Kariya arguably biggest prize available

With the end of the collective bargaining agreement coming next summer, clubs don't want to add more rich contracts.

Updated: July 1, 2003, 10:38 AM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
Anaheim's unwillingness to re-up Paul Kariya for $10 million immediately throws the Mighty Ducks winger to the forefront of the 2003 class of unrestricted free agents.

By not giving Kariya a qualifying offer of the same amount he made last season, Mighty Ducks general manager Bryan Murray allowed the biggest star in the team's history free to shop the open market.

Although that market is a depressed one with most teams trying to slash payroll in advance of an expected labor dispute next summer, Kariya becomes arguably the biggest prize available.