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Free Agent Frenzy Redux


Hey All, the Board of Governors just finished voting unanimously to adopt these new rules for the free agent frenzy process. We tried to flush out any issues that may arise during the process, but there may need to be some additional tweaking after we experience a year or two of the new process. Have a read and feel free to ask questions. No word on when the Frenzy will start, but the rerate process is underway. There are some spreadsheet issues, mostly due to some changes with NHL.com, but they are being worked on. 


Batch 1

Batch 1 consists of:

  1. Qualified RFAs, who may be tendered offer sheets (see compensation schedule in the Rulebook)
  2. “Premier” UFAs.

To determine Premier UFAs, the agent committee will look at the list of Pending UFAs. In the opinion of the committee, if a player will be highly sought after, then he will be considered “Premier”. (Note: this doesn’t necessarily relate to just the player’s rates, as age, affordability, potential, etc. are considered)

Bidding Process:

  1. GMs will make a pitch via email to the Agent Committee. How to make a pitch is below. The pitch period will be 7-10 days in duration.
  2. Once all pitches are received, the Agent Committee will go to work on determining which team wins the right to sign each player. 
  3. GMs are notified via article and Google Sheet which team won each player 1 week after the end of the pitch period (mass notification). GMs might want to write individual articles revealing their pitch and make a story up about why the player chose/didn’t choose their team!

Pitches Should contain:

  1. Term and Money: # of years, total money, signing bonuses, etc.
  2. Justification for that money. (Note, if a player is offered a ridiculous amount, that bid might be thrown out by the committee, unless the GM actually justifies why he is offering what he is... and “I need to make the salary floor” won’t cut it!)
  3. Team perks: why a player would like to play there. Things like chances to win a Toro, role with the team, potential linemates, increased ice time, captaincies, play with friends or former teammates etc. Might be considered. Preference may also be given to GM’s who have demonstrated loyalty to their players. ie Player X played for me for X number of years.

I know this introduces some level of subjectivity to the system, but this won’t be sending players to the buddies of the Agent committee members. The Money will have to be there to justify the move, but as we just saw with John Tavares, Players will take discounts to go to a great situation. If an Agent Committee member would like to bid on a player, they will be excused from discussions on that player.

There is also a cap of 2 players max per GM to bid on, with no cap on the amount of money they could offer, but again, if it’s outrageous, there better be some rationale behind it, or it may be thrown out.


Batch 2/3

Batch 2/3 would consist of Pro Forwards / Pro Defenseman and Goalies respectively and would proceed as usual, as an open system, with the same rules as currently stipulated.

The only addition might be stronger enforcement of the Gamesmanship rule. But as the premier players have been removed, we’d like to hope that there won’t be a need for the commissioner to step in. Generally stepping in would consist of asking for rationale behind the contract and reducing that contract down to a single year.


Batch 4

Coaches – No Change


Batch 5

All unsigned created players. But instead of an open bidding system, batch 5 would be a draft. As the majority of the old Batch 5/6 was used as filling roster requirements or taking a chance on a long shot prospect, or both. A Draft with a predesignated contract would eliminate bidding wars for the sake of roster requirements and give the have-not teams a better crack at those long shot players. Every player drafted would have the same 1 year 600k (2-way) contract. This would allow for those players to be resigned the following season as the majority of Batch 5/6 players are RFA age or they may be released, at the discretion of each GM.

The Draft would run using the reverse AHL standings from the previous season, giving the have-not AHL teams first crack at the Batch 5 players.

As this is primarily a roster requirement filling exercise, teams may opt to pass in the draft, skipping their turn for the rest of the draft. With the increase of created prospects this season, we see less of a need for this batch, so the draft may not go very long. We may see the majority of teams having passed after a couple of rounds, allowing teams with less created players to fill their roster as they see fit. Also, team who reach the 60-man limit for their roster, may no longer draft any other players.

Side note, these draft positions are not tradeable.







STEVE (New York Islanders)

I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out! Goodwork committee!

Free Agent Frenzy Redux
Updated Rules and Procedures for the Annual Free Agent Frenzy

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