from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
On July 5, Thomas Vanek will likely sign a big-bucks contract with Minnesota. Ryan Miller could find a team looking for an experienced, if fading, ace.
And that will be that for high-impact signings.
As Ken Holland noted, the free market is not what it once was. GMs do not let their stars reach unrestricted free agency. They don’t even let them approach the final year of their deal. David Krejci, who will be a UFA after 2014-15, will claim an extension with the Bruins before the season begins. Consider the likes of Nathan Horton, Jaromir Jagr, Andrew Ference, and Anton Khudobin last year. The only players who reach the free market are the ones teams don’t want back.
July 5 is now a time for rifles instead of shotguns. Last year, the Bruins signed Jarome Iginla on July 5. Iginla became part of the Bruins’ leadership group. But Iginla was a targeted signing. The Bruins had a niche. Iginla filled it.
The shift is toward draf...