Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Drop Dead Date Needed?

1) With all the recent hoopla concerning the impending decision of UFA Mats Sundin to finally decide that he's returning to play in the NHL we felt perhaps it would spurn on the league to decide if they need to set a "drop dead date" for UFA's to either be signed by an NHL club, or wait until next season.

2) Right now there is a cut off for RFA's. If a RFA remains unsigned beyond December 1st he can not play in the NHL that season. The same termination mark does not exist for UFA's who theoretically can stay sidelined until the start of the playoffs. Which is exactly what we hear Peter Forsberg is thinking of doing. That is, get into shape, and sign with an NHL team in the spring and start late in the season to gear up for a playoff run. Thus bypassing the lion's share of the season that is so taxing, especially for an injury prone vet like Peter.

3) So we decided to look at the Pros and Cons of this current situation:

  • Creates an unfair advantage for an individual team to load up on elite talent at a fraction of the cost.

  • It circumvents the spirit of the salary cap


  • The big names create excitement to both the teams that get them and throughout the entire NHL with the anticipation of the big star's return.

  • Allows older players to play when the games mean the most and less likely to get injured

4) To the ones in favour of a deadline we say, nonsense. Its not like the last 2-3 Cups have been decided by a player who came out of retirement to play in the spring to tip the scales. It simply doesn't happen. We don't think Mats Sundin, Peter Forsberg, Claude Lemieux or even Mario Lemieux returning this spring would make a wits worth of difference. In fact it can be argued that teams adding aging stars can cause detriment to team chemistry. Resentment by players who play all season towards the newbies might happen. Either way, we don't see these aged wonders as being difference makers. As such a deadline is not needed.

1 comment:

Silas said...

I have to agree that Mats won't tip the scales for anyone he heads to, but there should be a date that these guys have to accept to come back. I don't want a bunch of guys coming out of the wood work in April.

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