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Lack of Offer Sheets Doesn’t Mean Collusion

From Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News:

It is easy to float the rumor of collusion, but far more difficult to prove it.

Dupont pointed out NHL Players’ Association director Donald Fehr was able to prove collusion existed in Major League Baseball in the late-1980s and wondered “if it could be time to forge a similar case in hockey?”

The difference, however, was the MLB owners had, for the most part, agreed not to sign their rivals’ free agents. The surprisingly low number of free agents changing teams between 1985 and 1988 made it easy for Fehr to prove his case.

As for why Stamkos and Doughty didn’t receive offer sheets, there are other obvious factors at work.

One is the high cost of signing either player.

read on for Richardson’s full analysis

Note: The articles referenced in the piece above can be found here (Kevin Dupont, July 24) and here (Steve Simmons, July 23).

Filed in: NHL Talk, NHL Business of Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink



Here’s others I can recall:

Flyers—-> Kesler
Oilers—-> Vanek
Canucks—-> Backes
Blues—-> Bernier

Granted, only 6 since the lockout but the last one before that was the Fedorov debacle in the late 90s. But as for the topic, it could be more a case of the price being too steep, the CBA expiring soon with now new agreement even vaguely outlined or other factors Spector outlined.

Posted by Iggy Rules on 07/25/11 at 07:22 PM ET


yes it does.

Why?  Every GM knows as well as every fan that when you send an offer sheet it’s either completely futile because the team will match it, or you’re going to overpay for someone.

That doesn’t show collusion so much as it shows that, as odd as it may seem, most GMs have enough common sense to know that it’s mostly useless.

Posted by Garth on 07/25/11 at 07:23 PM ET


Doughty & Stamkos aren’t good examples to prove collusion.  A very limited number of teams could fit them into their cap/budget space AND have the necessary draft picks to even be eligible to give an offer sheet.

Alzner not receiving an offer sheet is another matter.  The Capitals got him signed to a sweetheart $1.285 million cap hit.  A first round future stud D on a team already up to the cap ceiling and no one throws a one year $3 million offer sheet?  Any Eastern contender should have done it just to screw up the Capitals.  But nothing.  A couple more cases like that and Fehr has a collusion case.

Posted by Jerry on 07/26/11 at 02:15 AM ET


A first round future stud D on a team already up to the cap ceiling and no one throws a one year $3 million offer sheet?

Just because Alzner didn’t sign an offer sheet doesn’t mean he wasn’t approached.

Posted by Garth on 07/26/11 at 09:32 AM ET

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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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