The Metropolitan Division’s biggest free agent signing of this cycle was announced before it was official. The culprit: a broken printer.
James van Riemsdyk agreed to a five-year, $35 million deal with the Philadelphia Flyers when free agency opened, but GM Ron Hextall noted in his press conference that day that the deal wasn’t yet official – an unusual move.
"It's not official," Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said. "We announced that we'd agreed. [van Riemsdyk has] got some printer problem."
According to NHL.com, van Riemsdyk’s printer in his condo wasn’t working, and also had issues with the one in his building’s lobby. Eventually, the contract was signed and sent – although it’s unclear if the printers were fixed or if van Riemsdyk had to seek out a third printer in order to sign the richest deal of his career.
van Riemsdyk wasn't alone in his tech troubles. Sharks center Joe Thornton – who reached Day 1 of free agency before re-signing in San Jose – had similar troubles with his printer.
Joe Thornton didnt sign this contract on a lawn mower like last year, but he said he had trouble figuring out how to print it at home with his wife already in Switzerland
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) July 2, 2018
We've all been there, Joe.
Thornton's issues seem more like user error (no judgment here – printers are voodoo), but what are the odds of both of van Riemsdyk’s printers being broken on the biggest day of his life? Did van Riemsdyk have to go to FedEx Office to send in a $35 million contract? Does anyone actually know how to fix (or use) a printer?
Most importantly: why are professional sports teams not entirely paperless in 2018? Remember, the Denver Broncos lost a key player in Elvis Dumervil due to a fax machine mishap in 2014. It was inexcusable then, so why are teams still relying on antiquated tech to make franchise-altering moves?
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