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FTB: Buyouts end, free agency begins

Offseason is almost here, but what will we talk about?

Tampa Bay Lightning v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Seven Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty images

Today is the the last day for buyouts. Players who need waivers can still be bought out, but they’d have to be waived today at noon. Only three players have been bought out so far:

Colin White of the Senators, and Brett Connolly and Henrik Borgström from Chicago. Both of those Chicago players were acquired in trade just last year, and Borgström made only $1 million, making that a bizarre move. Chicago is tanking hard and stupid, giving up potential picks, dumping off plausibly good, young players and failing to qualify RFAs they could have traded last year.

Some more thoughts on RFAs who are now UFAs:

An angle on the big trade:

Good luck with that:

Pierre LeBrun has this tweet yesterday saying that this all doesn’t mean Malkin is gone, but much like with Jack Campbell, the initial negotiation was miles apart and that really seemed to be the end of it.

Tonight at midnight is the deadline to sign eight-year extensions, so if Gaudreau is staying in Calgary, maybe he’ll sign today. The RFA discussion period begins, so that should heat up offer sheet speculation. Offer sheets can’t be signed until tomorrow, however.

One thing this last few days has made very clear: the NHL needs to do something about UFA signing. If there’s a rule that says you can’t even talk to pending UFAs until free agent day at noon, and yet we all know exactly who is going where tomorrow, then the NHL rules aren’t real. The decision to get rid of the UFA discussion period in the CBA was an odd one if the league isn’t going to enforce the actual rules against negotiation before the deadline.

Speaking of rules, Elliotte Friedman mentioned on is podcast that at the draft GMs meetings there was talk of a rule change, and he believes this is all ready to go to the next Board of Governors meetings for approval — it’s been through a Competition Committee vote already. It’s a simple one. During the review that’s now allowed of any major penalty, the officials can drop the major to no penalty, not just a minor. This reactive move is brought to you by the Taylor Hall on Nate MacKinnon hit that wasn’t a nasty dirty hit, once you saw the replay.

That’s about it for today so far, I’m sure there will be rumours, news and other things to get mad about today.