Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"Hands Off" the RFA's?

The new CBA was expected to bring a flurry of signings of Restricted Free Agents because unlike past years teams couldn't simply spend whatever it took to keep them due to the new salary cap structure. However despite the predictions of many puck pundits that has not happened in the least. Jamie Fitzpatrick takes a look at the issue particularly as it pertains to Detroits' RFAs Datsyuk and Zetterberg
...why won't a team take a run at the pair? With several roster spots to fill and little cap room, the Red Wings can't match two offer sheets. So you would get one or two excellent young players and all you give up are draft picks. Depending on the exact salaries, the cost might be a first and second-round pick for Zetterberg, two first-round picks and maybe a second rounder for Datsyuk.
Teams sacrificing draft choices are often said to be "mortgaging the future." But draft picks are an infinite resource - you get one in every round every year, and you can always trade for more. Besides, the draft is a crapshoot. If you're the Buffalo Sabres, whose recent first-round selections include names like Artem Kriukov and Barrett Heisten, what would you rather have? Another iffy prospect or Pavel Datsyuk just entering his prime?
So the question remains, WHERE are the offer sheets???

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