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About top-shelf-1

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  1. Or, the Canes have never had this much talent that they're going to have to pay, pretty much all at once. Budgeting is complex. There's a difference between paying someone and paying someone stupid money. IMO, paying Aho like he's already McJesus--he isn't--would be stupid at this stage. He's 21 and tiny. His heart is huge, he has the best hockey head of anybody on the team, and he wants to win, but all that--and $5--will get you a tall Frappucino. After he's got two more years of the grind under his belt, 20 more pounds of muscle on his frame, and has proven he can be what we need him to be year in and year out? Fine, let's get stupid. Paying Mraz like a #1 when he has never been anything like one, and when the league-wide trend is increasingly toward having two good keepers instead of a Lundqvist and a prayer? Also stupid. I'm surprised at how quickly many of us seem to have forgotten that this is a mid-market (at best) franchise. It can't count on gate to float the boat. If we start throwing money around like Edmonton, we'll guarantee that we're approximately as successful as Edmonton. If, on the other hand, we plan carefully and make sure guys are all in and structure contracts with the longer-term obligations coming in mind (Svech, Ned, Geekie, maybe Necas), we'll have the talent--and the money to pay it--to ensure being very good for a very long time.
  2. If recent history is any indication, they were gone the moment they decided to test the market. With the (inexplicable) exception of PDG, guys who have done so recently, or even balked at our best offer, are dead to us (i.e., Lindholm, Noah). I don't see it as devastating. For years owners have been talking tough, backing down, and ultimately rolling over. I'm glad we have one who places a priority on building something and seeing it through. Thanks for your service, and don't let the door hit you in the @$$, McE and Petr...
  3. Which is fine, too. But if we've been wanting to sign him to a long-term deal since November and it hasn't happened yet, what do you think the problem is? Maybe it's one of the things you list: Or maybe it's one of two things that you don't: NMC/NTC. Four years into his new deal, Aho is eligible for either one. Annnnnd... another argument for a bridge deal. Give him a three-year deal at the money he wants now, and a written guarantee of re-opening/extending after the second year, and it seems to me both sides get what they need now without in any way limiting their ability to get what they want later. Call me a belt-and-suspenders guy, but if we learned nothing from the Eric and Cam years, surely we learned this much?
  4. Living in the best climate in the world doesn't hurt either.
  5. Y'all seem to have serious problems with reading comprehension.
  6. Oh, I see: "It's the way she goes." Except that he's an RFA, not an FA. Which makes all the difference. Nobody can pay him unless we let them. Plus, I didn't say don't pay him like he's the best player on the team. He is, and at 6.5 million or 7, we'd be paying him like it. All I'm saying is bridging makes a lot more sense than paying him like he's among the best in the LEAGUE until you know he'll get there. Gadreau, who had 99 points last year, signed at 6.5 per year for six years... when he turned 23. Making guys who enter the league early wait 'til they're 23 to get their payoff deals sounds like common sense to me, and it used to be a lot more common, as the article I linked to points out. I have to laugh when owners lock players out complaining that salaries are "out of control!!"--as if they had nothing to do with it.
