DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 21: Jamie Langenbrunner #15 of the St. Louis Blues warms up prior to facing the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on December 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Today's always an exciting day in the NHL, when players' whose contracts are up get a chance to test the free market. Will any of them want to test out Market Street?
UFA free agency day is basically like hockey Christmas for fans. Who does their team get? Who walks? Are there any UFAs that're going to be overpriced (duh), and will your team get the steal of the day? It's full of suspense for the players and fans alike, and it lasts for a month.
Big names are floating around today like Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, and even possibly guys like Shane Doan and Martin Brodeur who have been with the same franchise their whole careers. The Blues won't be going for any of them, despite new owners. New ownership does not mean an automatic infusion of cash, and Suter and Parise require that. The Blues will, however, still have some holes to fill by their own free agents walking. It's pretty commonly assumed that defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo won't be back with the team, so that leaves a top four slot open for St. Louis. The Blues have been rumored to be looking at Jason Garrison of the Florida Panthers to fill that need, and behind Suter he's the top defenseman available.
Jamie Langenbrunner, Kent Huskins, Chris Porter and Jason Arnott might also not be back, but those're positions that can probably be filled from within current members of the organization. Langenbrunner has expressed his hopes to remain in St. Louis, a city that he enjoys. He was an assistant captain this year with the Blues and someone coach Ken Hitchcock relied on in the locker room for leadership of a still fairly young club.
Don't expect any large moves today from the Blues, who are generally happy with the team and their prospects. Just keep your eyes peeled as to what defenseman they sign, but here's a hint: it won't be that guy from Nashville.