The usual NHL trade and free agent chatter from the mainstream media has vanished as the CBA talks have stalled the trade and free agent markets.
OTTAWA SUN (VIA TORONTO SUN): Bruce Garrioch reports NHL trade and free agent contract talks are on hold as the NHL and NHLPA attempt to negotiate a new CBA prior to the end of the current deal on September 15th. One league executive told Garrioch it’s “eerily quiet”, as many GMs find trying to sign players or make trades almost impossible as no one is sure if a new deal will be implemented on time and how it could affect their rosters.
“This is just like 2004: We got to July 15 and basically nothing was done,” said a high-profile agent. “It has pretty much gone the same way this year. You haven’t really see anything, with the exception of some contract extensions.”
Garrioch claimed the Anaheim Ducks had tried to shop winger Bobby Ryan earlier in the summer, seeking “a king’s ransom in return”, but have since backed off and might not move him. Three teams – Florida, Toronto and Chicago – were believed interested in Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo but the Canucks aren’t going to give him away, preferring assets that would help them in the future in return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Until there’s a new CBA in place and general managers know what it contains and how it will affect their respective rosters, they’re leery of making any trades at this point.
The same goes for the UFA market. Winger Shane Doan could ink a new contract – with the Coyotes or another team – prior to September 15th, and perhaps Carlo Colaiacovo signs with the Detroit Red Wings, but otherwise, there’s been hardly any UFA news of note.
Sure, part of that is because of the lack of depth remaining in the UFA pool, but the uncertainty over CBA negotiations is the prime reason for the absence of notable signings in recent weeks. At this point, the only signings of note could be those who are currently restricted free agents (Jamie Benn, Evander Kane, P.K. Subban, John Carlson, Michael Del Zotto), or those slated for RFA/UFA status next summer.
BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa compares Montreal’s P.K. Subban and Washington’s John Carlson, suggesting they should receive similar contract extensions, with one signing shortly following another.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I mention this because of the trade rumors being floated in the blogosphere suggesting one or both could be traded if they’re not re-signed before September 15th. Not going to happen. Both will be re-signed, either before the current CBA expires, or after a new one is implemented.