I was reviewing a list of UFA’s, and was suprised at the players still available.  So what’s preventing these guys from getting signed.

A couple issues become apparent.  Risk of injury is at the top of that list.  And even though there is a provision for teams to use a bonus system with some of these players, you can see from Toronto’s response to having signed Lindos and Allison last year to these types of deals, that they are far from advantages.  Pushing teams to devote more money to known entities and taking more risks with their youth instead.

So, here are some of the high profile guys left and what’s putting them on hold:

Jason Allison – He’s nearly a point a game player during his career.  But, over the past five years he’s been hampered by injury.  Part of Allison’s issue is that he’s expecting to be paid well for his services, and in today’s league, teams can’t take a risk on a player they know will be injured.  It wasn’t an issue before the salary cap, but it is now.  Add to that he’s having trouble keeping up in the new NHL. 

Owen Nolan – Unlike Allison, Nolan has never played a full season.  So, he’s hampered by the same issues Allison is.  Teams cannot take a risk on him, especially for the dollars he would want.  Who wants a guy coming of sour mediation with his previous team over injury payments due to back problems.

Anson Carter – simply put, he’s an enigma.  After one decent year, hanging on the coat tails of the Sedin twins, he’s looking for a long term deal.  What’ he doens’t see is that teams are only handing out long-term deals to their core.  Not to their fringe guys.

Valeri Bure – Remember him?  Injuries have left him in the same boat as Allison & Nolan.  Except he can skate a bit, but he’s going to have to come at a pretty cheap price in order for a team to take a risk on him at this point.

Teams are putting their eggs into one basket, their top players that they feel will deliver and are not injury prone.  Gone is this middle class of players.  Their either going to progress and get handed big money, or will be toiling near the league minimum. 

Some of these players are only now figuring out that they’re going to losing their jobs because of this. 

The Chief Canuck

Explore posts in the same categories: Around the NHL

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