ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the NHL hopes to move the first day of free agency back from July 1 to July 10.
As LeBrun points out, the league believes that holding the event on July 1 (a Canadian holiday that’s also very close to the Fourth of July) robs the NHL of valuable offseason headlines.
On the other hand, it would take away more than a week of free agent negotiations from the players, as LeBrun discusses:
My suspicion is that the NHLPA would likely not look kindly on moving the start of free agency 10 days into July. Shortening the window for any of its free-agent members to find work isn’t that appealing to the union. At least it hasn’t been in the past when the league has brought up the notion.
Big free agents have developed a habit of waiting until after July 1 to sign whopping deals.
Ryan Suter and Zach Parise signed on July 4 this year. Brad Richards waited until the day after free agency kicked off in 2011 while Ilya Kovalchuk’s saga took most of the 2010 summer.
Would you rather the free agent frenzy move to July 10 or stay on its current, holiday-centric date?