Your Nervous Tim Erixon Signing Deadline Update: What Is and Isn't Happening

My nails are bitten to the quick. I'm hitting refresh on various Swedish newspapers sports sections websites- hoping to see the word Erixon. I'm reading the CBA. And nothing is helping.

We're in the 11th hour now. GM Jay Feaster and the Calgary Flames have three hours and thirty minutes to ink an ELC with Swedish defenseman Tim Erixon and fax it to the NHL HQ in NYC before he's no longer Flames property and we watch him slip away to another team in the Entry Draft. So what's happening? Why? And just as important- what isn't happening?

UPDATE: According to Bob McKenzie on Twitter:

NYR believed to be hot and heavy in talks with CGY to get Erixon. Tim's dad, Jan, play for NYR. Tim was born in Port Chester, NY. Stay tuned

UPDATE 2: From Larry Brooks on Twitter:

Rangers have been given permission to negotiate contract with Erixon, Post has learned....believed conditional trade deal in place with Calg

So far there is no reasonable explanation for why he hasn't been inked yet. None. So what are some common theories and why are they faulty?

1. Erixon Doesn't Want to Play in Calgary

The Flames PR machine is spinning nothing except the usual "pretend there is no issue, and who's this Tim Erixon guy anyways?" nonsense, meaning it's unlikely that he's outright refusing to play for Calgary. Simply put- it wouldn't be hard to take a player saying that and make him out to be the bad guy (which he pretty much would be, unless it was some sort of family issue).

Erixon also attended several camps with the Flames in years past- if he was that anti-Calgary, I doubt he'd even show up. Most likely he'd communicate that to the Flames from the outset and they'd trade his rights to a team he would sign with.

2. Erixon Thinks He Can Make More Money As a Higher Draft Pick

It's almost a foregone conclusion that were Erixon to re-enter the draft, he'd go in the top 10. He's developed much faster and better than expected, and a lot of teams would love that. I can't personally see him falling past Boston at #9 with Toronto's draft pick. So if he re-entered and got drafted higher, he'd make a ton more money, right?

No. Unless a player goes in the top 2- he's not making a ton. There's a lot of limits on how much rookies can make (unlike the NFL, which is awful), and excepting a case where his agent is the worst agent ever (extremely doubtful), he'd stand to gain maybe 0.5M a year. Not a huge deal unless he owes the Swedish Sexy Mafia some money.

3. The Flames Have Too Many Contracts

This one's pretty simple: it's no secret the Flames have been skirting the 50 SPC limit the past couple seasons. People assume (without research) that Erixon would be #51 if signed.

Wrong. The Flames have a few contracts coming off the books for next season, and Erixon's contract would count toward's next seasons total. Definitely not the issue.

4. The Flames Don't Have Enough Cap Space

I wrote this as a comment at Flamesnation originally, but I'm editing it a bit here:

Like the contract limit, the Flames tend to push up against the cap ceiling, occasionally bad enough that they can't even dress a full roster. (I still shudder at the memory of the end of that season).

Fact is- even if an Erixon contract would put them over next season, the Flames have an extra 10% cushion that'll exist from July 1 through the beginning of the season (when Erixon would be hitting the books). That's six plus million of working space, meaning the Flames would (assuming a cap of 62.2M as per NYP) have cap space during the off-season of 68.42.

Plenty of space to sign him to a fitting contract and decide whether to move other bodies or let him play in the SEL another year if no North American solution can be found.

Also of note- Erixon is a FA in the SEL this year. No international contract issues there are the cause of this.

Finally- some good discussion is happening over at Flamesnation here- including a dire update from Kent:

Just got an email from someone who I regard as a good source on this issue. Says things aren't looking good right now.

 Keep checking back both here and at Flamesnation for updates. For a lot of other prospects this would be a minor issue at worst. For Erixon...yikes.

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