The Avalanche have agreed to terms with forwards David Jones, Brian Willsie, Chris Durno, Matt Hendricks, Darren Haydar (new!), and goaltender Tyler Weiman.
Of the 6, the only player who likely has a 1-way contract is Jones. Last season, Jones was on pace for a 16 goal year (having scored 8 in 40). He had started to pick things up, too; after scoring only 1 goal in the first 18 games of the season, he scored 7 in the next 22 games. I have high hopes for him this season, and believe he can produce an 18-20 goal year.
Lake Erie should get a boost with the addition of Darren Haydar. Haydar, 29, has consistently been the AHL's top forward the last four years (scoring 92, 122, 58, and 80 points, respectively). In his only decent NHL stint (16 games for Atlanta in 2008), Haydar scored 8 points (1+7). I'd be surprised if he doesn't get a chance with the Avalanche this year considering the group of forwards currently on the roster.
Apparently, the Vancouver Canucks have signed Andrew Raycroft. Good luck to 'Rayzor' as Luongo's back-up. He may not have been great here, but I think he was better than most people gave him credit for.
Tom Preissing will have a good season next year. That's my bold prediction. Alot of fans (who've no doubt never watched him play) are ripping the crap out of this guy for his play last year.
Well, his play last year was not bad. The reason he only played 22 games was due to illness and feuding with the coaching staff. When he was in the line-up consistently at the beginning of the season, despite only averaging 16:44 in ice time (7th among Kings defensemen), he was their best puck mover. Preissing's 3 goals came in the first 9 games of the season, and the mystery remains what happened between he and Terry Murray to make him a regular scratch. I'm doubting it was his defensive play, seeing as his -7 is excellent compared to Johnson's -18, Doughty's -17, Harrold's -13, and Gauthier's -11.
So, assuming he has a clean bill of health, I expect him to be a top 4 defenseman next year. His puck moving ability and right handed slap shot from the point should help two of the teams biggest problems from last year: the power play and transition game.