I like to think of this as a three way deal between OTT-NJD-PIT, i.e., Volchenkov-Martin-Gonchar.
Ok, so THM was originally down on the deal given to Gonchar (3 yrs @ $5.5M)as a replacement for Volchenkov who signed for 6 yr @ $4.25M). THM felt bitterness that A-train turned down 5 yrs @ $4.0M from Ottawa and that Murray hadn't appeared willing to tack on a quarter mill and an extra year. THM also looked at Gonchar's age and recent injury history and thought 'this could be another $5M Russian goat'. Let's hope not.
However, it's come out that Volchenkov wanted to test the market regardless of any Ottawa offer. So be it; we've maintained our Russian defenseman quotient and added another Stanley Cup winner who will play a major role on the power-play and keep the puck out of the hands of an opponent's forwards.
On another point, Ottawa appears to have taken the Montreal Canadiens' success as an example in letting some of the toughness out of the locker room. This, of course, is assuming Sutton does not return (sadly, the surprisingly impressive Cullen has departed). It does cause a bit of concern but, then again, Chicago lacked any measure of toughness. On this note, Philly-NYR games are going to be a treat now that Boogard is a Ranger, filling the spot left by Shelly's jump to Philly. We'll just have to see how well reliable, playoff-OT-goal-scoring, 15 min TOI Carkner does against the 3 minute gang of Shelly, Boogard & Orr.