With July 1st approaching quickly teams being posturing for the mad dash at a weak free agency class. Few teams win in these races, as it is in any sport, and we al write and comment on the impact of the new faces in new uniforms. The side that never gets talked about is the teams that lose.
Failed trades and salary cap dumps for a player that does not end up playing for you can leave you in a sort of hockey limbo. For players put on the trading block, so more than once, it can you leave you with a bad taste. Bobby Ryan is a perfect example of this. Finally sick of being part of trade rumors for some time, he has all but said he is done with the Ducks. The Ducks are in no means forced to trade Ryan, a consistant goal scorer and occasional highlight reel generator, but having a disgruntled top producer can be difficult for the best of front offices. The other side of of these moves are cap related posturing.
Cap problems arise for teams each year, and can be looked at from a few angles. Some teams fall into it from angry players, such as the Thomas situation in Boston, others from front end loaded contracts, such as in NJ. The Thomas problem arises from needing cap room to make moves but understanding you will get doughnuts for dollars in a trade for his rights. New Jersey is in a bind simply because they do not have the space to sign all the parts they may wish to because of contracts such as Kovy's.
Free agency causes ripples through the NHL not just in team to team matchups, but in how your team can operate for years to come. July 1st brings hope for 30 teams, and in a few short weeks can drastically change the outlook for just as many.