Usually when July 1 and free agency arrives, it is as if you let the hounds run wild. GM’s making deals here, deals there, shocking contracts most everywhere. This year? Not much of a big fuss.
The Anaheim Ducks have not even made a single free agent move, other than to let three of their former players know they were not planning on picking them up. Andreas Lilja, Jarkko Ruutu and Brad Winchester knew they would not receive new contracts from GM Bob Murray. Lilja wasted no free agent time and signed with the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers also signed Jaromir Jagr, who had been playing in Russia in the KHL for the past three seasons. Jagr had reportedly been offered a deal from the Pittsburgh Penguins, his former team, but then a bidding war began and the Penguins bowed out.
Perhaps Jagr noticed that Teemu Selanne was creeping up on most goals scored as a European and decided to bolster his numbers, in case Selanne does come back for “one more year.” Selanne is only nine goals behind Jagr and if he comes back and plays like he did last season, Selanne could end up edging to the top 10 all time in goal scoring.
Selanne is certainly the biggest free agent that the Ducks want to sign. However, having had arthroscopic knee surgery last week in Finland, Selanne is still not decided about his future.
So in the meantime, Murray has made one single move – acquire defenseman Kurtis Foster from Edmonton in exchange for Andy Sutton. Sutton only played 39 games for the Ducks and did not have a single goal. He was often used as a fourth line forward/7th defenseman, and things just never clicked for him in Anaheim.
Foster was originally acquired by the Ducks in 2004 from Atlanta, but he never played a game in a Ducks uniform. He spent the entire lockout year with the Ducks then AHL affiliate in Cincinnati, but then proceeded on to Minnesota, where he played until 2009.
Foster has fully recovered from a nasty broken leg suffered in March 2008. Foster crashed into the boards after a collision with then San Jose rookie, Torrey Mitchell. He broke his femur in three places and had to have surgery to insert rods and stabilize the leg. Foster did not play again until February of 2009, testing out the leg in a minor league game.
The 29 year old has a bit more offensive upside than Sutton, and should be a nice addition to Anaheim’s blue line.