It only took until the 9th pick in the first round of the draft for the craziness to start. Gary Bettman announced that the Vancouver Canucks had traded Cory Schneider to the New Devils for the 9th pick. The crowd in New Jersey went crazy while in Vancouver hockey fans were silenced. Safe to say the goalie controversy in Vancouver is over. Cory is out and Roberto Luongo resumes his post between the pipes in Vancouver as the number 1!
Total 211 players were chosen during the draft. Twelve different countries had players chosen. 96 Canadians, 57 Americans, 23 Swedish boys, 11 from Finland, 8 Russians, 4 from the Czech Republic and 4 from Switzerland, 2 from Austria, Denmark and Slovakia and finally 1 player each from Latvia and Norway.
Below I have loaded a few videos of the most entertaining moments at the draft including 3rd brother Jordan Subban being drafted by the Vancouver Canucks. Jordan's older brothers include P.K Subban of the Montreal Canadiens and Malcolm Subban goalie for the Boston Bruins. With Jordan now signed to the organization I bet dinner time hockey talk just got more interesting in the Subban household. Plus something that doesn't happen often........Martin Brodeur had the chance to announce his son Anthony had been chosen by his team, the New Jersey Devils. Anthony, also a goalie could possibly be backup to Cory Schneider when his Dad decides to retire!
An unrestricted free agent is a player who is not signed to a team. Either their contract with their previous team expired and they didn't renew or his team let them go through a buyout or released him or finally a player who wasn't chosen in the NHL draft is considered a free agent. These players have a lot of freedom and can look at multiple offers from teams and chose whom they sign with.
A restricted free agent is a player who can entertain offers from other teams BUT before the player is allowed to sign a contract from a new team, the current team he is already playing for is allowed to match the contract offered from a new team. In that case the player stays with his current team. If the current team does not match the contract then the player is free to sign with the new team.
Also in the NHL you will hear that a lot of players are signed to a team while playing in college. This simply means that they weren't drafted in the NHL draft and that a scout has found them, shown interest and he signed with a team then. You can call these players undrafted free agents.
Remember though that players are RFAs (restricted free agents) until they have either turned 27 OR palyed for 7 years in the league. Then with an expiring contract they become UFAs (unrestricted free agents). The week between the draft and free agency day is busy. Teams are trying to sign players and players may be "seeing what else is out there"
Generally Free Agency starts at 12:00pm EST July 1st (Happy Canada Day NHL hockey) but because of the lockout this year everything was pushed back a few days and it is happening today! Enjoy!