When the news broke on Twitter that Eric “Efro” Froehlich was leaving team Channel Fireball in search of a new home for the 2017-18 MTG Pro Tour Team Series, I immediately thought of all the amazing free agency news stories that come out of professional sports. Lebron James is the most extreme example but if you’re a sports fan then you agonize over your favorite players’ contracts ending. So I thought to myself, what would a news report within the Magic community look like, if Magic was more like the NBA where players try to build championships, or the NHL, where managers have to fight against the salary cap. Here’s what I think that report would look like. This is partly satirical and partly a look at what Magic could be. None of the real people quoted in this article actually provided any quotes. This is a work of fiction based on one single Tweet:


With Pro Tour Hour of Devastation on the horizon all eyes are on the chase for the Rosewater Cup as the Mountain Dew Pro Magic Series concludes in Kyoto, Japan. Shocking news rocked fans of the Santa Clara CFB Ice, currently in 8th place in the series standings, when longtime team member Eric “Efro” Froehlich announced via Twitter that he would not be re-signing with the Ice next season, putting to rest weeks of speculation about the team’s future.

Froehlich is coming off of an 8th place finish at the last event in the series and is likely looking to cash in big with a small-market team that can afford to fit the Hall of Famer under its salary cap for the upcoming season. It’s no secret that the CFB Ice are facing major financial constraints with the recent extension signed by team captain Paulo Vitor Damo da Rosa.

Reached for comment while training for the final event of the season, da Rosa remarked that, “We’re not going to let this affect our preparations for Kyoto. We have to be on top of our game to compete for the Rosewater Cup and I’m confident that Efro is going to be at his very best.”

The CFB Ice and CFB Fire have long been regarded as two of the most dominant teams in the sport, having come very close to dynasty-status since the birth of the Mountain Dew Series. However, with recent announcements from Wizards of the Coast that the salary cap for the 2017-18 season would be shrinking due to issues with the new diamond-carbon-poly-fiber card-stock used to print cards, team managers are struggling to keep their star players signed.

Last week the Toronto Face to Face were the first club to lose a star to the salary cap when they traded away Jacob Wilson in his prime to the Massachusetts Card Hoarders in exchange for Joe Lossett and the Hoarders’ third-round picks in each of the next two entry drafts. Wilson, whose contract is set to expire at the end of next season, has had a disappointing year but is still regarded as a highly valuable player with a long career ahead of him. Lossett on the other hand is likely to retire at the end of his current contract.

There has been much speculation that Massachusetts will make a play to sign Froehlich, which would be a major coup for the perennial lottery team.  The Card Hoarders have never been a club that spent to the salary cap, but recent changes to Magic Digital Next have resulted in an unexpected windfall for the ownership group behind the Worcester-based team. It looks like they’re finally willing to spend to the limit in the coming season, and Froehlich whose own career could be in its twilight might be looking for one last big contract before retirement.

Nathaniel Buckley-Wright, general manager for the Card Hoarders, has been coy on the issue, saying that “Froehlich is one of the premier players in this league and any team would be happy to have a player that talented on their club. Obviously we can’t negotiate with Froehlich until his contract is up with Santa Cruz at the end of the season, but you can rest assured we will be looking to spend big in free agency this off-season.”

Froehlich, a dual-sport athlete, has not been without controversy in his career having had several high-profile fallings-out with past teammates in Santa Cruz. It’s possible this could affect his market value, driving him to a smaller market where he can compete away from the spotlight directed at the star-studded teams he’s been a part of in the past.

If Massachusetts is looking to spend big in free agency though, Froehlich could be the veteran leader to take a group of younger pros like Jacob Wilson to the franchise’s first Rosewater Cup appearance.

Regardless of the outcome, after Kyoto it looks like Efro’s time as a CFB Ice will be coming to a close.

What We Learned is a weekly feature here at Hipsters of the Coast written by former amateur Magic Player Rich Stein, who came really close to making day two of a Grand Prix on several occasions. Each week we will take a look at the past seven days of major events, big news items, and community happenings so that you can keep up-to-date on all the latest and greatest Magic: the Gathering community news.

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