For all the hoopla that typically comes with the NHL's free-agent signing period, it actually has been fairly quiet for the first few days. It's almost boring compared to other years, when you would see big names changing teams. Blame the NHL economy for the slowdown. So many teams are bumped up against the salary cap, leaving little room to sign star players.
Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev, Joe Sakic, Alex Tanguay are among the many still looking for work. Koivu appeared to be headed for Minnesota to play with his brother. The Canadiens still haven't decided what they're going to do with Kovalev, who a few weeks ago was expected to be named captain. Now, it's not even clear that he's going to be staying with the Habs.
The Sabres could still use more help along the blue line. There are several good players still available, including (in no particular order) Francois Beauchimin, Dennis Seidenberg, Marek Malik, Andrew Alberts, Mathieu Schneider, Paul Mara, Darryl Sydor, Sergei Zubov (injury risk), Kurtis Foster (major injury risk). It's worth finding out the asking price and seeing if they can land one of them.
For an early peek at the winners and losers through the first few days of free agency, check out my story in Sunday's edition of The News.
--- Bucky Gleason