I don't suspect this is news any longer to most Islanders fans, but Agent Allen Walsh tweeted the following about Client P.A. Parenteau: "PA Parenteau will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1."
Talk of Parenteau aside -- or at least mixed in with other items -- this is shaping up to be an interesting couple of weeks. There are always rumors and fan dreams this time of year, but the combination of a thin (in top names) yet plentiful (in sheer volume) UFA pool has created a lot of moving parts as teams head into July 1. (As an example of the former, Justin Schultz, who has never played an NHL game, is one of the hotter UFA names.
You have rumblings of a more active trade market than usual, as well as several decent RFAs who weren't qualified by their teams -- ostensibly with the hope of keeping those RFAs at a reduced rate. And "business as usual" or not, the next CBA looms large.
Put it all together with our readership's penchant for discussing the various scenarios, and we may need a dedicated post each day for such discussions. Follow some of the latest reports below:
Teams that want in on the big UFA's know there will only be a few winners, so what if they miss out? Will the trade route still be there? Meanwhile, teams that want in on those trades might have to wait until the UFA's land anyway.
And then you have names like Parenteau, who will be seeking more than they are worth but who will be a boon to any team that lands them on a reasonable deal.
The Loophole: Everyone wants Ducks AWOL pick Schultz, but many suggest he's Canada-bound. Could it be Vancouver for the B.C. boy? (And since it comes up: No, there can't really be a bidding war. He'll sign a three-year ELC, so the only wiggle room is in the unlikely bonuses.)
RFAs: There are a lot of RFAs who weren't qualified but whose teams just want them at a lower number. Count Blake Comeau as one. The Wild's Guillaume Latendresse is another. But is the ? The latter two have had injury issues that dictate a lower salary. Comeau is, well Comeau is still useful but his future took an almost predictable turn when he had a late-season outburst to 24 goals. A bigger arbitration request followed, and at that point, he was at a higher paygrade than most teams would want for him long term.
And speaking of RFA's, an interesting chart on how the salary/compensation levels for offer sheets has risen over time. Mmm, Linus Omark.
UFA Defensemen: Matt Carle is a really nice name on the radar -- if he pops free, the Islanders should check in. But like the above RFAs, the Flyers still hope to sign him. They just reportedly can't fit him in until the salary cap officially goes up on July 1. (Also in that link: Jaromir Jagr is out there.)
Shane O'Brien has re-upped with Colorado, but Florida's Jason Garrison and Washington's Dennis Wideman are probably hitting the market. Smaller name Filip Kuba probably hits the market too -- and he's a dangerous one, as his bounce-back year happened next to wunderkind Erik Karlsson. How much is that worth?
Trades: We already mentioned the big names -- with Elliotte Friedman putting Pittsburgh in the Nash discussion -- but smaller names like Steve Ott in Dallas continue surface. Meanwhile, Jay Bouwmeester's name keeps coming up.
Here's Dirk Hoag from SB Nation's On The Forecheck discussing how last week's trades set the context for the upcoming free agency frenzy:
So, this site is not a rumor-mongering site -- nor an "NHL source" site. We don't amplify rumors and published reports for the sake of it. Anything here is for the purpose of discussion and -- particularly this time of year -- for the purpose of letting every Islanders fan grab the proper context to play "If I Were GM."
With all of these moving parts, we'll continue to provide threads like this for you to discuss what you would do and who you suspect might do what. Feel free to add additional factoids in comments, but please: Provide a link or at least name a source. It's only polite.
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Finally, not free agent-related but certainly on everyone's minds: Adam Oates, Joe Sakic, Mats Sundin, Pavel Bure -- Hall of Famers. (No Shanahan, not now.)