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RFA Talk

from Matt Porter of the Boston Globe,

It’s not quite the late summer of 2019, when a slew of restricted free agents — including Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Mitch Marner, Patrik Laine, and Mikko Rantanen — went into September without contract extensions. But entering the weekend, several high-profile RFAs remained unsigned.

In Vancouver, Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes were awaiting big money. Likewise Brady Tkachuk in Ottawa, Rasmus Dahlin in Buffalo, and Kirill Kaprizov in Minnesota. These are franchise building blocks, with the caveat that Dahlin, the No. 1 pick in 2018, hasn’t yet popped in Western New York.

The Canucks had the heaviest lift, having to fit the 2019 Calder Trophy winner (Pettersson) and 2020 runner-up (Hughes) under a tight salary cap. General manager Jim Benning had this to do, after taking on $7.26 million of Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s deal (and rising star Conor Garland) in exchange for the inflated contracts of Loui Eriksson, Jay Beagle, and Antoine Roussel. It doesn’t look like we’ll see a dramatic change of scenery for any, or another offer sheet in the vein of Carolina landing Montreal RFA Jesperi Kotkaniemi last week.

J.P. Barry, the agent for Pettersson and Hughes, said in June that his players wanted to stay in Vancouver (Hughes is not eligible for an offer sheet, while Pettersson is). The camp for Kaprizov, fresh off his Calder win, dangled the threat of the KHL — Kaprizov, too, is offer sheet-ineligible, so that’s his primary leverage — but Minnesota GM Bill Guerin is holding firm. Tkachuk, wearing an “A” for the Senators, has expressed several times his wish to push the rebuild forward in Canada’s capital.

What’s just as intriguing this time of year, with training camps set to open in a couple weeks, is to assess the players entering the final years of their deals.

continued with more topics too including pending UFAs...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink


OlderThanChelios's avatar

Hey, Paul, have you heard anything about what the holdup is with Smith? According to CapFriendly, he’s the only one on the main roster or in the minors without a contract right now.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/11/21 at 11:53 AM ET

Paul's avatar

OTC, not a peep on Smith.  No idea why the delay.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 09/11/21 at 12:26 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Posted by Paul from Motown Area

Okay, thanks. I was wondering if he was playing “hard ball” because he thinks he’s the Wings only option for a “tough guy.” The Witkowski signing should have dispelled that belief. And he’s messing with the wrong GM if he thinks he has the upper hand.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 09/11/21 at 12:59 PM ET


I was wondering if he was playing “hard ball”

He would of filed for arbitration of that were the case. I think he’s just pst in line as SY has been working systematically one after another on the RFAs

Posted by beantownredwings on 09/11/21 at 07:39 PM 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.

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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