(Friday Mashup) The Date before the Date

Dave Nonis in the stands at the morning skate at the ACC. (Rene Johnston/ Toronto Star)

Interesting tweak to the pre-free agency interview period rule: Teams are now openly allowed to talk to free agents (both restricted and unrestricted) about their actual contract demands as well as their potential interest for six days before free agency opens (interview period begins Wednesday, June 25).

This is a case of the League allowing to happen what it couldn’t control from happening anyway. Nonetheless, it is now open season to hash out the parameters of a contract with a player who still technically belongs to another team. Apparently some do-good teams were peeved last summer that this went on anyway while they tried to respect tampering rules. If that was the case for a significant number of the League’s teams, you wonder if GMs will be in a rush to get something done on their expiring UFA contracts before that date knowing the player has the opportunity to negotiate in earnest with whoever he wants come next Wednesday.

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