Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/12/05 at 09:42 PM ET
Under the new CBA it may become easier for a team to pluck away another club's top RFA players. With all teams now under a salary cap, there are some presently attempting to re-sign their respective RFA players but have limited cap space available with which to do so. One example of this is the Detroit Red Wings, who are at present in negotiations with young RFA forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Under the old CBA, they wouldn't have to worry about rival clubs attempting to poach these two away with offers sheets because they weren't limited by a salary cap and could easily match any offer. But under this new CBA, Wings GM Ken Holland has little wiggle room available to re-sign Datsyuk and Zetterberg, which is causing negotiations between those players and Holland to drag. Don't expect there to be a "gentleman's agreement" between the team owners not to raid each other's rosters with offer sheets. At some point there is bound to be a team willing to take the chance to not only test the new CBA's limits but also the payroll limits of a rival club.
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