It’s RFA signing season. No, really it is. Just because the Leafs have one left, and he’s not likely to put pen to any paper until September, it seems like nothing is happening.

It’s also the time of year when AHLers get signed or re-signed.

JT Compher signed yesterday for $3.5 million.

Dryden Hunt of the Panthers signed. Yes, I know you don’t know who that is, neither do I. And for reasons understood only by their new GM, the Flyers signed Chris Stewart (who is a good guy whose NHL days are long behind him) to a PTO for training camp.

Ryan Spooner, the last vestige of the worst Oilers trade ever, signed in the Swiss league, a move that should help him sort his career out.

That worst Oilers trade, which is not the Hall-Larsson trade everyone thinks is so funny, is an epic of institutional inertia, stubbornness and just plain incompetence. The Oilers reverse red paper-clipped Jordan Eberle into Sam Gagner.

  1. Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome (this trade was also one-for-one) on June 22, 2107
  2. Ryan Strome for Ryan Spooner on November 16, 2018
  3. Ryan Spooner for Sam Gagner on February 16, 2019 (Gagner was playing on the Marlies at the time)

Gagner, who is great guy who maybe needs a much better NHL team to play on to succeed, put up 10 points in 25 games on the Oilers, or bad defenceman rates. Gagner had heaps of points as a kid, and got a lot of buzz from it, because he played on the Toronto Marlboros with some guy named John Tavares.

Cap Friendly currently lists 108 RFAs unsigned with 67 having played some NHL time last year. Of those 67, 43 of them played more than 13 minutes per game. That’s a lot of second and third line players as well as a handful of stars.

Arbitration begins on Saturday, assuming Brock McGinn, the only one scheduled for that day that hasn’t settled, goes to a hearing. There is one marquee RFA in this arbitration crop, and that’s Jacob Trouba. If he goes to a hearing, it’s on July 25, so by the 27th, we’ll have one more high-end RFA contract number in the books along side Sebastian Aho.

One thing that is odd about this off-season is how few extensions there have been:

Okay, that’s it for RFA stuff. I have one link of one hockey thing I’ve read:

NHL-CHL agreement doesn’t help development of Canadian juniors one bit | The Province
Forty years on, the deal that keeps major junior-hockey eligible kids out of professional hockey may now actually be doing them a disservice.

I don’t actually buy into the conclusions, or even the theorizing about the data, but you might find it something to fight over.