  7. JR "I Have Zero Clue Whatsoever" strikes again. This is one of those "perish the thought" things, but no matter how I try to ignore it, it keeps coming up: I'm a little concerned (emphasis on a little) that SeaBass might not be built for #1C in this league for the long haul. Now again, I emphasize a little. It was the kid's third year, and it was a (so far in his young) career year. I think we all know, too, that the knee-knee with Nino--well, something happened after that. If all that's not enough, it was also more games than he's ever played in a year; he was slotted into the role we envision him filling; and (up until that collision), he was ABSOLUTELY doing it. Football, basketball, UFC--none of them make the physical demands that 82 games and then up to 28 more, each of which is harder the last, make on a body. So I am chalking this (again!) SMALL concern up to the fact that this was Aho's first experience with that full continuum, and that he's still a kid in terms of his physique; he just doesn't have full-grown-man proportions yet, and I think over the next two years he'll get them. Plus, of every Cane, even at this early stage of his career, he's clearly the hockey-smartest, most driven, and most determined to do whatever he is asked and (more important) whatever HE thinks is necessary to become one of the all-time greats of the game. It is more than obvious that is what drives him. The question is, are we confident enough that will happen to pay him like he already is? It's easy to say yes when it's not my money, but when I put myself in TD's/DW's/RB's place, that question gets a lot more real. In a perfect world, you give the kid a fair bridge deal; three years at, say, $6.5 or $7 million, maybe with a guarantee (read: carrot) of renegotiation of the third year at the end of the second. He'd be the highest-paid center on the team, yet that kind of deal would acknowledge that he still has a hurdle or two to clear. Skills-wise he absolutely can be the #1 center who leads us to the promised land. He just needs the man-body to withstand the punishment of a potentially 100-plus game campaign, something few 21-year-olds have. But these next two to three years will tell the tale. If he doesn't fill out and you pay him #1 center money now, well... do you just write it off to experience? Pretty expensive. In the two years of Eric Staal's bridge deal, he put up 70 and 82 points. But for the strike-shortened 48-game season, that was the last time he attained full point-per-game status. Then we signed him to stupid money because Jim Rutherford--despite his having to know, under that owner, that we'd never pay supporting players what was necessary to keep them, and have the team cohesion necessary to build a winner. Now the situation is different. Even if Aho topped out as an overpaid #2, the owner is younger, richer, and likely to only get richer--so he'd be able to pay a bonafide #1, if it turned out Aho isn't it. Plus, he's already paying some (and will be signing and paying more) supporting guys to long-term deals. So in terms of financial strategy and recognizing that a goalie and a center is not a core, this is a very different org. All of this (and I am sorry for the length) is to say that if Aho insists on his payday deal now, I think you have to do it. But in the next CBA, I'd sure like to see a requirement of at least a two-year bridge deal between the ELC and long-term deal of any player who joins the league before his 20th birthday. If you (really??) want to read (still) more on this topic (then again, it is the off-season...), there's a nice, comprehensive piece on it here.
  8. more to the point, could he be any worse?
  9. This. I could see him staying as HC in CLT, or taking the reins of scouting; MacDonald is 72. Vellucci's longevity with the org (drafted by the Whale in '87, and with us ever since) suggests he's very happy here, plus there's the whole "devil you know" thing. As a guy who has been through the bad times, he's gotta be loving what's happening now, and relishing the big factor he's played in it. Plus, scouts get their name on the Cup...
  10. Well I'll just jump in here with both feet and ask what "awful actions" you're referring to. Forgive me if the answer is buried somewhere in this thread after your pre-series promise, but I wasn't about to go back through the whole thing to find it. And, if it's just about some of our Chex perhaps getting too rough, in your opinion, with some of your Wolves--well, that's hockey, baby. Maybe you need to write their NHL affiliate a letter, and tell it to draft guys who can close the deal.
  11. Hockey's back in NC. And not a moment too soon. Thank you Tom Dundon, Mike Velucci, DW, Roddy--and yes, you too, Ronnie.
  12. Like I said, Chex in 5... er...
  13. I'd be real curious to know if Roddy is attending or at least watching these games. Gotta think so.
  14. Well said, and I honestly think (and hope) that McKeown gets a deal with us. He has a history of winning and of leadership, and IMO has only scratched the surface of what he could eventually become. He reminds me a lot of Tyler Myers.
  15. Thanks for the intel on Tokarski. I'm pretty sure I've never seen him play. I agree that Darling has been the worst keeper in terms of fundamentals this team has ever iced. I really think that once he got his deal he lost all interest in proving he was worth it, and his tweet in reply to a fan who criticized his play, "I'm an NHL goalie and you're not" or something to that effect, supports that conclusion. All of that being said, his recklessness in the crease and in that exchange are what lead to wonder if he's fallen off the wagon. I hope not, but if so, regardless what happens in his professional life, I hope he can climb back on and find peace.
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