Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/28/05 at 08:11 AM ET
Joe Thornton won't be available next summer, and neither will Vincent Lecavalier. Martin St. Louis and Marian Hossa are locked up, too. In other words, all that cap space the Rangers will have available for a franchise player in 2006 is looking more and more as if it will be nothing more than vast, empty air. Moreover, it is likely to remain that way in 2007 and 2008. Liberalized freedom in the NHL has essentially erased the distinction between restricted and unrestricted free agents. If a new paradigm has been established in this first capped off-season in league history, it's that teams will pay whatever is required to keep young, marquee talent off the open market. Which, among other reasons, is why the Rangers should immediately extend a six-year, maximum-contract offer sheet of $7.8 million per year to Atlanta's unsigned Ilya Kovalchuk, the 22-year-old left winger who, three seasons into his career, has emerged as the NHL's most dynamic goal scorer.
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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.
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