CHICAGO - MAY 03: Commissioner Gary Bettman of the National Hockey League speaks at a press conference before the Chicago Blackhawks take on the Vancouver Canucks in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center on May 3, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The New York Rangers have already made their big splash. The Philadelphia Flyers tried to make their big move. Bobby Ryan is still on the trade block (apparently). Shane Doan is still on the market. So are a plethora of other players who should find homes at some point.
So what's holding them all up? The NHL CBA negotiations.
As we've gone over multiple times, the salary cap is probably going to be changing from its current home just above $70-million. Teams would almost be foolish to take major risks with their own cap if they don't have the space. The New York Rangers actually saved money on the Rick Nash deal, the Predators easily had the cap space for Shea Weber. But other teams simply aren't taking risks.
Join me after the jump for more.
Think it's a coincidence that Doan hasn't found a home yet? He might still be holding out hope that Phoenix is an option for him, but it's also because he would be a 35+ contract, which is a hell of a risk to take in the pre-CBA era. I mean, would you be comfortable guaranteeing a $6-million cap hit for the next three years right now? I wouldn't.
Now, some of the little signings might still go through. A guy like Jason Arnott -- who would be a solid, cheap option for the Rangers -- doesn't provide much risk, assuming he takes a one-year deal. But even those signings have ground to a halt.
Things aren't rushing to a finish either. The NHL provided the NHLPA with a 76,000-page document so the players can go through the finances before they make their counter proposal. The players seem to be settling in, however, and a counter proposal is expected soon. But the players are more involved this year, they've already told the media they're more unified as a group to boot.
It seems like it can be a long summer. Then again, these things can change quickly. It's the nature of negotiations.
But will anything other than a deal get these free agent signings over and done with? It appears not.