Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/02/14 at 05:24 PM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Trying to separate winners from losers on the opening day of NHL free agency is usually a fool’s game. Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish made the point a few weeks ago – 80 per cent of the contracts signed in free agency tend to be poor deals in the long run. Privately, most of his peers would agree. If there are any bargains to be found in free agency, they’ll occur later in the summer, when the frenzy has dissipated and the remaining unsigned players are suddenly just looking for jobs.
On opening day, it’s all about overpaying to fill in the gaps on your team – which is why the Washington Capitals paid a ridiculous amount of money – more than $65-million (U.S.) – to sign a pair of 21-minute-a-night defencemen in Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, clearly the greatest act of desperation on a desperate day.
The only way to accurately assess the impact of free agency is to wait until next June, when the smoke clears on the 2015 Stanley Cup champion.
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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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