Free Agency

Free Agency

MLHS reader Charlie posed an interesting question this morning: "Why is Weber a RFA after this contract? Parise, same draft year, is UFA next year." On the surface, it does seem a bit odd - two players, same draft year, both went to arbitration, yet one will be a restricted free agent in a year while the other will be unrestricted. How exactly does that work? The answer to that quandary lies in a sliding condition in the CBA which is currently known as the "27 or 7" Rule. . NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement, July 22, 2005- September 15, 2011 Section 10.1 --...

After failing to agree to terms on a new contract, the Blackhawks have chosen to walk away from defenseman Chris Campoli's $2.5 million arbitration award. The 27 year old puck-mover will become an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any club. However, the Mississauga native has expressed an interest in joining his childhood team, the Maple Leafs. Much like with the Clarke MacArthur signing for $1.2 million last summer, the Leafs appear to be in prime position to land a capable young player at a potentially reduced salary should they so choose. The problem lies in the current backlog...

The Leafs continue to plug the holes on their roster with today's signing of bottom-six center Philippe Dupuis, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche.  Dupuis secured himself a two-way deal from Toronto, hoping to build on 2010-2011, his first full NHL season in which he accumulated 17 points in 74 games.  More importantly, he displayed energy and hustle on most nights, above and beyond that of his at-times despondent teammates.  He has a penchant for hitting with some penalty killing aptitude and should compete for the fourth line center spot with the Leafs this fall. From what I've seen, Dupuis has the wheels...

Announced just fifteen minutes before the arbitration deadline, Clarke MacArthur will be in Blue and White for the next two seasons at $3.25 million per annum (the updated cap situation is available here, with the Leafs now at roughly $7.34 million in cap space with Schenn and Bozak left to sign). It seems the talk from Brian Burke about going to arbitration and "re-evaluating" if the settlement was too high was a bit of a negotiating tactic to get this deal done before it went before an arbitrator. The talk for months was about Burke's unwillingness to go above three million a season...

As usual, Brian Burke looks and sounds really confident. "Clarke MacArthur has arbitration rights and he may well file for arbitration. We're fine if that's what he chooses," said Burke. "We have a lot of financial clout behind this team and we have a lot of cap space. We're not worried about someone trying to take a player out of here through an offer sheet and we anticipate we'll be able to re-sign all the players we want to re-sign." Considering how fond the management and coaching staff are of MacArthur, the fact his contract status remains an unsolved problem for...

As per The National Post's Michael Traikos, the Leafs front office will take a breather after busy days two and three of free agency: #Leafs Brian Burke told me "we’re going to sit back and catch our breath now … I don’t like the depth chart being full going into camp." We know Brian Burke is big on depth and roster spot competition, but it's also important to create opportunities at training camp for some of this club's developing youth to fight for. In fact much of the competition for spots can come from within. There's Matt Frattin, for who Burke...

Apparently, Paul Holmgren is not the only GM that wants to re-tool his team. After a series of surprising UFA contracts the Sharks shocked everyone in the water trading  star forward Dany Heatley to Minnesota in exchange for Martin Havlat, a forward that always had that star potential, but never quite got there. This isn’t the first time these two teams tangoed together in a trade this summer. During the NHL Entry Draft, the Sharks traded promising RW Devin Setoguchi, along with Charlie Coyle and a first round pick (2011) to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Brent Burns and...

It's been an interesting few days in Leaf land to say the least. Leafs brass opted to sit on their hands on Friday as the rest of the league's front offices threw significant sums of money at free agents like a bunch of drunken sailors, leading some angry fans to assume true the least logical possibility that Burke simply said "screw it all!" in favour of an Afghan vacation. With Brad Richards choosing to consign himself to a...

Let me guess, Tim Connolly isn't what you hoped for? Well, to tell you the truth he wasn't for this writer. Then again, Tim Connolly was the 2nd best center available in this year’s free agency and an option for an upgrade at center without having to give up assets. I’d be the first to admit I didn’t like the idea of overpaying for Brad Richards. Not only were his term demands only considered reasonable by New York and Glen Sather, I’m just not sure their logic of aggressively signing free agents is a sound one. It didn’t exactly single...

Some quick tidbits from Brad Richards' interview with Hockey Central late Friday night: - When pressed on the factors most important to Brad's decision making process, he listed a stable ownership group and a commitment to win both in the short and long-term. He specifically cited the Tampa Bay situation where the team was blown up just two years after taking home the Cup as something he does not want to go through again. - A decision will most likely come sometime earlier in the day on Saturday. Brad had originally hoped to have the matter resolved on the first day,...

