There is no way to know with unadulterated certainty how different those contract policies might be, if at all, once this stalemate is solved. But that solution needs to arrive at some point, after which the NHL’s 30 member teams can get back to signing and renewing contracts with new or returning players.
Many general managers made the most, or at least came close to making the most of the 11-week period between the July 1 release of free agents and the Sept. 15 work stoppage. Yet the majority of them will likely participate in a scramble for leftover commodities when and if the 2012-13 season gets the official go-ahead.
Granted, the pool of remaining UFAs and RFAs is too quantitatively and qualitatively shallow for all franchises to address the remainders of their respective to-do lists. But that will only make the scramble between the eventual announcement of a new CBA and the start of the next season more stimulating, won’t it?
Here is what every team will most likely pursue, if anything, in hopes of perfecting its 2012-13 puzzle.