Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/28/12 at 09:46 AM ET
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
As always, it’s worth wondering if it’s because of his talent — and the kid has a chunk of it — or simply because he is free, at least as of Monday. No need to trade players or prospects or picks to get him, no need to even expend a high draft selection — you just sign him.
This, going back to the days of Ray Staszak, has always caused NHL clubs to absolutely lose their minds and all perspective. Similar unrestricted young players have come on line in recent years, from Teddy Purcell to Matt Gilroy, from Fabian Brunnstrom to Jonas (The Monster) Gustavsson, from Jussi Rynnas to Mats (The Norwegian Hobbit) Zuccarello, from Christian Hanson to Tyler Bozak. Heck, once upon a time teams went bananas over Mike Van Ryn because he managed to make himself an unrestricted free agent.
They never seem to turn out to be stars. Adam Oates, signed by Detroit out of RPI back in ’85, certainly did, and he went on to a Hall of Fame career.
But sometimes, these kinds of UFAs don’t make it at all.
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