This is silly. How can you give Lou the option of 'letting him walk if it's not reasonable' if he never lets him walk?
The point is that to give up the option to negotiate UFA, Zach may demand a higher price than he would ultimately receive, if his goal is to stay in New Jersey. If the Wild offer isn't thought of as credible and the rest of the suitors try to lowball one another, the Devils could end up paying more if they signed him today than if they signed him Monday.
Just like he did with Gomer and Gionta, they wanted too much for what Lou was willing to give and they never looked back, which is good.
Your point is valid too and its true that in some cases you gotta "buy" the player's right to test the market BUT it goes both ways and most folks here absolutely REFUSE to pretend that Lou's way is bad.
It sucks that I have to say this but Holmgren... Holmgren handled his stars INCREDIBLY WELL and got a really good contracts out of Richards and Carter which (for their cap hits) is a steal if you ask me. Why? Cause he didnt wait last fvcking minute and didnt play hard ball with them. He re-signed Richards mid-season while everything was going right, he was feeling good about the organization and he really wanted to be a Flyer forever "lol" Same things with Carter he signed him in november and both never had the chance to get that much leverage to get every single penny or get in a bidding war with them.
Of course it's different cause Zach was injured in his RFA year but my point is that Lou would not have done it the Holmgren way either. Did the flyers paid THAT MUCH to buy their players rights to test the market? lol no. not at all.
Lou has his way and thats good. But you just cannot get the best out of everything if you don't adjust, you just can't and he's not. Who knows if we could have kept Nieds and Rafalski if he would have TRIED to resign them mid season or wtv... maybe not obviously, but maybe we could have re-sign them. And thats my point, anyone here saying that there's absolutely 100% NO CHANCE that he could have maybe resigned them if he would have approached them at the right time during the season. First, you're out of your mind, even if it would have been a 10% chance, well you still take it.
from Lou himself "When time is on youre side, you take it"... what a ridiculous thing to say especially coming from a guy who has 6 months to try to re-sign 13 players and waits until he has 1 week to re-sign them all. Of course im not saying he's sitting on his ass not doing anything the rest of the season but in term of signing players Lou is driving me absolutely crazy.