When the NHL and NHLPA instituted a bargaining window in the week before July 1 as part of the most recent collective bargaining agreement in 2013, it opened up a realm of possibilities for unrestricted free agents and the teams chasing them. But who truly benefits from the change? It depends who you ask.
To be perfectly clear about the issue, it’s important to acknowledge teams were already reaching out to players before the policy was put in place. They just had to be more subtle about it. “Everybody used to tamper anyway,” said one NHL team executive. “Now it’s legal.”
The advent of the negotiation window meant players could physically visit the cities they were interested in, meet with team personnel and get a sense of what their potential new homes would look like on and off the ice...
About the Author
Ryan Kennedy is the associate senior writer and draft/prospect expert at The Hockey News. He has been with the publication since 2005 and in that span, Don Cherry, Lil Jon and The Rock have all called his house. He lives in Toronto with his wife and kids where he listens to loud music and collects NCAA pennants.