While collective bargaining agreement talks between the NHL and NHLPA remain on hold, ESPN.com reports that among the proposed changes brought forth by the league is to change the start of the free agent signing period from July 1st to July 10th.
There are marketing advantages for moving the date to avoid the big news from player signings being lost around the July 4th holiday. With the media coverage of player movement around the league, moving the date can further maximize the league's awareness during the offseason. The extra time would also allow teams additional time to prepare for the free agent signing period following the entry draft in late June.
While this proposal has obvious benefits for the teams and league, the players may not see the benefit in changing, as Pierre LeBrun mentions.
My suspicion is that the NHLPA would likely not look kindly on moving the start of free agency 10 days into July. Shortening the window for any of its free-agent members to find work isn't that appealing to the union. At least it hasn't been in the past when the league has brought up the notion.
Add this item to the list of issues big and small the league and players still need to negotiate whenever they decide to resume talks.
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