The rush of July 1 can make or break some teams. If you make a bad decision, it can end up costing you for years to come. That doesn't mean that good decisions weren't made that day, but more often than not, rash signings are made.
It makes the omission of forward Ryan Dzingel on July 1 all the more confusing. In just under 80 games, Dzingel put up 56 total points – which is the production of a top-six player.
So, why is Dzingel still unsigned given his production?
For however you feel about Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella, his word does carry weight throughout the NHL. When Dzingel was scratched in the playoffs, that wasn't only eye-opening, but it also showed that Dzingel wasn't ready to play against the rough-and-tumble teams.
If you're giving the impression that you only show up when the spotlight isn't on you, then that's going to earn you a reputation. Dzingel hasn't been in the league long enough for that to be his reputation, but you don't want that to be a phrase that floats around you. He was a non-factor for the Blue Jackets in the playoffs, registering only one goal (his only point) in nine Stanley Cup playoff games this past spring. He was a scratch for one of the Blue Jackets' second-round games against Boston.
Dzingel reportedly is looking for a long-term deal, at least as of the beginning of this offseason. Given that's he's unsigned as of mid-July, it's worth wondering if he's come off that stance since then. Nonetheless, giving a player with a three-year track record multiple years is a reason why teams could be turned off.
For a player like Dzingel, it needs to be one or the other. He can have the money he desires (reportedly in the $5M AAV range), but he isn't going to get the term. If he gets the term, it isn't going to be at the AAV he desires. It's tough for a player hoping to cash in to come to that realization. It looks like when it comes down to it, if he isn't going to sacrifice either of those, then he is going to be on a one-year, "prove it" type of deal.
Tortorella used Dzingel 2/3 of the time in the offensive zone, and it was to mixed results. If he isn't going to carry possession and he isn't going to be dominant on offense to the point where you can overlook his defense, Dzingel isn't a necessity.
A team needing a jolt on offense and that has a little bit of salary cap room may be a fit. Think the Edmonton Oilers or a team of a similar ilk. Maybe the San Jose Sharks?
Dzingel can still play, it just needs to be demonstrated at a higher level for him to get the deal he desires.
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