact player? Really wish they would have overpaid for someone a la Carolina and Tomas Kaberle? Please, do - debate in the comments.