January 26, 2013
Why don't the Maple Leafs make an offer to P.K. Subban?
By STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

Restricted free agent P.K. Subban remains unsigned by the Montreal Canadiens. (TONY CALDWELL/QMI Agency)

The question was clearly asked to a member of the Maple Leafs front office and the answer was just as direct.

Why not make a restricted free agent offer on unsigned defenceman P.K. Subban? Why not take a run at the best player not playing for the Montreal Canadiens?

The answer: “We’re not against signing restricted free agents. It’s not like we have a policy or anything. But you only sign a player if you believe you will get that player. And I believe if we signed this player, Montreal would match the offer, and then what would be accomplished?”

This is the first side of the two-sided RFA debate. Getting the player. NHL general managers seem willing to do that part, at least in their minds. What they don’t seem willing to do is put competitors — in this case the Canadiens — in payroll difficulty by being forced to match offers they were unwilling to pay in the first place.



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