It's been discussed to near-death for months and today will see what will actually happen. At noon today, pending unrestricted free agents will be available to sign new contracts with any team they'd like. For this summer's opening of NHL free agency, the New Jersey Devils now have a full coaching staff, management has been preparing for weeks, and have even answered their need for a second line center with the Jason Arnott trade.
And they haven't waited for July 1 to act. In fact, in the 48 hours since I put up this 2010 New Jersey Devils free agency primer, the Devils have been busy. A lot of teams have been, actually; enough to force Quisp to update his crucial Can You Afford Ilya Kovalchuk? chart at Jewels from the Crown (a must-read if you're interested in Ilya).
David Clarkson has been signed to a 3 year deal with a cap hit of $2,666,667 according to Tom Gulitti. Much of that money may be offset by the waiving of Jay Pandolfo (requested by Pandolfo) and Andrew Peters. As reported by Gulitti, Pandolfo's and Peters' respective contracts will be bought out (Self-Promotion Aside: I brought up the possibilty of buying out Pandolfo's contract back in May, though I never would have guessed he'd request it). In that post Gulitti already figured out how much money would be saved by buying out both contracts: $2 million in cap space will be saved for this season, but there will be a sunk cost of $1 million for next season as a result. If you want to discuss the Clarkson signing, Kevin's got a post on it, where the waived players are mentioned.
Tim Sestito was also re-signed according to Gulitti, but terms have not been disclosed yet. It is a two-way contract for one year, so he will only count against the cap if he's brought up to New Jersey.
As of right now, per CapGeek, the Devils have $11,373,333 million available with 17 players signed. Once the buyouts actually happen, add $2 million to that and reduce the roster size by 2. This is how much the Devils will have to play with tomorrow to re-sign current free agents prior to noon and go after new ones.
Please use this post as an open thread for all NHL Free Agency discussion. Talk about what other teams are doing, talk about what you want to see from the Devils, talk about trades, talk about how you feel about pending FAs from NJ (Though Paul Martin has his own post: Will Paul Martin stay?) and as long as it's about NHL free agency. Please follow the rules at all times, and please, please, please do not report rumors as news or fake news. Link to sources (actually link to them, don't just dump the URL in the text box and hit post - this includes Tweets); give credit to sources; and actually listen to good, reliable people (e.g. Gulitti, Chere, anyone at TSN or CBC, CapGeek, Not Hockeybuzz). This gives respect to the sources and let's everyone who's reading this know what's really up.
One last note: Remember that we only know so much of the story. UFAs have free reign to decide where they want to go and for how much. We don't know and likely never will know whether Lou made an offer, how much it was, and whether the player ever wanted to be in New Jersey. Players will want to maximize their value as they may not get the chance to do it again and/or fulfill a desire to play elsewhere. Just some perspective if someone "walks" or signs to a place you didn't expect. Thanks for reading and enjoy the frenzy. We will do our best to stay on top of the Devils-related FA news throughout the day.