Many excellent RFAs are currently without a contract

Published August 9, 2021 at 4:57 PM

As of today, many of the restricted free agents have yet to reach an agreement with their respective teams. With camps starting soon enough, around mid-September, time may be running out for some. It will be interesting to see if GMs will take advantage of the negotiation problems of their fellow players to make a hostile offer.

The list of RFAs awaiting contract contains some excellent players. Here, according to Capfriendly, is the top 25 unsigned RFAs ranked by how many points they scored last season.


It is interesting to see that the Vancouver Canucks have to negotiate with two of the most important free agent players with compensation in Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson. While Hughes, like Kirill Kaprizov, is not eligible to receive a hostile offer due to the collective bargaining agreement, Pettersson could be in line for a deal with another team. Jim Benning currently has just over $14 million for next season to sign both players as well as Olli Juolevi, who is also RFA. A hostile offer for Pettersson could make things very difficult for the Canucks GM.

For their part, the Senators must come to an agreement with Brady Tkachuk and Drake Batherson. While the latter should easily get along with Pierre Dorion, the former could cause some headaches for his GM. It was recently revealed that Tkachuk could be tempted to leave the Senators organization after his next contract if he sees that the owner is not following through with his plan. He would be tempted to sign a short-term deal, but the organization would want a long-term deal. A hostile three- or four-year offer at a high price could turn the tables, especially when you consider how Melnyk handles the club's finances...

Andrei Svechnikov's case with the Carolina Hurricanes is also interesting. If the team currently has more than 12 million dollars in play for next season, it has made several transactions in order to achieve this, notably trading Alex Nedeljkovic, the Calder Trophy finalist last season. Nedeljkovic was asking for too much in salary for the next few seasons according to Canes GM Don Waddell. Will Svechnikov also demand too much for the organization?

It should not be forgotten that the Habs still have to come to an agreement with Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Ryan Poehling. Of the two, only the number 15 can sign a hostile offer. Will he be tempted to sign in order to have a better chance to blossom elsewhere in the NHL? Time will tell very soon.
August 9   |   154 answers
Many excellent RFAs are currently without a contract

Will they all sign before the beginning of the season?

Yes7951.3 %
No7548.7 %
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