You guys are funny. You're letting that number (40) skew your opinions. If we had signed another defenseman with the same skill, stats, etc. for the same amount and the same length, but he was 30 years old instead of 40, you'd all be rejoicing. Age is just a number; his abilities are not that of a 40 year old. He is still better than 99% of the league and his salary is going to reflect that.
Also, his signing leaves this team with 11.6 million to spend, assuming the cap goes up to 58M. We'll have five D-men signed, including all of our top four. We'll have eight forwards signed, including all of the top players up for contracts. The only player left to re-sign that will make more than a million or so will be Holmstrom, and possibly Bertuzzi. We also have two very-capable goaltenders signed. IMO, we're in a pretty good spot.
I'm rooting for Chicago because I think they deserve it. They had to go through both the first and third seeds, they flew out West for two of three possible playoff series, and they're just flat out the better team. Also, I like Toews, Sharp, Keith, and Seabrook, and I harbor no ill-will against Hossa or Kopecky. On paper, they've got an insane roster; Hossa, Toews, Kane, Keith, and Seabrook are all superstars.
I personally think some of you guys let other teams' fans bother you too much. The 'Hawks winning really doesn't matter all that much; I think we'll still retain our bragging rights. We're still a powerhouse team remaining in contention, we've won more Stanley Cups in the last fifteen years than they have in the history of their franchise (literally; 4 > 3), and we've beat them in every playoff series we've played with them for the last twenty years. Not to mention the fact that they have 15 players signed and they're already over next year's salary cap with a young stud goaltender that may win the Conn Smythe. All of those things add up and make me pretty confident that I can root for the Blackhawks without giving their fans too much leverage on us.
This game wasn't even enjoyable to watch; it was just frustrating and stressful. The referees were abysmal today and I don't know how anybody can dispute that. All three goaltender interference calls (Abdelkader, Bertuzzi, Heatley) were just ridiculous, and the call that Setoguchi drew literally came right as I was talking about how I lost all respect for him after his diving in the previous game. Also, tonight was the first time I have ever seen a player ram his own head into a goalpost (on the helmet, of course) to draw a penalty.
In the third period, we had several calls that were legitimate. Kronwall's hook, Cleary's slash, and the too-many-men call were indisputable. My problem, though, is that indisputable calls were not being called on both sides of the fence. The Sharks were interfering with our players left and right, holding our sticks, hooking us on rushes, etc. and faced absolutely no consequences. If you're going to call everything, fine, but do it for both teams.
Also, it was as if all of the calls against us couldn't have come at worse times. A penalty to Howard right at the beginning of the first, a penalty to Datsyuk right at the end of the period, a penalty to Bertuzzi after we regained the lead and the momentum, a penalty to close out the second period, and then a constant stream of penalties to round out the third period.
It'll be interesting to see the final result. Ovechkin could still lose out on both the Art Ross and the Richard, depending on Crosby and Sedin's performance in the last few games. It's very possible Ovechkin and Crosby end up in a tie for the Richard. Washington and Vancouver have one game left and Pittsburgh has two. It'll be interesting to see what things look like when it's all said and done.
Also, this is off topic but just a rant: why is Carmen allowed to troll in every thread under the cover of defending one of his or her favorite players? Taken from the site rules: "DON'T incite flame wars by purposely baiting ("trolling") other members into an online flame war. Members caught doing so will be disciplined appropriately." To me, what Carmen is doing is quite obviously against the rules and makes a mockery of potentially interesting and thought provoking discussions. I can't tell you how many threads I enter into to see Carmen derail it right off the get-go. It would be one thing if, whenever Carmen needed to satisfy his or her need for discussion about Crosby he made a separate thread about it, but to derail largely unrelated threads (and not necessarily this one) is just annoying.
but what hockey player/girlfriend/wife can turn down 10+M dollars tax free?
Not only that, but he'll be offered that kind of money in his native country, near all of his friends and family. I won't lose a bit of respect for him if he decides to take an offer for big money in the KHL.