Our good friend Karl at The Hockey Writers has compiled his list of Florida's unrestricted free agents heading into the summer. We've "profiled" quite a bit on a few of them so far here at The Box (and this will obviously increase as we head toward July 1st), but any light shed on potentially pivotal players leaving the organization is always good light, and it's a nice read in any case authored by a guy well-tuned to the workings of the franchise.
Undoubtedly, Jay Bouwmeester is the number one defensive freebie this off-season, but what you may not be aware of is the same status affecting his tag-team partner over the past year (and who makes whom look better...?).
On pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Karlis Skrastins:
If Jay Bouwmeester is Batman, Skrastins is his Robin. The two patrolled the blue line together for most of the year, and as offensively talented as Bouwmeester was, Skrastins was just as solid on the defensive end. A league leader in blocked shots, Skrastins could be an important keep for Florida this offseason, should they lose Bouwmeester.
Good stuff on all the UFAs, so check it out. A solid source for intelligent opinion on the Cats.
BTW: From the mind/mouth/bowels of W4E...sign Skras and Andy. Everyone else is subject to a severe drop in salary if they choose to remain with the organization.
No offense whatsoever to the efforts of Radek Dvorak, Jassen Cullimore, et al, but it ain't happening.
Rochester guys such as Matthias, Repik, and Ellerby can cover those positions every bit as well, and cheaper.