We had a very entertaining draft earlier in the week, and the folks over at DobberProspects had you covered the entire way through. With free agency opening on Friday though, it's now my Christmas and time in the spotlight. I'll have you covered the entire way with anything you may need as free agency open at noon on Friday.
If you want projections on the salaries for any relevant free agent:
Top-200 free agent salary projections – skaters
If you want live updates on signing numbers with my take attached, you can find me on Twitter @alexdmaclean where I will be churning out my thoughts on any relevant signings over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, I'll set up a few thoughts on things to watch out for over the next few days (and weeks), especially related to why things are different this year, and how that will affect the landscape moving forward. To finish things off, I'll cover some thoughts on recent signings as well.
Free Agency notes:
To begin, there was no courting period this year for teams to discuss with free agents ahead of Friday at noon. Teams always seem to manage to get around this and sign a few deals right away, however, with things moving backwards to the way they used to be teams may take a little more time to lock up players. Especially with the crackdown on the illegal testing by Arizona teams may be a little more hesitant to "tamper" and discuss contracts with players ahead of time. In a similar vein, there also seem to be a lot of players that aren't happy with the offers from their current teams and are looking to test out the market. Once those players realize how stagnant the market will be in a flat-cap year then I expect a lot of them to come crawling back to their original teams. Players such as Torey Krug, Erik Haula, and T.J Brodie would fit that mold.
Every year it sounds as though there's some set of stars aligning to make it so that we finally see multiple offer sheets signed, and then nothing happens. Last year we actually saw one signed, but it was barely even a half-hearted effort on the part of Montreal to try and pry Sebastian Aho away from Carolina. The Lightning and the Islanders are both cap-strapped and are ripe for being targeted, however it is more likely that trades occur to free up enough space for the RFAs to sign shorter term deals. Set your expectations of offer sheets lower… even lower… there.
Players that are set to go for salary arbitration often settle before the hearing. Typically, they end up meeting close to the middle on a shorter-term deal, similar to what the