Why the NHL Free Agent Market is Ripe for Deals

You know when the “buckle up” light comes on in a plane? That’s what this post is. We’re about to hit some turbulence.
Folks, we’re 36 hours away from Free Agency, capital FA. I don’t have time to explain things as well as I should, so you’re getting pure, unadulterated Earl brain. Here’s what I know; when the 2020 MOU was signed, high escrow in the first two seasons incentivized players to take shorter term contracts. The flat cap doubled down on that, as teams didn’t have the cap space to sign players to long term extensions. Well, 2022-23 is the third season of the MOU. Escrow is (relatively) low, those short term contracts are coming due, and the cap has still barely budged, just $1m in 4 seasons.
Teams didn’t stop giving elite players raises. In the past 5 seasons, the average of the top 100 cap hits jumped from 9% to 10% of the upper limit. There is already more players making $7.5m+ than ever before, and there are still some big names on the market. Like, massive names. Gaudreau, Kadri, Giroux, Burakovsky, Malkin, and Klingberg could all join that group. Some …

Read More

Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation