Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/20/12 at 12:40 PM ET
from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
The 95-day-old NHL lockout has come down to a few issues, but each is very important to both parties. From a fan standpoint, the issue that will change the game the most is the owners' request for a five-year limit on free agent contracts or seven years from teams re-signing their own players.
Although no one can be sure exactly how that would play out, the educated guess is it will mean even fewer stars entering free agency and more sign-and-trade situations.
"You are going to exactly what you see in the NBA," said former NHL general manager Craig Button. "You will sign your player for the longer deal and you will trade for assets."
If a team was planning to try sign Suter last summer as a free agent, and these rules were in place, would it have been willing to give up a first-round pick, or another player, to Nashville to have the Predators sign him for the two extra years and then trade him?
"I think you would do that," Button said. "But what the players really lose here is the ability to go out and really have people compete for their services. This would be a big loss for players."
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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