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NHL Will Hold Free Agent Frenzy Nov 1, 2020

The NHL is likely to hold the next free agent frenzy starting on November 1, 2020. It’s going to look and feel a whole lot different than it has before.

NHL Free Agent Frenzy

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that fans should pencil in the date Nov 1, 2020 on their calendar, especially if they were feeling like something was missing yesterday.

Traditionally, Canadians celebrate Canada Day with a parade, fireworks and a few beverages. That said, most of that comes after the frenzy that is NHL free agency. The early morning kicks things off with the first signings of the day and throughout mid-morning to the later afternoon, dozens of players are signed to different teams in the hopes that someone will make a difference. It takes a few days for thing to calm down, but it’s one of the more hectic few days on the NHL’s calendar.

Spending big bucks in free agency doesn’t always pan out and often times players are grossly overpaid, hurting the franchises for years afterward, but the process has become a pastime and fans look forward to it every year.

This year, there was radio silence.

Because of the NHL pause, the COVID-19 pandemic and so much uncertainty as to whether or not the 2019-20 season will actually get completed, fans and players are just waiting. Contracts that were set to expire have been pushed back and everything is on hold.

The good news is, a new date appears to have been set for this year’s free agency. McKenzie notes that:

Free Agent Frenzy date of Nov. 1, 2020 (contracts set to expire on June 30 have been extended to Oct. 31). It was an odd July 1st for a lot of hockey fans without the traditional fast-paced action that comes with free agency opening up.

This report comes as part of some great work by McKenzie, keeping fans up to speed on what’s happening with the new CBA talks, the hub cities and which teams will play where.

Related: Latest Details on New NHL CBA, Salary Cap, and More

So, What Does the New Date Mean?

Right now, not a lot. But, GM’s will start making plans and sketching out their ideas now that a date appears set and the salary cap seems locked in. With a flat cap over the next two seasons and the ceiling going up by a mere $1 million the season after that, free agency will look a lot different.

At least half of the teams in the NHL will be struggling to find a way to fit in their current rosters. Some offloading is sure to occur and as such, overpaying for free agents and extending huge offers to players isn’t going to be the norm.

This offseason, perhaps the biggest names are Alex Pietrangelo, Taylor Hall and Torey Krug. Perhaps they’ll still be paid well for their services. A number of other players are going to have to get lucky and be in the right place at the right time.

Related: NHL GMs Won’t Get “Get Out of Jail Free Card”, No Amnesty Buyouts

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