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Still on the market

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Bit of a shorter mailbag this week, but we’re on the precipice of expanding back to two-a-week question-and-answer sessions. Until then, enjoy.

Hi Adam,

Love the column. Quick question – I know there is a cap floor that NHL teams must meet. Let’s say they don't meet that requirement; then what happens? What can and what will the league do? Thanks for taking the time.

Pavel Abramov, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Hi Pavel,

Thanks for the love. You ask a question that’s been on the minds of a few Ask Adam questioners. And it’s one we answered in the Sept. 16th edition of the magazine.

You’ll have to pick up the mag to read the entire piece, but here’s what NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told me via email when I asked what consequences teams would face if they were under or over the salary cap minimum or maximum:

“All teams are mandated by the (collective bargaining agreement) to be in compliance with the Payroll Range – both the floor and the (upper limit) – by the time the regular season begins. It (is) really not an option to be non-compliant.

“There would be a wide range of possible actions the league could take in the event of non-compliance, but I’m not in a position to be more specific than that at this point because your question posits a hypothetical that we do not expect we will ever have to deal with.”

Hey Adam,

With summer over and the NHL’s free-agent frenzy long over, who would you say are the best unrestricted free agents still on the market?

Anthony Kelly, Whitby, Ont.

Hey Anthony,

Depends on what a team is looking for, really. Senior THN editor Brian Costello posted a list of his top 10 remaining UFAs, but there are a handful of guys who didn’t make the cut, yet still could help a team.

For example, at forward, I’d sign Kevyn Adams or Martin Lapointe if I were looking for leadership, Mark Parrish, Ladislav Nagy (who has an out clause in his KHL contract) or Mike Johnson if I needed scoring on the wing, or Yanic Perreault if I required a faceoff specialist.

On defense, veterans such as Bret Hedican, Keith Carney and Marek Malik are still looking for work, while in net, Jocelyn Thibault needs a new gig.

Not exactly a cavalcade of difference-makers, I know. But early season injuries and/or disappointments may make them far more attractive to a GM than they appear right now.

Hey Adam,

I was wondering about all the rumors out of the Marian Gaborik camp that he doesn't want to sign with the Minnesota Wild, and that the Wild don't want to see him walk away next summer for nothing, so they may trade him even before the new season starts. I also heard the Penguins could be one of the teams that are very interested in his services, maybe to be on Crosby's line. I was wondering if this was true and what the Penguins would have to give up that would benefit both teams?

Kevin, Pickering, Ont.

Hey Kevin,

I’m sure there are loads of unfounded rumors out there – and while there’s always a chance Pens GM Ray Shero and his Minnesota counterpart Doug Risebrough could shock the NHL and bring Gaborik to Pittsburgh, I think it’s highly unlikely.

And that’s mainly because the Penguins already face some serious choices for the future, especially when Jordan Staal’s rookie contract runs out at the end of this season. There’s virtually no way they could fit Gaborik into that mix, even if Staal would be dealt to Minnesota in exchange for the Slovak star.

Anything is possible, of course. But this is wishful thinking. And that’s being kind.

Ask Adam appears Tuesdays in the summer only on To send us your question or comment, click HERE.

Adam Proteau is The Hockey News' online columnist and a regular contributor to His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

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