Sunday at noon, of course, is the opening of the NHL's stupid season -- otherwise known as unrestricted free agency. We'll have full coverage of UFA Day here on ye olde blog but teams are, of course, free to try to keep their own until everyone can start talking.
The Nashville Predators did just that Saturday night by re-signing old friend Paul Gaustad, whom the Sabres cashed in at the trade deadline for a first-round draft pick that they eventually turned into Zemgus Girgensons last week in Pittsburgh.
So what did Gaustad, he of one career playoff goal in 48 playoff games and no response to Milan Lucic, get from the team he finished the season with?
How about a big raise? How about $13 million dollars over four years -- or $3.25M per? Good lord.
Now, I get the whole deal here. Gaustad wins faceoffs and kills penalties. The free agent market is thin, especially at center. The Preds probably want to save face about giving up that No. 1 pick and need to spend money to get to the floor, especially if they don't keep Ryan Suter. And other teams were probably going to offer at least as much, if not more.
Still. It's Paul Gaustad. Get ready for plenty more head-shaking deals Sunday, both for the journeymen out there and the big names like Zach Parise, Suter and maybe even Marty Brodeur. Good luck to owners pleading poverty in the CBA talks.