With that in mind, I thought I'd take a look at some of the most interesting free agents of the Summer of 2008 and define them as a good or bad idea.
Sadly, this first free agent might not even hit the market on July 1. Until otherwise, let's assume he might test the waters...
Good Idea: Brian Rolston
If Rolston's game had a slogan, it would be "Hossa, without the hype." He brings a lot of the same qualities (skating, defense, hockey IQ) along with leadership skills, clutch abilities and a frickin' wicked shot (see the YouTube clip for an example).
He's the sort of forward who would be receiving Buccigross-on-Drury type man crushes by the hockey blogosphere if he wasn't playing for the blander-than-Gumbel Minnesota Wild. I'd beat the Wild down for their Warholian machine of an offense some more, but Wild fans deserve some legit respect.
Seriously, do you think Minnesota fans would have allowed prime playoff seats to go unsold like the Red Wings fans did? There's plenty of semi-valid explanations for the Red Wings not selling out every game, but maybe we should relocate Hockeytown to Minnesota. Just a thought.
He could be a leader and defensive presence on a young, impressionable Los Angeles Kings team that needs better leadership than the "Hey kids, maybe some day you'll be grandfathered into a hockey team" example that Rob Blake is providing.
With Dallas, he'd be the perfect compliment to Brad Richards, a player who's had line mates like Michael Corleone had trustworthy brothers. Seriously, that guy has been slumming since the Lightning won a Cup (although one of his teammates in Tampa was named Ouellet, which is pronounced Wallet. This is undeniably awesome). So yeah, Rolston would be a great fit with the Stars.
He could be the missing piece for the Sharks, although it would be hard to imagine the Sharks being able to cough up Rolston-level dough. He could give Joe Thornton a thunderous shot to set up or give Patrick Marleau a line mate who might help him to, you know, suck less. Either way, he probably would become a leader of a team of almost-leaders.
Finally in Anaheim, he would give the Ducks secondary scoring that The Rotting Corpse of Doug Weight and the Floating Bear Todd Bertuzzi could not provide.
Why try to go after the sexiest choice in Mats Sundin when you could get a sneaky sexy choice in Rolston?
Hossa is the big breasted blonde hogging the headlines. Sundin is the cougar being tempted into hockey infidelity by a few eligible pool boys. Rolston is that chick from SuperBad with the cute bangs (except I don't want to see him naked).
Chances are, he'll just stay with that by-the-numbers crew in Minnesota. But it'd be interesting to see what he'd accomplish on a more explosive team. You never know...