Dear Gary Bettman and GMs of the NHL:
When someone mentions July 1st to you. What is the automatic response?
A recent study shows that 98% of Canadians inital response is "NHL Free Agent Day"
The other 2% was 'Canada Day'.
My lifelong friend, Harc has continuously refereed to this day as his second Christmas. I agree. It is fantastic. However, I am getting extremely worried about the future of NHL Free Agency.
In search for job security and riches, NHL players are being overpaid for very long contracts. Most deals being done now adays can be traced to seven years. SEVEN!!!!
It is obvious that the players want job security for their families and to make as much money as possible.
Recent five year or greater signings on the top of my head:
The list goes on.
Now first off, this is a risky call for GM because you have no idea how players will play a year for now, let alone 5 years down the road. I mean, Ryan Malone is now making 4 mil in Tampa Bay for seven years. These long term contracts also makes trading very difficult. If Kippersoft, for example, doesn't step up and shows us once and for all that he wants to be the Finish Jose Theodore, trading him will be hard with the amount of money in commands and the length of the deal.
However, back to the point of the article. This is devastating for NHL fans. We love signings and trades. Five years from now, when all the superstars are under contract for long periods of time, WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO FREE AGENT FRENZY!??!?!?!?! There will be no activites.
July 1st will be known as Canada day, not free agent frenzy. No transactions, no superstars signings, no Eklund, James Duthie might leave TSN. I don't think I can even comprehend the thought.
The notsodistant future looks bleak. I picture of world with all superstars already under contract and the highest coveted free agent would be Ryan Kesler calibre.
Please GMs of the NHL that read our blog. Stop signing players to long term contracts. For the fans.