It has been a crazy day. As we speak the Calgary Flames are pitching a plan to Brad Richards. Yes, the Calgary Flames are apparently in the race as well. Fitting, considering it has been a day characterized by the vast overpayment of free agents. Be it the free spending Terry Pegula with his 10 year defensemen deals, or with signing Ville Leino to a six year, $27M deal. Or is the definition of crazy perhaps better applied to Florida, a team that - in reaching the cap floor and then some - signed no less than six players...

Some developments for everyone to discuss; The Leafs have reportedly met with the Richards camp and presented their offer. More teams on the way, including the LA Kings and Buffalo Sabres. The Kings have brought their entire organization by the sounds of things; President and GM Lombardi, coaches, and ownership. In the world of bizarre news, Jaromir Jagr has signed with the Philadelphia Flyers, as per McKenzie and numerous other sources. Also, Scottie Upshall has signed with the Florida Panthers for four years at 14 million (3.5 cap hit) Few Leafs related tidbits; they're still in the mix for Max Talbot, and Tim...

July 1st is finally here and regardless of a limited pool of exciting free agents, expectations in Leafs Nation are once again sky high. The big fish is obviously Brad Richards, a 31 year old skilled passing center, out of Murray Harbour, P.E.I., Canada. Obviously, the biggest and most discussed need the Leafs have is at that top line center position and that’s exactly where the majority of fans and pundits keep putting Richards. His offensive acumen, imagination and playmaking ability would surely benefit Phil Kessel and his leadership already helped the development of players like Jamie Benn and Loui...

There is little question that next season is the one Brian Burke has been working towards as the beginning of his team's perennial contention; playoffs are no longer the hope, they're the expectation for 2011-12.  Brian Burke enters year three at the helm of the team.  The team has improved steadily in the previous years under Burke, and with the way last season finished, fans will be expecting bigger and better things from the Leafs this year. Even the most optimistic of Leafs fans would have a hard time believing the roster as currently constituted is a playoff lock. There's...

From Renaud Lavoie of RDS: The rights of Maxim Talbot were traded to the Maple Leafs. They have until noon july first to make a deal. There you have it, from a legit source. Bob McKenzie is now reporting that Talbot has not been dealt to the Leafs, and that his agent is free to talk to numerous teams. McKenzie adds: OK, my turn for a correction. PIT granted permission for Talbot's rep to talk only to TOR for 48 hours commencing Sunday. The two possibilities stemming from this most recent development is that the Leafs are going to take their chances in unrestricted...

It looks that way. And perhaps even ahead of time, as we're only a few days away from July 1st and free agency. From Nick Kypreos at Sportsnet; I hear #Leafs are working on trading for #Penguins Max Talbot rights prior to waiting July 1st when he becomes a UFA. To which Darren Dreger at TSN responded; Leafs talked earlier with Pens about Talbot's neg rights, but I'm told they're now out of the mix. Good player. Will make next team better Which, to me, basically translates into the Leafs making a real effort to sign this guy on Friday. Perhaps they end...

Back by popular demand is the MLHS Free Agency Contest. DLB is our defending champ after a 13-way hat draw revealed last year's winner. The prize up for grabs this year, in addition to site bragging rights, is a Half Clapper Top Cheddar t-shirt courtesy of SportsChirps.com. The rules are the same as last time: Pick three signings (not including re-signings) you think Brian Burke will make this off-season and include a prediction for both the length and the salary figure of the contracts. List the salary per annum. Should the contract be front or back loaded, we will use the...

What a terrible title, no? I don't care, I'm going with it. With the NHL free agency period finally arriving this coming Friday, the list of needs for the Maple Leafs isn't too extensive. But the routes available almost seem endless. While we anxiously await Brian Burke's solution to the team's top line problem, it may be smart to explore some contingency plans. One of which is simply upgrading at the forward position in any way shape or form. Something that Burke made clear upon his arrival in the hockey mecca, is that he likes to put forward a team formed with...

Part 1 can be found here. In the Hunt Montreal Canadiens (10%) What a dagger in the heart of Leafs Nation it would be if Brad Richards decided to sign with the slightly off-the-board selection Montreal Canadiens. When the Habs were eliminated from the playoffs this year, there was rumors and discussion about the possibility of the team buying out the contract Scott Gomez. His underwhelming play has dragged on for two seasons now, and while he had some heartfelt things to say about wanting to get back to a high standard on the ice, management may have already lost...

His free agent destination is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Brad Richards has given so many clues for so many different teams, it is impossible to say with any certainty where he will end up. We can only rule out one team without any doubt, and that is his current club, the Dallas Stars. Joe Nieuwendyk has openly admitted the Stars will not be able to offer Brad a contract extension. He is definitely leaving the Lone Star State but what happens beyond that is anyone's guess. Still, there is something to be said for an educated guess. Richards...