11:27AM: McKenzie adds that a contract like the one Matt Duchene signed, two years and $7 million, are harder to come by now as teams are taking a harder stance against players still developing and rewarding them with big money.
He adds “When the NHL constructed the collective bargaining agreement seven years ago, it thought players coming out of their entry-level deals would be in a tough spot with no arbitration rights. But a lot of precocious third-year players have nevertheless hit the jackpot. Aside from the obvious NHL-NHLPA dispute on how to divvy up revenue, this issue of reining in salaries on entry-level grads is a front-burner for many NHL general managers.”
6:44PM: On TSN Bob McKenzie said that none of the high profile restricted free agents like Michael Del Zotto, Evander Kane and Jamie Benn are close to signing new deals with their teams.
McKenzie says that the players would like to sign long term deals but need to decide if they want to sign short term or risk seeing what the new CBA brings