Free Agents: ‘How About a Free Paella Clause?’

OK. So those Michael Nylander to Vancouver rumors were more than rumors. The Oilers seem pretty mad, too. I love the thought of Nylander getting like 10 or 15 contracts and then just playing in a different city every night. Or just taking the money and going back to Sweden.
I’ve been really interested in free agency in the post-cap era, since money isn’t as big a deal, since teams can only offer so much money. Over on Long Island, Greg Logan and Mark Herrmann are blaming the shoddy conditions at Nassau Coliseum, saying no one really wants to play there. To be honest, I’m not sure if it’s the Coliseum so much as the air of despair that surrounds the Islanders. Even with Ted Nolan coaching, I think there’s always this feeling, no doubt a holdover from the Mike Milbury era, that the team is about to do something crazy. Maybe it’s the fact that the default Islander contract spans two decades. But that dark cloud is enough for free agents to take less money not to play on the Island. It’s an interesting effect. I think we’re seeing it in New Jersey, too. They just lost Brad Lukowich to Tampa Bay.
It’s no longer only about they money. It’s also about the environment and the team and the management.
Although, to be fair, Dallas might disagree that money plays no role (login info.).
Happy Fourth of July to everyone in the states. Watch those fingers, kids.