Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/02/13 at 11:15 AM ET
from Elliotte Friedman of CBC,
"If you didn't make the playoffs, your owner is asking, 'How are you going to improve the team?'" another executive said. "Usually, it's free agency, but not this year. We are going to see trades."
The trigger could be who swings and misses in the free-agent market. Are teams like Edmonton (Ales Hemsky) and the Buffalo Sabres (Thomas Vanek) lurking in the weeds, waiting for teams who whiffed on their target?
"Sorry, you didn't get your guy, but we've got someone who can help you score."
The real wild card, though, is the offer sheet. For years, it had little presence in the NHL. Now we're seeing it used more often in a predatory manner -- Shea Weber, Ryan O'Reilly, Dustin Penner, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Vanek, etc.
It's a polarizing tactic: some execs despise it because of its inflationary nature; others see a weak free-agent class and an opportunity to grab an unprotected player from capped-out or low revenue teams.
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