Day One and… Now What?

Well, the NHL is dealing with a flat cap and we are seeing how much the world has changed early in this 2020 off season. The big names were usually gone the first day in. Without an allowance for negotiations before day one of free agency, with half the league paralyzed by cap issues, here we are seeing so many big names still out there.

Taylor Hall is talking to numerous teams. He may take less money and less tern that would normally be expected. The same can be said of other top six forwards who are still without a contract.

Maybe we will see all of the big names signed over the weekend. Maybe we have already seen a low-key signing that will be a difference maker next season. There are still a number of goaltenders available who may help teams out, though there are a couple who may simply not have the upside at this stage of their careers to expect offers during this unusual off season.

I am looking forward to seeing what Tyler Johnson news we will see tomorrow after his placement on the waiver wire today. Tampa is always ahead of the curve when it comes to the cap. Is this the year it finally catches up to them?


Welcome to Chaos

Well, it is October and we are going to have a crazy seven days. Thirty-one teams will be charging forward with their draft picks and free agent pickups as they try to prove to the fans, media and to their teams that they are on the right track.

As a Canucks fan, this time of year can be really stressful. The Canucks tend to spend a lot of money on free agents. Benning may do this due to a belief that the team has been close to contention. It may be done to appease ownership. Either way, it has had mixed results.

At the other end of the spectrum are the Senators. Yes, they did give White a solid contract (which has been a mixed bag so far), but vets looking for their payday have generally been shown the door. I am still taken aback that they didn’t keep Borowiecki since he has been a tremendous example to the kids both on and off the ice. He didn’t look like an expensive player to hold onto, but maybe they just felt they could fill his role for less than he wanted.

Every year we see winners and losers decided on draft day as well as on free agent day. The reality is that we don’t know who won on those days, but it is enjoyable to speculate on who improved the most at the draft table and with contract signings. I am of the mind that the smart GM will be the one who comes away from October with some wiggle room under the cap. The Lightning were able to take on some money at the 2020 deadline and those added players got them to the Cup in September. The core remained the same, but the supporting cast was upgraded. Maybe those are the moves to watch when the money starts flying next week.

Columbus might be an interesting team to watch if they do actually move one of their goalies. Remember when their goaltending looked to be their weakness when Bob went to Florida? Florida looked really good on paper. That was so 2019. That was years ago. That’s the danger of declaring winners and losers next week. Proceed with caution.