The hockey offseason is a lot like the hollidays. The Entry Draft is a lot like Thanksgiving, everyone gathers together and divies up a bountiful stash of young talent, thanking developmental programs such as Juniors and the NCAA for providing them with talent for the road ahead. The next month is spent with teams getting their shopping lists together, looking at all the shiny toys in the windows of Free Agency. GMs look at what they really need, and figure out if there is enough money in the budget to buy that top line center they've been wanting ever since Santa didn't give them one last year. The week after Christmas is much where we are now, as everyone is sorting through the leftovers, bargain shopping through the bins for all the players that weren't snatched up already and might be obtainable for a discount.
The New Jersey Devils acquired Aaron Asham today, presumably to play on the fourth line. Upon digging for information about what they paid, I discovered that they also signed Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre this offseason. Who knew?
The Montreal Canadiens managed to tick off their entire fanbase by bringing back much maligned defenseman Patrice Breisbois.
The Chicago Blackhawks brought in 39-year-old Wade Flaherty because having one goaltender whose best years were behind him wasn't enough.
Elsewhere, players try to prove they aren't washed up. Mike Peca tried to do his best "doggie in the window" impression with this story on NHL.com. Pecca swears his knee isn't that hurt. Really.
But don't fear hockey fans, while news may have slowed to a trickle as we all attempt to digest what has gone down, there is good news on the horizon. As the dulldrums of August tend to drag on forever, the downtime after Christmas always carries the promise of a brand new year.