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  1. Depending on how it pans out, the practice can certainly put salary limited teams - like the Canes - at a disadvantage. A disadvantage the Cap is intended to address. The issue is more the structure of the contracts than the length. And if the players play out their contracts, and stay with the team that signed them to those contracts, then there is no problem. The cap hit will eventually equal the salary hit. A fluctuation much like, though on a larger scale, that the Canes experience with the cap hit being higher this year than salary, but with the reverse being true next year. While there is some risk involved, teams with deep pockets can take this risk. Although this puts them at an advantage, since some teams simply cannot afford to take that risk, it is not the real problem. Because of the structure of the contract, the problem comes about if the player does not play out the contract. In this case, using JLP's example, if Luongo retires at the end of the 8th year of the contract, when he will be 38 years old (and there was only 1 goalie older than that playing in the NHL last season), the contract will have paid out 57 million over 8 years. An 8 year, 57 million contract would have had a cap hit of 7.125, versus the cap hit of 5.333 that the longer contract has. This gives the team an additional 1.792 to spend on salary over those 8 years - effectively circumventing the cap. To make it more concrete, look at this year signings, and see what the Canes could have done instead, if they had that "extra" to spend: Replace Cole with someone who could be brought in for: 4.7/year for 2 years or replace Jokinen or LaRose with someone who could be brought in for: 3.5/year for 2 years or replace Alberts with someone who could be brought in for: 2.8/year for 2 years or replace Kostopoulos with someone who could be brought in for: 2.7/year for 3 years or replace Yelle with someone who could be brought in for: 2.3 for a year And understand that you would have that type of "upgrade" for the next 8 years. And then consider there might be more than one of these types of contracts in effect.
  2. A Boston Radio station did an interview with Aaron Ward Monday, which is available here (starting about 2/3 through the show): http://www.wbcn.com/topic/play_window.php?...audioId=3904502 He discusses a number of things, some already covered in other interviews, and some probably more of interest to a Bostion audience, but none-the-less it's a good listen. He also discussed the situation with Walker, which may be of interest (please forgive any transcription errors):
  3. But wouldn't a buyout have required 300k each, for two years, as hockeybuzz indicates? That doesn't sound like what they did, since they gave him 850k spread over three years.
  4. Was he ever officially bought out? I know there were issues with doing that, because of the injury. I thought they worked it out so they could buy him out, but I'm not sure. nhlnumbers has never changed their page to reflect a buyout, so I was thinking maybe I remembered wrong. Checking on-line, I found this (http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1259569.html''>http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1259569.html' target="_blank">http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1259569.html[/post]): So it looks like maybe it wasn't really officially a buy-out, so maybe the cap hit didn't change from his original contract?
  5. Ah, well I said I only looked at the 20 players - meaning I completely forgot to include Hamilton's buyout. So it's even less, as you've put here.
  6. Something I noticed is that, with the structure of many of the contracts, the 'Canes are actually not that far from the cap. A good chunk of this is due to Staal's contract (cap hit is 2.25 over salary), but there are many players in a similar situation: Ruutu (+.8), Brind'Amour (+.6), Gleason and Alberts (+.25 each), Kosopoulos (+.217), Jokinen and LaRose (+0.2 each), Cole (+.1), Cullen (+.075) and Samsonov (+.033). There are only a couple of players in the reverse situation: Corvo (-.125) and Cam (-.833). The net of all that is that the cap hit is more than 4 million over what the salary is. If I did my math right (and there's certainly no guarantee of that), counting just the core 20 players and adjusted for Kaberle's buyout, there is just over 3.3 cap space available. That would seem to limit the options, especially when considering the discussion a while back regarding revenue-sharing implications of the cap hit (which I admit I'm still not all that clear on). Interestingly (well, if you find such things interesting, I guess) and probably not coincidentally, next year - when the cap goes down - will be somewhat reversed. Of the contracts already on the books, only two players will have higher cap hits than salaries: Staal (+.75) and Brind'Amour (+.6). Many will be lower: Pitkinen (-.5), Samsonov (-.267), Gleason and Alberts (-.25 each), Ruutu, Jokinan and LaRose (-.2 each), Cole (-.1), and Kostopoulos (-.033). While not as dramatic a difference (cap of .65 less than salary), it would seem to be advantageous when the cap goes down, especially if the internal salary doesn't need to go down as much. (And when there will be the re-signing of Cam to consider.)
  7. Maybe because his daughter went to three different schools last year? It probably wasn't a "big" contract, just more than JR's offer on the table. As long as the difference wasn't ridiculous, then it might simply not have been worth it to go somewhere new and hope it would work out well when he knows he, and his family, are happy here. Especially if JR was willing to increase his offer a little. Certainly, I don't know that there was another team, I'm just going by what JR said, since I don't have any reason to doubt him, or to think the agent was lying to him: (At 6:25 here: http://www.wralsportsfan.com/999thefan/audio/5492644/)' target="_blank">http://www.wralsportsfan.com/999thefan/audio/5492644/)[/post] Now, it is possible they asked for more to stay with the Hurricane's than the other team offered, but I have a hard time imagining that JR's "and the deal was done" would have followed that kind of an offer. (And they could have asked for the same, but it didn't sound like it to me from the way JR said it.) True. And I'm glad both will be back.
