Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/06/05 at 12:56 AM ET
In the NHL's new economic era, the rules governing restricted free agents are unchanged. Any team can sign a player like Datsyuk or Zetterberg to a tentative contract - or "offer sheet." Detroit must then match the offer or let the player go and take draft choices as compensation. Zetterberg reportedly wants $2 million a year. Nobody will name Datsyuk's asking price, but let's say he'll take Sergei Samsonov money - $2.77 million. Or call it $3 million. At that price, why won't a team take a run at the pair? With several roster spots to fill and little cap room, the Red Wings can't match two offer sheets. So you would get one or two excellent young players and all you give up are draft picks. Depending on the exact salaries, the cost might be a first and second-round pick for Zetterberg, two first-round picks and maybe a second rounder for Datsyuk.
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