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'The lull before the [July 1] storm'

Updated: June 29, 2010, 3:16 PM ET
By Pierre LeBrun

Ah, the poker game is on as we count down to noon ET on Thursday.

"It's the lull before the storm," one player agent told ESPN.com on Tuesday.

Agents and GMs "insist" this is their best offer and can't compromise anymore as the contracts of pending unrestricted free agents are set to expire … until their next offer comes in.

As a hockey writer, it's a strange and frustrating time; you are caught between teams and players, and the information you receive ...

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