I have a bad habit of over-analizing hockey at times but tell me this...
The Bruins have ELEVEN unrestricted free agents, The Habs have ONE (Kovalev) from what I've read and heard tonight. How much of a factor if at all is this in your opinion? If a team don't have you signed longterm, how much does that (if at all) play on a guys mind? To me...I'm GUESSING (going off personal experience) when I'm appreciated I do my best. Everytime after I get a raise for atleast a full month I seem to work harder then normal-even though I'm unsupervised and my work is'nt being checked under a microscope. Does knowing that you're going to all be in training camp the following year together help you gain strength and make you want to fight for one another more? IMO-It only makes sense that this is the case. THOUGHTS?
I would think it's the opposite effect. An unrestricted free agent can either make money or lose money based on their playoff performance. Consider how much more a Conn Smythe winner would make on their next contract compared to someone who contributed very little in the playoffs.
Its going to be a big time sellers market this offseason...and with the upcoming cap teams will need as much flexibility as possible...I think having 11 UFAs is good because not too much money is committed and the salary structure of the team can be designed according to the cap...it gives the flexibility to rebuild the team as well...many teams will need to rid themselves of salaries and wont be looking at adding new guys...I like the position we are in.