Open Season on RFAs

Discussion in 'The Business of Hockey' started by Behn Wilson, Jul 8, 2005.

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  1. Behn Wilson

    Behn Wilson Registered User

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    I think there may be more movement then ever before among Restricted Free Agents under the new system.

    You can essentially steal one of your key opponents top restricted free agents with an exorbitant offer if they lack the cap room to match it. And if they choose to match your offer than you forced your opponent into using up a good portion of their cap (and potentially weakening their team) or at least more than they originally intended to.

    It may lead to teams purging talent from teams like Philly or Vancouver that you would have assumed were locks to stay with their teams because they were only restricted free agents.

    It will be very interesting once this free agency season commences. It would behoove teams to lock up their desired RFAs under long term contracts as quick as possible.
     
  2. Bruwinz37

    Bruwinz37 Registered User

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    I guess it still will depend on what the compensation for RFAs will be.
     
  3. CREW99AW

    CREW99AW Registered User

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    good point.I doubt the league wants to see rfas getting outragious(sp) offersheets from other teams,driving up salaries,so the compensation will continue to be steep in the new cba.
     
  4. nyr7andcounting

    nyr7andcounting Registered User

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    I heard the compensation for RFA's will be the same as in the old deal. If that's true, a team isn't going to make any more offers than they would have under the old CBA just because it could potentially take up some more of a rivals cap room.

    In order to offer a player enough money where matching it would blow a rivals' cap space, you'd have to offer so much that your rival would just let you have the player...take up a ton of your own cap space...and laugh at you because they have your 1st round pick for the next 3 years. If a GM tried it he is going to have it backfire on him and he's going to look like an ass.
     
  5. Behn Wilson

    Behn Wilson Registered User

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    Im talking about for the elite RFAs that are worth the compensation. The Hawks for example have a ton of cap room (Our roster sucks) and can afford to give a max contract if they desired.

    Say both Heatley and Kovalcuk become RFAs in the same year, I would be all offering either or both of them a deal. It would be doubtful Atlanta could match the offers to both. (Who knows what their roster will be liek when that time comes though).

    When I did my original post (I will be honest) I spaced out on the compensation issue.
     
  6. Hasbro

    Hasbro Can He Skate?! Sponsor

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    Why would anyone take an RFA in exchange for compensitory firsts when the market it is flooded with comprable UFAs for the cost of their contract?
     
  7. Bruwinz37

    Bruwinz37 Registered User

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    Age is the biggest thing. A team may have no problem coughing up some 1st round picks for a player in their prime instead of settling for a 32 year old who is trending down. It wasnt done in the prior CBA (often) most likely due to collusion and not the threat of picks.
     
  8. Behn Wilson

    Behn Wilson Registered User

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    Becuase UFAs have to be 31 and RFAs can can be in the 25 year old'ish range.
     
  9. Boltsfan2029

    Boltsfan2029 Registered User

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    I'd always heard there was an, um, err, unofficial, unwritten, silent, er, emm, understanding between GMs that they would no longer go after RFAs...
     
  10. Bruwinz37

    Bruwinz37 Registered User

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    I doubt that would be the case in a capped league. I think it was more to curb salary escalation that would have happened big time if it was done before. Especially seeing how arbitration used RFAs salaries for comparison.
     
  11. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    Heatley and Kovalchuk are RIGHT NOW RFA in fact
     
  12. Scoogs

    Scoogs Registered User

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    All I know is that there is going to be alot of movement throughout the life of this CBA.
     
  13. Behn Wilson

    Behn Wilson Registered User

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    SCHWINNNNNNNNNG!!!!!!!!!!
    They would look great in a Hawk uniform thats for sure.
    Though there isnt a snowball chance in Hell of that happening, unfortunately.

    WOuld anyone offer either of these two a max contract (20% of the cap)?
     
  14. Scoogs

    Scoogs Registered User

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    As of now, $37m cap... 20% is $7.4million.

    Is one player worth that much anymore?
     
  15. Resolute

    Resolute Registered User

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    Player development is going to be at a premium in this CBA as nobody can simply buy rosters anymore. I cant see very many teams being all that willing to give up 5 first rounders for anyone, even Heatley and Kovalchuk.

    I suspect the NHL will see the emergence of the sign-and-trade deal that is prevalent in the NBA when teams end up with RFAs that they can't afford to sign.
     
  16. Behn Wilson

    Behn Wilson Registered User

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    Good point, I didnt even think of that possibility.
    Though the NBA has a soft cap where you can go over the cap when you re-sign your own players so the NHL will have a hard cap and it wont be the same, but capped out teams will be trading players at less than market value it appears.

    Or they will be trading players for draft choices.

    Its going to be a fun summer as a fan, thats for sure. It will be great for the Hawks who will be improve, it will be painful for teams that have to shed players and contracts.
     
  17. Mess

    Mess Global Moderator

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    I think the UFA dropping will restrict this idea of yours IMO ..

    Todays TSN article says

    "The age of unrestricted free agency will remain 31 this summer but will gradually be brought down to 27 or 28 by the 2008."

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story.asp?id=129964

    So if it goes as low as 27 .. It would be tough to give up 5 first rounders for a 24-25 year old when in a couple of years he could be a UFA ..
     
  18. nyr7andcounting

    nyr7andcounting Registered User

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    Yea but that's what I am talking about. If you want Kovalchuck, you'll probably have to offer $6 or $7 million for Atlanta to let him walk and use that cap space for other players....but now you don't have a first round pick for half a decade.

    My point was, any player worth so much money that his current team literally didn't have the cap room to match your offer, is going to cost you 4 or 5 first rounders...and now your going to be the team stuck with a huge contract. It was already rare to see RFA's get big offers in the last CBA where big markets could offer $10M knowing a small market couldn't match it...it will be even more rare now that the big market will have to live with that huge deal AND give up all the picks.
     
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