It was Free agency eve and all through the house...
Not a creature was stirring...
This years free agency frenzy could be on of the craziest ones in recent memory. We can attribute that to the new salary cap rules for next season and the biggest change for most teams: the new salary cap floor. While some teams are trying to find ways to get under the cap, others are actually being forced to spend money to hit the floor. Colorado and Florida are a couple of teams in this very situation. Both teams have quite the amount to make up and could sign several big contracts tomorrow. This means free agents every where are rejoicing as bloated contracts will be sure to follow as well as some not so key players will be getting more dollars than they are worth. The key as fans is to hope your team hits the jackpot and not a Gomez or Drury type deal.
The Brad Richards Story
Brad Richards will be the biggest story to watch... and well I am getting sick of it! How many times has this guy been in this situation?! (Not as much as Hossa or Kovy maybe) What is he worth to your team? What would be overpaying for him from your team? Do you even want him in your lineup? I feel that Richards is going to be the latest bust and is going to cash in big! I just hope it isn't with my Colorado Avalanche. Rumors are everywhere that he can go to a number of destinations, and each day it changes. Nearly all of the NHL teams have been linked at one time or another, and my guess is as good as yours. My top teams will be NYR, LA, Philly, and sadly CO. For my sake I better be somewhat wrong.
As The Stamkos Turns...
This has been the most intriguing story to follow and why the cap system may still be flawed. Stamkos is a RFA, deserving of a big raise, and well can the Lightning actually afford him? Rumor is the Lightning lost around $25 million last year, so are they really going to pay another player a huge salary, let alone the $10 mill Stamkos deserves. Well if they won't pay him, some one sure as heck is going to. Who cares if it is worth 4 first rounders... the team that gets him can't possibly get any worse, and in fact I could see them being top 10 in each of the next four. So 4 20+ first rounders for a chance at possibly one of the best players in the game?! Teams would be stupid not to put in an offer!
Tomorrow we will find out just what will happen and whether some teams put in offers. Rumor is Stamkos and his people aren't even very happy with Tampa and how they have treated the situation and they may leave any way soon enough. Tampa is a sinking ship and it's only going to get worse without Stamkos.
So Many Stories... Stay Tuned!
Who is your team after? Who do you want them to sign? TOmorrow it all get answered for sure, but it is always fun to speculate! Join Thecheckingline.com tomorrow for our live blog to discuss the goods, the bads, and a way to avoid suicide if your team over pays for someone like Jeff Finger (Nice one Toronto!). See you guys tomorrow!