Restricted NHL Free Agents Making Themselves Hot Commodities in 2016-17

January 10th, 2017 by Jonathan Willis Leave a reply »
When the Chicago Blackhawks re-signed Artemi Panarin just after Christmas, they did more than lock up a key part of their roster. They also took the player who might have been this summer’s most intriguing restricted free agent off the market.

The market for RFAs often exists more in imagination than reality. Even with offer sheets a long-standing component of collective bargaining agreements between the NHL and NHLPA, teams rarely seem interested in committing the money and draft picks necessary to poach a player from another team. In those instances where they do, the offer sheet is usually matched quickly.

Even with offer sheets an underused tool, negotiations between cap-strapped teams and good young players are often fascinating. The players, understandably, want the best contract possible; just as logically, teams often have to fight for every penny of cap space they can.

The following slideshow looks at some of the best young players around the NHL playing in the final season of their respective contracts. In each case, we break down what makes this year so special for the player and what it’s likely to mean for negotiations th ...

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