Colby To UFA

Forward Colby Armstrong #20 of the Atlanta Thrashers celebrates his third period goal during the game against the Washington Capitals at Philips Arena on October 10, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Thrashers beat the Capitals 7-4.

According to my favorite HockeyCentral host, Darren Millard, the Atlanta Thrashers offered Colby Armstrong a last minute deal he has decided to test free agency for the first time in his career. Armstrong made $2.4 million last season, but after his lowest point total in his career, it might be difficult to justify an upgrade. If he comes in around $2 million there should be a lot of takers for the fifth year pro.

Which team doesn’t need a physical winger that has the potential to get 40 points?

If the Penguins let Gonchar go, they might have room to reunite him with his best bud Crosby. Or how about the Canadiens, who lack size in every position? Would he want to move out West closer to his hometown of Saskatchewan and play for the Flames? They sure could use any secondary scoring available, especially with the waiving of Ales Kotalik today (not that he scored).

Since Brian Burke doesn’t like what team’s offered for Kaberle, and now supposedly isn’t talking to Boston about Marc Savard, maybe Armstrong represents the truculence that he so desperately requires for a successful team. Colby isn’t a college free agent, so Burke might have trouble going after him.

My pick for Armstrong is the San Jose Sharks. Regardless of the upgrades Marleau and Pavelski received, not re-signing Nabokov gives them some wiggle-room come Thursday. Even if they go out and sign Turco or Mason, adding Armstrong to their second/third line is completely within reach. He would be a third line regular, probably with younster Logan Couture, and has the ability to fill in when any of the top six go in a dry spell.

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