Hockey fans across the nation are confused as to why there have been so few free agent signings this summer. With a handful of very good players still available, theories such as limited cap space, strict team budgets for smaller markets and fear of the next CBA are being presented to help explain this phenomenon. While those all make sense, here are some reasons why certain players have yet to agree to a deal.
Mike Modano – it is rumored that the Red Wings are interested in bringing in the veteran; but the process has slowed because Detroit asked Modano for all of his medical records from prior years, and they are having trouble reading them considering most are written in hieroglyphics.The strange part is that with all of their senior citizens, you would think Detroit would already know how to do that.
Lee Stempniak – the 28-goal scorer can’t find a job because most teams interested are confused. Teams typically expect a player to have better numbers playing for an AHL team than for an NHL team; which is why GMs can’t figure out how he did well in Phoenix, but struggled in Toronto.
Ilya Kovalchuk – there was a report that the Devils and Kovalchuk agreed to a $60 million contract over 7 years. Kovalchuk did in fact sign the contract, but when Lamoriello asked Kovalchuk to pass him the pen so that he could sign as well, the star Russian was unsure what the term “pass” meant.
Andy Sutton – I have no idea why he hasn’t signed. I’m not an expert.
Vesa Toskala – The Finnish goaltender expects to be paid like a #1 goalie but teams are unwilling to do so. Toskala’s expectations are based on his comments of being the most improved goalie from 2008-09 to 2009-10; claiming that “no other goalie dropped their GAA more than I did, going from letting in an average of 7 goals per game to 4 goals per game”
Kyle Wellwood – the alarming trend of too many men on the ice penalties in the playoffs have teams shying away from Wellwood; noting that referees might think Wellwood is actually 2 players.
Georges Laraque – one team agreed to terms with Laraque, but when the time came to shake hands on a deal, Laraque refused to drop his gloves to do so, and the deal fell apart.
Jonathan Cheechoo – in an effort to resurrect his career, Cheechoo sent many teams video footage of his best games, in hopes of sparking some interest. Most teams did not watch the film, not because they didn’t want to, but because the highlights were from so long ago that they don’t have the equipment necessary to play a VHS.
Owen Nolan – most people don’t remember Nolan’s unsuccessful season with the Flames in 2007-08, which is of course the main requirement to get a contract offer from Calgary. Nolan is waiting to see if any team will match the $25 million over 3 years offered by Darryl Sutter.
Jose Theodore – its unknown why he hasn’t signed yet. But let’s just say he’s not losing any hair over it, thanks to Propecia.
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.