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NHL Free Agents Still Waiting to Find Work

Free agency continues in the NHL as some players remain at home waiting for the telephone to ring.

For Rick Curran this is the offseason and he should be enjoying the sun out at the beach, reading a book or doing one of this many hobbies.

He should be enjoying the summer break by relaxing and resting up before starting his job as a player agent in the NHL, something he has been doing since 1978.

However, he said that the offseason has been very un-enjoyable thus far. That is because two of Curran’s clients still have not found a job in the NHL. The two – Jiri Tlusty and Christian Ehrhoff – still are unemployed at the current time despite being looked at as quality NHL players.

Curran said by this time, he is usually finished with summer work, but not in 2015. It has been surprising said Curran, but the two players he said would be playing next season somewhere in the NHL, however, in the meantime, you just continue trying to make a good deal with some team.

Curran and the situations with his players are not unique. Close to a month after the opening of free agency for the summer, many of the good top players are still unsigned. Included in that list are Cody Franson, Michael Ryder, Curtis Glencross, Mike Santorelli, Sean Bergenheim, Jan Hejda, Martin Erat, Tomas Fleischmann, Erick Cole, Derek Roy and Tyler Kennedy, amongst a host of others.

Some of the players were always likely to wait longer to be signed, such as Erat or Cole, veterans getting older, guys coming off some sort of injury, players wanting to be paid too much or a host of other reasons.

However, it is surprising for many in the league that players with the talents of Franson, Ehrhoff, Ryder, Glencross and Tlusty remain unsigned.

Curran says that he does not believe it is a case of collusion by the teams or anything similar, as he says he has known the people in the NHL for the 37 years he has been an agent.

Curran feels it is more likely that too many clubs are near the cap already and that makes it much harder to sign new players to the roster.

Five teams in the NHL have less than $1 million of cap space including Tampa Bay, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia and the Rangers.

Eleven more teams have under $5 million, but that leaves another 14 with money that can afford to make a good deal.

As the season approaches, teams will make some signings, but the odds are they will be for less money than many of the current free agents were originally hoping for.

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