Monday’s FTB: has the free agent market thawed out yet?

The Matthew Tkachuk trade for Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar was technically on Friday night, and since then there have been six players* signed to NHL contacts, all of the RFAs making deals and in some cases avoiding arbitration hearings. Those arbitration hearings have already been scheduled, and the first hearings are Isac Lundeström on Wednesday and Jesse Puljujärvi on Friday.

Cap Friendly lists 71 RFAs unsigned with 28 of them having at least 60 games played last year. None of the remainder have zero NHL games played, but there’s 20 that were under 10 games played.

The big names left unsigned are Jason Robertson, Jesper Bratt, Andrew Mangiapane, Noah Dobson, Martin Necas, and surprisingly three goalies: Jake Oettinger, Cayden Primeau and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. They and Braden Holtby are the only goals who played in the NHL last year who don’t have contracts.

* seven! And then I stopped counting.

The UFAs still on the market are led by Nazem Kadri, while the list is shrinking as some players begin thinking about Europe. Sami Niku and Loui Eriksson are both likely to sign there.

One of the interesting situations now is that both Arizona and Anaheim are below the cap floor with the NHL players they have signed. Lawson Crouse’s new contract will likely solve Arizona’s problem, but Luundeström is the Ducks only unsigned RFA of note. They don’t have enough players without relying heavily on young prospects, and they look like they should have been taking on contracts to unfreeze this market some time ago.

I occasionally wonder if both Kadri’s contract and Anaheim’s solution to its problems are done deals, and the announcement will make it all make sense in time. And no, of course Kadri is not signing there. Trevor Zegras is not that much fun to play with.

In other news, not that there is much, new Leafs’ scout Chris Bourque did a quick interview:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.