A marginal rise in the salary cap means notable UFAs like Cody Franson, Brad Boyes and Curtis Glencross are still unsigned.
TSN.CA: Craig Button blames the sinking value of the Canadian dollar and the lack of new revenue for the upcoming season on the marginal increase of the salary cap, which explains why so many NHL unrestricted free agents remain unsigned this summer. He believes teams don’t want to get locked into term or cumbersome deals. As a result, those UFAs will have to take a lot less term and dollars.
Jamie McLennan said he’s shocked a player like Cody Franson remains unsigned and expects he’ll have to accept less term and money. He also notes the value of wingers like Brad Boyes and Curtis Glencross, expecting they’ll end up signing one year deals worth $1 million. It’s now a question of where they’ll sign.
NHL.COM: In a recent response to one of his readers, Dan Rosen also expressed surprise that Franson, a top-four defenseman, remains without a contract. He claims he’s not sure why the Boston Bruins or Columbus Blue Jackets haven’t signed him yet. Rosen suggests Franson might gain more leverage by waiting until after training camp opens, as an injury could create an opening.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins and Blue Jackets would probably love to add Franson, but with their limited cap space, they’ll want him on an affordable deal for one or two years. UFAs like Franson, Boyes, Glencross, Jiri Tlusty, Marek Zidlicky and Lee Stempniak still have value, but the marginal rise in the cap ceiling has forced many teams to become frugal. All of these players will likely end up signing deals for far less term and dollars than what they were expecting when the summer began.