Defenseman Sami Salo wanted a 2-year deal. The Vancouver Canucks, knowing he's 37 years old and also Sami Salo of the Freakishly Injured Sami Salo, wouldn't relent.
So the veteran defenseman went to July 1 and found a new home willing to meet that demand: The Tampa Bay Lightning, who gave him a 2-year, $7.5 million deal to join their defense corps.
Please recall three years ago when the Lightning, and then owner Oren Koules, signed Mattias Ohlund to a 7-year contract with $26.25 million. His injury status — he's rehabbing from major knee surgery — opened the door for another veteran D-man on the roster. (Any other old-timer Canucks defensemen want to move to Florida to retire? What's Jyrki Lumme up to?)
Last year, there was a sense of obilgation from Salo's point of view. With all the patience the Canucks had shown in him, necessitated by all the injuries, he felt he owed the team some payback.
The Canucks got it when he agreed to an Alex Burrows special, a one-year, $2 million deal, stamped with the ol' hometown discount. Remember, this was a free agency market last July that was busy showering marginally good blueliners in ribbons of gold. Even James Wisniewski scooped up $30 million.
He'll be a good veteran presence for the Bolts; but can he still manage top four minutes next season, let alone over the next two years? If not, is that worth a $3.75 million hit?
Another defenseman on the move on Sunday: Bryan Allen, moving on from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Anaheim Ducks on a 3-year deal, according to Sportsnet's Dan Murphy. Bob McKenzie has it as a $3.5 million cap hit. Big Allen fans over here underrated defenseman that does well in a shutdown role.
UPDATE: Sheldon Souray rehabbed his image and his career with a breakout season in Dallas. Now, he's parlayed that into a deal with the Anaheim Ducks: 3 years and $11 million, according to Eric Stephens of Ducks Blog. It breaks down as $4 million, $3.5 million and $3.5 million. Souray always wanted to return to the West Coast because if his children. Interesting to note that his Edmonton Oilers exile was with the Hershey Bears, the farm team for the Washington Capitals; he was there when Bruce Boudreau was coaching the Caps.