Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Get Those RFAs Signed

from Justin Bourne of Sportsnet,

Don’t tell my bosses this, but I am a terrible negotiator.

Now that I’ve laid those cards on the table, I admit to not understanding why teams and RFAs cannot sort their business out before the start of training camp. It seems avoidable and bad for relationships. I get the concept of needing “pressure points,” but they’ve got a whole summer to negotiate these deals, and the situation does not seem that complicated. Players don’t have much leverage, teams need them in the lineup...great, let’s figure this out. If we’re gonna end up somewhere -- and you almost always are: Kailer Yamamoto isn’t sitting out the 2021-22 hockey season -- can’t we find a way there sooner?

That complaining aside, just how important is it that players are in the lineup on day one anyway? If a season is 82 games long and a guy misses like four games, is it a crisis?

Of course, the answer is no, it isn’t a huge crisis for anyone involved if Robert Thomas misses four games for the St. Louis Blues. It’s not a huge issue if some superstar’s eight-year deal starts Oct. 20 rather than the 12th, or whatever the specifics may be.

It’s not a huge deal, not a crisis … mathematically, anyway. That’s only 5 per cent of the season, give or take.

Unfortunately, one of the few places I am 100 per cent certain that intangibles matter is at the start of the season. When a team has good things happen early on, it helps the coach sell what he’s trying to get them to do.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com