July 14, 2005
Free agency could be free-for-all
By CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun
A lot of people lost a lot of money during the NHL lockout. Now somebody's going to make some.
Try ink suppliers and moving companies to start as players could be signing and changing teams at a record clip.
Once the new CBA is ratified between the players and owners, expect an all out free agent feeding frenzy with a number of high profile unrestricted free agents about to flood the marketplace.
One rumour has Gary Roberts, who last played with the Toronto Maple Leafs, headed for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. That could be just one of a flurry of moves as a number of big-name players jump on the free agent carousel.
"We're in uncharted waters for ourselves and our clients," said J.P. Barry, the co-managing director of IMG Hockey, during the Memorial Cup as he contemplated the end of the lockout. "We've been getting ready for a very long summer ... I guess this could be the busiest summer we've had."
IMG has about 65 clients, about 45 of which will need new deals this summer if the 2004-05 year is not carried forward.
You would have the makings of an outstanding team with the NHL players expected to become UFAs once the deal is ratified.
GOAL: Nikolai Khabibulin and Curtis Joseph.
DEFENCE: Sergei Gonchar, Scott Niedermayer, Brian Leetch, Adam Foote, Chris Pronger, Brian Rafalski and Mathieu Schneider,
FORWARDS: Markus Naslund, Peter Forsberg, Martin St-Louis, Pavol Demitra, Anson Carter, Ziggy Palffy, Eric Lindros, Tie Domi, Mario Lemieux, Peter Bondra, Paul Kariya, Miro Satan, Jason Arnott, and Glen Murray.