On Saturday, Sportsnet's Luke Fox listed the top unrestricted free agents still available on the market in late July, and while some may stunt fans across the National Hockey League, it seems almost normal to see the name of Tobias Enstrom, who spent the last season with the Winnipeg Jets.
I mean the guy was completely disrespectful to the team, before he even informed general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff that he wouldn't be returning to Winnipeg. It exploded during the fifth game of the Western Conference finals, when head coach Paul Maurice announced the many changes to the lineup ahead of the game. Enstrom was scratched from the lineup for Sunday's must-win Game 5 and the 33-year-old blue liner was not happy with the decision, according to Jeff Hamilton and Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press.
He was reportedly so upset with the club's decision, that he made one big move to express his anger. Following the elimination loss, Enstrom was nowhere to be found during Tuesday's cleanout, when the rest of his teammates were cleaning out their dressing room. Reporters were even told he was "long gone", according to TSN.
McInytre has reported that Enstrom was upset by Maurice's decision to sit him for Game 5, claiming that he had made the sacrifice to play through the Western Conference Final with broken ribs. Unfortunately for Enstrom, Maurice denied that he had been playing through that injury during his season-ending news conference.
While Fox believes Enstrom could be used on the roster of a team and could completely change a second or third defence pairing from middling to excellent, clubs across the NHL might hesitate to put him on their roster.
And as Fox states: Wear and tear is a concern.
At 33 years old, turning 34 in November, and with a history of injuries, Enstrom isn’t likely to get anywhere close to the $5.75 million per season he was earning on his last contract and teams looking to potentially add him on will hope that he can play more then the 43 games he managed to take part into last season...
Fox believes that if ever Enstrom does not find any suitor in the NHL, he will keep his career going overseas. He also notes that Enstrom changed agents in late June and is now represented by Dan Milstein and Keith McKittrick.
We will see if they can find him a good contract, however, we believe Enstrom should diminish his expectations for the upcoming season... what do you think?
Photo Credit: Zuma Press