Big free agent spending

I had been considering putting together a Power Ranking of NHL teams, and one way to do this is to use the standings at the end of last year, and then push each team up or down based on their off season player transactions.  If you’ve tried this yet, you realize something immediately.  The big spenders in the free agent market were almost all non-playoff teams. 

Big deal you may say, but it’s a different market reaction than has happened when the free agent market opened in past year. 

This is the first real summer we’ve had since the lockout.  Last time free agents hit the market the GM’s throughout the league were still trying to get their head around a new 472 page CBA (I added a link to the site so you can review it anytime).  Forget the CBA though, they were also trying to understand what was going to be needed to build a team, and trying to figure out what the market was going to demand for players. 

What was different last time though was that there was a huge expectation from a lot of GM’s that the price for all players was going to drop dramatically, perhaps even more than the 24% rollback in salaries.

But that didn’t happen, something different did.

The best players still got top dollar, but what you started losing was third line guys with multi-million dollar contracts. 

So the GM’s have had a year to either change, or reinvent how they they were going to build their teams.  And that’s we’ve started to see this year.  There’s a better understanding of how to play it safe with the salary cap, how to be careful with who they give long-term contracts to, and more realization that home-grown talent is more important than ever before.

The Chief Canuck

Coming Articles: Parity, Drafting.

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