There are still a number of prominent names that remain unsigned on the NHL’s free agent market and there has been absolutely no movement for some time. Outside of the likes of Dustin Tokarski, Marko Dano, and Micheal Haley, there hasn’t been a significant free agent signing in over a month. The continued availability of these top players has been chalked up to a slow market, impacted by the flat salary cap and the unknowns surrounding the 2020-21 season. However, an anonymous agent tells The Athletic’s Thomas Drance that this is not exactly the case. While the agent admits that teams have been calling less frequently in recent weeks, there is concrete interest in a number of UFA’s. It turns out that it is actually the agents advising the players not to sign, as opposed to the teams not making offers. The agent tells Drance that all agencies alike are being cautious with their clients when it comes to the upcoming season, without a start date and format agreed to yet, and how that may impact contracts:
We want to see what develops out of this. At this point, it doesn’t make sense to do something until we know what things look like … If we wanted to have signed already, we could’ve done that. Then again, those teams we could’ve signed with haven’t done anything else yet either.
- The newest name to become an owner in the world of hockey is one familiar to most sports fans: Tim Tebow. The former college football star turned NFL quarterback turned minor league baseball player has joined the ownership group of the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen, reports NBC Sports’s Adam Gretz. Also joining the group are current and former Jacksonville Jaguars players Myles Jack and Reggie Hayward. Tebow, who grew up in Jacksonville and attended the nearby University of Florida, is excited to add both hockey and ownership to his already impressive sports resume that includes playing two sports professionally and broadcasting as well. The Icemen, the “AA” affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets, are set to begin their 2020-21 season this month.
- In other ownership news, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reports that the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks are in the process of being sold to Kerry Preete, Executive VP of agricultural sciences company Monsanto. Marek notes that Preete does have a hockey background, but this will be his first venture into the CHL. Marek adds that this could just be the beginning, as the financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic could cause many junior hockey teams to become available for sale. While Marek notes that current and former NHLers have often looked into purchasing junior teams but have been disappointed by the asking price, but those prices could go down as struggling owners seek to recoup their losses.