Daily Cupcakes - July 4, 2012

April 5, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (6) controls the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period of the game at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

First off, Happy Independence Day to all of our American readers! Please celebrate responsibly - it's still a Wednesday, after all. On to the links!


The hockey world waits on the two biggest names in free agency, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, to make their decisions about where to play next season.

Parise and Suter are both 27 years old, and both are facing decisions that will define the rest of their professional lives, not to mention determine where they will live for the next decade or so. Imagine being in their shoes. Do you take the most money? Do you stay loyal to a team that you just led to the postseason, a city where you've spent pretty much your entire adult life? Do you sign with that team's divisional rival, in Suter's case the Detroit Red Wings? Do you consider your family?

While business has been slowed a bit by the delays of Parise and Suter, the show continued to go on a bit around the NHL as plenty of work still is getting done.

Suter's indecision could be holding up the market for defenseman Matt Carle, who is not going to command Suter money or term but arguably is the second-best defenseman still on the free-agent market. Carle is 27, has played deep into the playoffs and is a two-way, puck-moving blueliner.

A couple of players did find new homes on Tuesday, while two others opted to stay where they were.

Dallas continued their bizarre off-season by adding their second 40-year old forward since the start of free agency, signing former Flyers F Jaromir Jagr to a one-year contract.

He also proved that regardless of diet and workout routines, time waits for no man, and it did not wait for the 40-year-old, as he started to wear down as the season went along. By the time the playoffs rolled around, Jagr was hardly a factor, especially in the second round when the Flyers dropped four straight games to the eventual Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils.

The recent deal between Buffalo and Dallas that landed the Sabres agitating forward Steve Ott was all about changing the culture, says SI's Allan Muir.

The Sabres of the last few years have been an unbalanced lot, too high on the skill, too low on the will. Anyone who saw five guys in blue shuffling their feet after Milan Lucic plowed over Ryan Miller knows that all too well.

This was a team that desperately needed a bit more spit and vinegar in the lineup. There may be no one who brings more of that than Ott, a guy who takes pride in how hated he is around the league.

Finally, well wishes to former top Coyotes prospect Brett MacLean after he suffered a "cardiac episode" yesterday while playing hockey in his native Canada. You always killed my Aeros, Brett, but I hope you get better soon!

Brett received CPR on site and was taken to a local hospital by ambulance where he was treated,' Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said in a statement.

He was then transported via an air ambulance to Knight University Hospital in London, Ontario, where he was admitted to the cardiac ICU.

Enjoy the holiday, everyone!

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