July 2nd, 2011, 12:34 pm
Ben Eager signed a three year deal with the Oilers on July 1st. Doubtful Doug Wilson wanted to go for that kind of term with a guy who didn’t exactly earn the trust of the coaching staff during the playoff run. We’ve seen in the past that the Sharks like to have this type of forward on the roster, with the presence of Scott Parker, Brad Staubitz, Jody Shelley, Jamal Mayers and Ben Eager all wearing Teal the past few seasons. The Sharks might decide it’s time to allow prospect Frazer McLaren to handle this 4th line duty, but McLellan hasn’t exactly displayed a ton of confidence in him and he had injury problems last season in Worcester.
My nomination based on the remaining free agents is a resident NHL bad boy, Jarkko Ruutu. He can drop the gloves, he’s a pain in the ***, and he’s not completely lame in terms of skill – he’s actually pretty good in the shoot out. He can kill penalties, he can take penalties. He can bite people (ask Andrew Peters) and he’s usually good for a suspension per season. At 35, he’s on the down slide of his NHL career but can still be effective in his role. He was part of the Penguins team that went to the Stanley Cup in 2008 and played 20 games during that playoff run, so he’s able to stay on the ice (unlike Eager was last year). He has international experience with three Finnish Olympic Teams and played nine games in their 2006 Silver Medal run with Niittymaki in net and six games for the Bronze Medal team in 2010.
When the dust settles in a few days, or weeks even, don’t be shocked if Ruutu is in Teal. This would be in addition to adding another 3rd line player to the fold, like a Chimera, Hansen or Langenbrunner (see post below). He has the experience, grit and resume Doug Wilson might admire to fill his annual roster quota.
One year and $750,000 should get it done.
GOTTA LOVE WHEN YOU SPELL JARKKO WRONG AND THEN POST IT. WHEE!