When free agency nears, should the Wings utilize their draft picks to snag UFA’s ‘early?’

The Red Wings own 11 picks in the upcoming 2020 draft, and Sportsnet’s Luke Fox brings up an interesting point in this morning’s “Quick Shifts“: a significant portion of marquee free agents-to-be have been traded by their rights-holding teams approximately at or around the time of the NHL draft (October 6th and 7th, 2020, ahead of free agency on October 9th).

So, should the Red Wings truly have some interest in signing Torey Krug or any other marquee free agent, would it not make sense for the team to pony up one of those draft picks in order to obtain their rights prior to the free agent period?

Fox notes that the price for acquiring UFA’s-to-be isn’t cost prohibitive:

The market price for acquiring the signing rights of an impending UFA appears set as a fifth-round draft pick.

That is what the Philadelphia Flyers paid the Winnipeg Jets leading up to 2019’s free agency to get the jump on suitors for centre Kevin Hayes.

And that is what the Montreal Canadiens surrendered this week to the Carolina Hurricanes in order to lock up target Joel Edmundson.

True, one could argue that the Habs might’ve been able to sign Edmundson without giving up an asset, but (a) Montreal has had a heckuva time landing recent free agents when the marketplace gets crowded and (b) with the removal of the UFA courting period, why not spend a fifth to give your club a head start on convincing your player of choice?

Fifth-rounders seldom pan out, and by the time they do, the drafting GM may be gone anyway.

Curious to see if any other executives take this approach leading up to Oct. 9.

Specifically in the cases of Alex Pietrangelo and Torey Krug, if their current teams aren’t able to reach terms, do they make these valuable defencemen’s rights available to recoup something, anything — and give the acquiring team a chance to offer an eight-year contract and thus spread out the cap hit.

Continued; would you be willing to move a 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th-round pick in exchange for an exclusive, pre-free agent period negotiating window with a free agent like Krug?

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

2 thoughts on “When free agency nears, should the Wings utilize their draft picks to snag UFA’s ‘early?’”

  1. I think it’s really unnecessary for the Wings to use a pick to secure the rights to any player at this point. We’re not in a position where dealing away any future potential player/prospect in an attempt to sign a UFA will make an immediate difference to this team. If Krug has any interest in coming to Detroit then he will, as long as Detroit makes him an appropriate offer, which they can do if they so desire, without surrendering a pick.

    1. I agree, use picks to draft young hopeful youngins. Krug would cause 2 problems. Overpaying for a smallish one way (offense mostly and spending far too much). He is looking for his last contract and wants to cash in big time.

      His past with a close proximity to Detroit really seems like a waste of words at this time in the NHL and Salary Cap situation.

      But it appears the idea is still on life support.

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