  8. Glad they avoided arbitration, and worked out a three year deal. As much as he improved over the last year, I have a feeling he will just continue to get better - and it looks like JR feels the same way. That wasn't my impression of the situation. From JR's comments after Cole was re-signed, Cole's agent came to him two hours into Free Agency with an offer in-hand, told JR what it would take to keep Cole here, and JR agreed to the proposed numbers. I think it's a reasonable assumption that the numbers the agent proposed were higher than what was originally offered by JR, but less than the offer made by the other team - otherwise it's a rather odd bargaining technique. I suspect a similar strategy was used by LaRose's agent, though over a longer period of time. That said, I don't see Cole being all that concerned about what other players are making. Although if it gives him something to prove...
  9. I guess I'll wait until everything plays out, but I'm not really liking the direction this is going. Just not really the kind of "character" I appreciate, from what I've seen... I'll be sorry to see whoever ends up leaving go.
  10. During the play-offs, one of the announcers mentioned a chant the opposing team (NJ?) does - "kill...kill...kill.." during the penalty kill. I don't re-call hearing it (were there any penalties actually called during the play-offs?), but I imagine that could be pretty impressive. Of course, it could be changed to "kill it", or even "squish it" (in honor of our southern vernacular(?)), to be a tad original. While "squish it" might not be that intimidating, it could be distracting to the opponent. ("What are they saying?" and "Okay, but what does it mean?") Being brave, one could use "shorty" instead, but that would seem to invite bad things... However, a chant of "shooooor-teeeeee" (along the same lines as "aiiiir-ballll") after scoring a shorty might be fun. Of course, it would become more fun the more often it could be used. I had thought that something fun would be to have a chant special for the Valentines game along the lines of "We love you <name>, oh yes we do. We love you <name>. You Rock!" That might take a bit more coordination to get it going, but once people learn it, then someone just needs to start the first line (and pick the player to heap the "love" on) for everyone to jump in.
  11. For what it's worth, the link rmilano posted refers to the 50 million as the "team budget", and compares it to the "committed payroll". Although then I would wonder how players in Albany under two-way contracts factor in - if it comes from the same budget, and what numbers are used (NHL or AHL)? Also, as for Tanabe's cap/budget hit, I don't think nhlnumbers ever changed his listing to reflect that he was bought out, although I thought that's what eventually happened. Perhaps I am remembering wrong. I know the buyout was contested, but I thought it eventually went through, or maybe there was some sort of settlement?
  12. Unfortunately, at least from my understanding, the CBA only allows incentive clauses in three cases, none of which Cole is qualified for: 1) Entry level contracts 2) 1 year contracts with players 35 years old or older 3) 1 year contracts with players who have been injured (spent 100+ days on IR in the previous year, or something like that.) On the radio yesterday there was a discussion on how the economy was affecting signing players in the NBA. I don't remember who was discussing it, but the comment was made that while the "big time" players weren't likely to be affected, players who would be expecting to get contracts in the $4 - 5 million range would instead be getting offers in the $2 - 2.5 range. If that is where NBA GMs heads are, then perhaps NHL GMs have that same mind-set, so it could make things a little difficult all the way around. I don't have enough knowledge to judge the contracts that have been signed across the NHL so far to know if that is actually being seen, though. While you can argue that Jokinen had a rough season last year, he took a 20% pay cut for next year (with the following year showing just a 2% increase) - and it apparently took 4 weeks of negotiation to get there. I don't know how much of that is due to his performance last season, how much is his willingness to accept what he has to in order to stay, and how much is concern about the economy, but that seems a pretty significant pay cut.
  13. Yes, the author of the Free Press article thinks he could be targeted - for the fourth line. But the question the linked article seems to be raising is whether Detroit is willing going to pay him $2.5 million for fourth line, or at that price, would they still be interested? And I wonder if would Detroit pay him any more than the 'Canes will offer, if the spot they would have for him would be on the fourth line? I have a hard time seeing LaRose giving Detroit a discount, while expecting to have less ice time there. If the Free Press article is wrong, and they would consider him for more than fourth line, then the money may make more sense, but that's not what it said. It looks like the Free Press article just looked at what he made this past season, how well he played, and thought Detroit should take a look at him at that price - not considering he isn't likely to sign now at that same price.
  14. For anyone who didn't hear it, Cole was on 850 yesterday, and discussed a range of things (from the "handshake controversy" to Aaron Ward to the Yankees), as well as the status with contract talks. Regarding that, he said he hopes things are worked out before July 1, but if not, it doesn't "close the door" on coming back here, it just may take more time to get it done. The next meeting is apparently this weekend, so I guess no news until then. The interview is available here: http://www.850thebuzz.com/blog/
  15. Isn't the linked article (blog?) regarding LaRose and Detroit actually explaining why the players (including LaRose) listed by the Detroit Free Press as potential "targets" aren't likely to end up in Detroit? The premise seems to be that the Free Press list ignored what the players would be able to demand: "But the problem involving almost every player listed is simple: they've had the kinds of seasons which merit $2-3 million salaries for grinding players in early July." The Detroit Free Press includes LaRose, with this description: Winger Chad LaRose, who brought the Stanley Cup to his hometown of Fraser in 2006, would be a good addition to the Wings' fourth line. He has nice dashes of grit and scoring touch. The article seems to be saying that he may be able to get $2.5 million plus from someone, but it's unlikely to be Detroit - especially to fill a cheap fourth-line grinder role, which is basically where the Free Press pegs him.
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