Archive for September 15, 2006

Teams Signing RFA’s Quickly

September 15, 2006

Within one day of Bobby Clarke signing Kesler to an offer sheet, Matt Stajan, Tuomo Ruutu, and Dan Fritsche came to agreement with their respective teams.

I don’t think there is any coincidence here, despite the looming start of training camps this week.

Toronto, Chicago, and Columbus have all realized what a brilliant and dangerous move using the offer sheet process was on Philidelphia’s part, and have done what was needed to get their players under contract.

The Nashville Predators are one team that still won’t budge on one of their RFA’s, Dan Hamhuis.  Does this comment from David Poile sound familiar, “I’m very comfortable with what we’re offering, but it doesn’t seem to be acceptable to their side”.  That could be a quote from Dave Nonis no less than a week ago and look where it got him. 

I’ve heard Carolina is now looking to shore up their defense now that Kaberle is out for most of the season.  Going the offer sheet route might just do the trick to fill their need.  It’s been well reported that it has been 8 years since an offer sheet has been produced which is due in part to the unwritten rule that RFA’s were off limits from other GM’s despite the provision for this type of contract negotiation in the CBA.

And just like that, with one quick offer sheet, the playing field suddenly changes and there is a sense of urgency in getting the future of these teams, top tier prospects and talent, under contract.

The expectation with the new CBA was that there would be a significant increase in player movement which we have already seen in the last couple summers with the unrestricted free agents.

Now, the doors are opening for this player movement to move to the restricted free agents.  You should continue to expect teams to be quicker in signing their RFA’s, and for more teams to follow suit with offer sheets next year.

The Chief Canuck