Friday, June 20, 2008

UFA Collusion?

We've already heard from Bryan Murray who said that he expects all of his unrestricted free agents to hit the open market July 1st.

He's not the only GM willing to let potential important players go free. Glen Sather in New York is letting the likes of Jaromir Jagr, Brendah Shanahan, Sean Avery and Michael Rozsival pursue other opportunities.

In Jagr's case, this is especially puzzling. Say what you want about the athlete, he's the engine on Broadway and will be wherever he ends up playing.

Calgary seems content to let Kristian Huselius field other offers despite having an acute lack of skilled depth on the wing and virtually every team has an important player or two set to go free.

Collusion is obviously too strong a word but perhaps the GM's of the league are learning a thing or two here. By letting the market flood with quality players, they are essentially driving down demand and, in theory, prices.

Perhaps Bryan Murray is gambling that players like Cory Stillman, Chris Kelly and Mike Commodore see the tempered market and start to think about accepting some of Murray's previous contract proposals.

It's a nice theory but here's betting the GM's won't be able to help themselves with such a smorgasbord of talent and depth awaiting them on July 1st.

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