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Time to Create Some More RFA Buzz

With Illegal Curve contributors, Richard Pollock and Kyle Kosier, consistently complaining about all of the attention the Penner signing has garnered in the media, I decided to compile a top-ten list of next year’s potential restricted free agent crop to give them something to look forward to for the 08/09 off-season.

What I discovered was that next year’s potential crop is the most talented group of restricted free-agents in recent memory. Included in this list are many players that a team looking to rebuild can build their franchise around. As many as 12 teams have expected team salaries under $30 million for the 08/09 season. Couple that with an 08 Entry Draft that is not projected to be deep in talent and you have created the “perfect storm” for more Kevin Lowe-type GM’s throwing around offer sheets like they are going out of style.

If you were Islanders’ GM Garth Snow, with less than $24 million committed for next year, wouldn’t you offer Alexander Ovechkin a maximum salary contract? Sure, four first-round picks is a lot to give up, but the chance to land a player with Ovechkin’s talent is very rare. Do you not think that Glen Sather would love to bring in Dion Phaneuf to complement the Rangers’ potent offence and finally have the stud defenceman they have been missing for years?

Here is a list of the top-ten potential restricted free agents for the 08/09 season. Expect the status of their contract negotiations to be followed in the media all season long, because if they hit the open market at season’s end, they will be very hot commodities. However, unfortunately for us, the Ducks will not have any notable RFA’s, so we will not get a chance to listen to Brian Burke’s rants on “poaching”.

For Illegal Curve, I am Adam Gutkin.

Other Notables:Jeff Carter (Flyers), Mike Richards (Flyers), Kyle Wellwood (Leafs), Alexander Steen (Leafs)

{Source: All salary infromation is courtesy of}