So there’s a little morsel of information to satiate your appetite for Senators-related news. With NHL Free Agency set to open on July 1st at noon, the Senators have a slightly more than a one-month window to exclusively negotiate with their players before the league’s other 29 teams are ‘technically’ allowed to talk to them. I say ‘technically’ because come noon on on July 1st, players sign immediately and everyone is left wondering how players, agents and executives can agree to such complex multi-year deals worth millions of dollars within a matter of minutes.
In getting back to Garrioch’s free agent update however, none of this should come as a surprise.
One has to imagine that Kuba will want to test the open market and capitalize on the numbers that he put up playing with Erik Karlsson last season. In doing so, he should be able to find at least one desperate GM foolish enough to give him that one last big contract as his career winds down.
In Carkner’s case, we can talk ad nauseum about the value of holding onto a depth defenceman like Carkner but with prospects like Eric Gryba and Mark Borowiecki knocking on the door, there certainly isn’t a significant onus on the organization to retain the tough guy just yet. As someone whose knee issues have plagued him for the last two seasons, perhaps the market for an injury plagued defenceman might not develop that quickly. In consequence, holding off on negotiations with Carkner would permit the organization to exhaust the free agent or trade avenues; giving them the flexibility to look at other options without having Carkner locked in as another defenceman who is on a one-way deal.
Without having had any formal talks with their best defenceman, there’s no reason for panic amongst the Senators fan base. Just remember, the NHL is the league where teams neglect the competitive advantage that offer sheets provide. Considering Steven Stamkos did not sign one when his ELC expired, there’s no reason to believe that FA suitors will line up with offers for Karlsson. Quell those fears and rest easy Sens fans.