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Free Agent Talk Picking Back Up in NHL, Latest on Some Big Names

With the NHL and NHLPA working things out financially, insiders believe it’s a matter of time before free agent business starts to pick up.

Both Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston of Sportsnet noted that with financials pretty much sorted out between the NHL and NHLPA, business is picking up again when it comes to some of the yet unsigned free agents on the NHL market. With a season start date in sight, we might see names start to come off the board with regularity.

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When asked if things will start to get a little busier, Friedman noted, “Yeah, I do think so. You know it started, Philadelphia re-signed Philippe Myers to a three-year deal on Tuesday night.”

Friedman said there as some discussion about a slight shift in salary cap for next season and there have been some proposals by agents about allowing each to team to exclude one player from the cap but neither is likely to happen. Instead, NHL teams may start to make trades, organize their rosters, take advantage of LTIR and start to sign some of the names many are waiting to hear more about Friedman said, “So, I think it’s going to be tight. Now, the names you’re going to hear – Andreas Athanasiou, Mike Hoffman, Mikael Granlund.”

Specifically, when it comes to Granlund, Friedman said to expect we’ll hear more soon. He explained:

“… apparently kind of wants to situate his family, so he’s getting close, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he made his decision in the next few days, and I think there are a number of guys who want to do that.”

Friedman notes that the one thing teams will have to be cautious of is how much cap space they leave themselves moving forward. He notes the cap will be tight and may not go up over the entire duration of this current CBA. “Teams are bracing for it,” Friedman said.

Ron Francis Seattle Kraken GM

He also said the team to potentially watch is the Seattle Kraken. “I really believe is going to benefit the most out of all this, is going to be Seattle,” Friedman said. He figures teams will start talking to Kraken GM Ron Francis about how Seattle might be able to help teams create cap room in the future.

The Restricted Free Agent Market Might Start Picking Up Too

Chris Johnston agreed with Friedman that things could get busier but also said, “Keep an eye on the RFA market as well Elliotte.” He figured players like Ethan Bear, Oliver Kylington and Erik Cernak could start to work out deals with their respective teams.

Johnston believes the Myers deal could affect a few other UFA defensemen too.

Next: Four Potential Trade Destinations for Max Pacioretty

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