With the buyout period starting Wednesday, and the entry draft coming closer and closer, teams have started making decisions on upcoming free agents and begun to make calls on available players. Already we have seen a deal for Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen, and just yesterday the Stars traded away the negotiating rights to upcoming UFA Alex Goligoski. Obviously the team felt they were not going to be able to get a deal done before July 1st. Here are some other notes about upcoming free agents:
- It sounds like Kyle Okposo is on his way off the Island, as General Manager Garth Snow recently was quoted saying “We wish him nothing but the best.” Okposo heads into this offseason as one of the top forwards available after scoring 64 points this past year. That tied him with Steven Stamkos for the most from any upcoming UFA.
- In an interesting read from John Hoven around Kings’ GM Dean Lombardi’s latest media call, he reveals that they will be making an offer to Milan Lucic, but that “there’s a number of things we had to work through that we didn’t anticipate.” While it’s not clear exactly what that means, one has to wonder if it’s a medical issue that surfaced after the playoffs. Lucic put up another strong season with 55 points this year, and notched 20 goals for fifth time in his career.
- In Chris Nichols’ latest, he talks to Octagon Hockey agent Allan Walsh about the interview period that beings five days prior to July 1st. In it he voices his concerns over who it benefits: “I would love to get rid of it. it gives teams a tremendous advantage going into July 1, and really doesn’t benefit the players much, if at all.” Walsh would like to get back to a time when July started with a true frenzy for players, stating “Decisions had to be made in five minutes or 10 minutes. Big decisions. For many years of term. And a lot of dollars.” Walsh represents many upcoming UFAs including David Perron and Brian Campbell.