Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/06/13 at 10:39 AM ET
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
League-imposed restrictions (including limits on contract length) and long-term investments have conspired to curtail free agency, but that doesn’t mean rosters will remain static. Instead, GMs will have to look at other areas – compliance buyouts and trades – to alter their lineup. There are some marquee names (led by Ilya Bryzgalov, Daniel Briere and Brad Richards) who could be UFAs via amnesty buyout (each team is allowed up to two); depending on the level of interest in an amnestied NHLer, they could be a bargain and/or reclamation project, but we’re talking about players who were cut loose because their teams no longer wanted them. Again, free agency isn’t the panacea.
The tool that creates the majority of roster change is likely to be the trade market – particularly this year, because the drop in the cap ceiling will force teams to deal away talent they otherwise would’ve clutched tightly to. There is also a new wrinkle to come out of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement that will make it easier to execute trades: the ability to deal or acquire salary as part of any transaction. There are limitations on doing so (for instance: a team can retain no more than 50 percent of any contract), but for years now, league executives such as former Toronto GM Brian Burke have argued the ability to retain salary would go a long ways toward creating more trades. This year, more than any year, that will be the case.
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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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