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Report: NHL looks to change free agent start date to July 10

Sep 4, 2012, 7:50 PM EDT

Zach Parise, Ryan Suter Getty Images

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?

  1. martysbetter - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    Oh cool, so 9 less days of inane twitter rumors then?

  2. spizzjr - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Where’s the visnovsky news!!!!

  3. somekat - Sep 4, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    Isn’t there another sport (perhaps NBA or NFL?) that have something on July 1? Not a big deal either way, I see no problem moving the date to get max PR for FA moves. But I don’t see the difference between July 10 and maybe June 20

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Sep 5, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      NBA has their free agency that starts on July 1, but deals can’t be official until July 10.

  4. icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 4, 2012 at 9:17 PM


    • tatdue - Sep 4, 2012 at 11:09 PM

      Maybe you should try reading an article before you comment since the answer to your “Why?” is the entire plucking article brotha…

  5. killerpgh - Sep 4, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    I thought about this before. Since July 1st has been kind of boring the past few year with all the “big” names taking their time to weigh their options on where to sign the NHL should let teams talk to Free Agents starting July First but not sign any a contract until a week later (or July 10th like this article says). The NHLPA would probably go for it. It could drive up players salaries. Teams couldn’t tell Free Agent’s they have 1 hour to to take the deal before they go after another players and players could take their time and meet with how ever many teams they want.

  6. manchestermiracle - Sep 5, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    How about we work out a CBA before we sweat details like this?

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