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1/7 GDT - Lightning @ Red Wings - 7:00 PM EST

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1 hour ago, Neomaxizoomdweebie said:

Can you sign a player as an UFA if you don't qualify him? Or is that not allowed under the CBA? If he isnt traded, I really only see 2 real scenarios. 1. Holland qualifies him. Bad move. Can't afford to pay him that. 2. Mrazek is not qualified and signs with another team (most likely). I just don't see him coming back here if he hits UFA. I think that bridge is burned.

Who is our goalie next year then? If his stats are that bad, why resign him?

I would think he could be signed as a UFA. But him being qualified as an RFA doesn’t mean his $4 million is set in stone. Contract amounts can still be negotiated, whether up or down. I was kinda surprised at that, actually. But a guys play dictates his salary. If he underperforms, the team shouldn’t lose him due to the qualifying amount being unearned if they want to keep him and he wants to stay. If he performs better than expected, he shouldn’t be stuck at a lower salary. That’s usually the time when extensions with raises are signed. Always room for negotiations with RFAs if both sides agree.

The reason to trade Howard is for draft picks. As for Halak if he is part of a Howard trade, he’s just one option they’d have for next season. Not saying he should be signed. Always goalies available in the off-season. I wouldn’t be too concerned about goaltending right now. Many rebuilding teams run with cheap decent goalies for awhile. Keeps the cap down. No point having a guy at $5 million plus when his play won’t change your fate anyways. 

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