Kevin SchultzThis summer Garth Snow has traded for the rights to two UFAs-to-be in the hopes of getting exclusive negotiations with them before they hit the market on July 1. With Jaro Halak, it worked, and now the Islanders have a brand new starting goalie. In the case of Dan Boyle, it didn’t, as Boyle will pursue other options and never quite seemed interested in talking to the Islanders at all.
It’s no secret that Snow is trying to flip Boyle to another team who may want an exclusive negotiating period with the defenseman, but actually doing that is going to get a lot harder next week.
Free agency doesn’t begin until July 1, but next Wednesday — June 25 — teams will be allowed to talk to free agents to be. Yes, they’ll get to discuss general parameters of a deal, basically testing the waters. That kind of makes me wonder why they don’t just move free agent day up in the calendar, but I guess it’d be too close to the end of the season and has to go through the union, etc, etc. Anyway…
Nino Niederreiter’s #1 fan the Star Tribune’s, Michael Russo with the story. The NHL sent a memo to teams on Wednesday to clarify the rules of this special interview period:
So in other words, teams and agents can now discuss the general parameters of a deal, as in, “I’ll be looking for a seven-year deal at around $5 million annually,” etc., meaning now players and agents at least know where each other is at heading into July 1 and know who’s in the game and who isn’t.
So, if a GM isn’t sure what Boyle feels like regarding his team, he can either deal for him now or wait until Wednesday when he can give him a call and find out. There may not be a return for Boyle out there if a potential trade partner decides they can wait a few days (although some NHL GMs are bad at self control sometimes).
Of course, if a team wants to actually be able to sign a deal they have to wait until July 1. That was the whole point of the Islanders trading for Boyle and Halak, to get them to the table and (maybe) offer them a deal they couldn’t pass up. But in terms of flipping their rights, we may be beyond the point where that’s feasible.