One day separates
It's likely that both could garner long-term contracts, if desired.
Because of that, Fletcher seems more inclined to offer short-term deals to the top free agents.
"Every time you go out and sign these long-term contracts you just have less flexibility, you have more long-term commitments and sometimes those long-term commitments can turn into liabilities and you start to box yourself in," Fletcher said. "To me, I'd almost rather be a little lean this year and maintain a little more flexibility than just pushing it right to the max."
Vanek and Niskanen are players who excel in areas where the
Vanek, 30, is a pure scorer, the type the
Niskanen, 27, is coming off the best season of his career, having scored 10 goals and recorded 36 assists and a team-best plus-33 rating for the
But at what cost?
That's what Fletcher is trying to determine in the final days before free agency begins.
With Vanek and Niskanen interested in hearing the
"It's kind of a feel thing," Fletcher said. "There's certain players you might value more than other players, and if you don't think the player is a perfect fit, maybe the best move is just to maybe move on. I don't think it's that deep a free-agent class where if we don't get No. 1 we should just blindly go after No 2 or 3. Let's be patient."
Unlike last summer, the
But they've insisted that if they don't sign one of the big-name free agents, they're still in a spot where the team can improve.
"I do know that we have the opportunity to do some things that are exciting," owner
We have a great core of players and we are going to be active when the opportunity presents itself, and if it's the right player and the right fit for our team, we'll pull the trigger."
Terms for potential contracts might be the key, though.
With several young players due for new contracts this summer and next summer, the
And if they can't sign either, they might look at other options in a free agency class that isn't deep.
"Maybe with the cap only being
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