I’ve long held the belief that relying on free agency pick ups is a fools gold to a large extent.
Very few championship or even rebuilding teams get stronger when they try and plug their holes with FA pick-ups.
They excite the fan base because of name recognition but in fact most hit FA because teams allow them to exit their own team.
FA basically is often an excuse to recycle rather than to bring in new talent by way of their own scouting. Great teams are VERY selective who they go after. Now it seems the fan base are very critical unless at least 6 overpaid pick-ups are added.
This year arguably the most important signings so far are the re-signings of BLM in Calgary and Bighill in Winnipeg. Of course people point to BC getting Reilly in FA. Yup. But lets see how that plays out. And Ottawa let Harris and a dozen others out for a reason.
We read a piece about Popp in his FA war room where he is frantic to sign a name and throwing money around. When he was a GREAT gm in Montreal when he actually uncovered new talent, he generally stayed away from FA signings. Now he’s all over FA where he has signed multiple players allowed free by their current teams. Recruiting from the couch.
Now fans are gnashing their teeth if all their shortcomings are not, on the surface, covered by FA.
Those short comings should be addressed by current PR, and scouting and new signings. Not overpaying for names because they had success 4 years ago.