If you do not understand how the Ryan Malone signing gets done so quickly and at that number, allow me to shed some light on how the magic works. The most effective NHL general managers will get their guys on July 1 by following this routine:
1. On Monday, demand that your IT staff installs a private fax machine in your office.
2. Before you leave the office late Monday night, finalize your list of the free agents you really want. If there are any players you are only kinda-sorta interested in, eliminate them from your list and never think about them again.
3. One second after the opening of the UFA Megsatore on Tuesday, take what you would like to offer the agent of your desired free agent, add 50% more cash and one year to the term.
4. Fax your offer to the agent. Since the fax is in your office, you don’t have to worry about the disapproving look from your assistant, the look of shame from your chief pro scout.
5. After the agent stops laughing and tells you he already has offers that blow yours away, ask agent, “What will it take to close the deal and for you to not shop my offer”?
6. So he knows you mean business, take agent’s proposal and add 10%. Don’t think twice. Fax offer.
7. Host media conference call right away before anyone changes their minds. Talk about how this was the player you wanted all along. Smile as your new player tells the media your team was his first choice.
8. Take shower. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.