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Spending Time Is Near

from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press,

The perils of the free-agent market, especially on July 1, are beyond clear. A team is most often overpaying for a player with a limited understanding of his entire package. As Jets coach Paul Maurice says, "You never really know until you own it."

The market was already tilted in favour of players and their agents under the previous system. But adding a five-day interview period to get fans and owners salivating, will in some cases result in more pressure on GMs to spend, spend, spend.

This convention was in place last season, but was compressed due to the lockout. This will be the inaugural five-day session of legalized tampering.

With all 30 GMs gathering in Philadelphia next week and with the interview period opening at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, there is potential for some backdrops right out of Jerry Maguire. GMs getting their licks in before free agency officially opens on July 1.

Agents getting the opportunity to crank up the price of their clients, with the luxury of time on their side.

Maybe Thomas Vanek will be camped out at The Rittenhouse Hotel. Marion Gaborik at the Ritz. Maybe even Olli Jokinen at the Four Seasons. Big-name free agents open for business in the City of Brotherly Greed next week.


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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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