According to the venerable Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, two deals that seem close as we head into free agency are Trevor Daley heading to the Detroit Red Wings and Dan Girardi heading the Tampa Bay Lightning. While Friedman mentions other potential connections, these are the two he seems surest of, even indicating they could potentially already be done. While Daley can’t sign until July 1st, Girardi is technically already a free agent after being bought out by the New York Rangers.
The pair ranked 23rd and 37th on our top 50 free agent list, expecting Daley to receive an extra year on the open market. Whether the deals are done or not, it shows that there has been fierce interest for both depth defensemen. Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette chimes in, saying that Daley isn’t done but has narrowed his field to two or three teams (with Pittsburgh not one of them). Despite not being allowed to talk contract details in their pre-July 1st meetings, it’s assumed that basic structures are agreed upon since deals come fast and furious as soon as free agency period commences.
Daley and Girardi may not be the most exciting additions, but they could both provide a nice value for what should be relatively little money. Both players are heading into the twilight of their careers, and as we saw with Girardi’s buyout are too risky to commit big money or term to. It will be interesting to see if either one can lock down a third season, or will have to settle for one or two year deals at age 33.