One of the NHL’s most active draft day general managers believes the large number of big-name RFAs could stymie draft floor activity next week.
Brad Treliving, who has made several of his most significant moves on draft weekend, said it will be harder for him and many of his colleagues to manoeuvre as freely as they have in the past due to the cost uncertainty associated with unsigned young stars.
“You can’t go out and buy all sorts of cars before you know what the mortgage payment is,” said the Calgary Flames GM, who will arrive at the NHL Draft in Vancouver next Friday unsure how much of his $14.5 million in cap space he will have to allocate for restricted free agent Matthew Tkachuk.
“People have got to take care of that piece. Until you have some certainty there it’s hard to chase a bunch of things.
I think there are a lot of teams going in very cautious because if you don’t have (a significant RFA) this year you probably have one next year.”
Coming off a career year with 34 goals and 77 points, Tkachuk is in line to make anywhere from $7 to $10 million annually, depending on term.