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Everything posted by top-shelf-1

  1. Yeah, he gives new meaning to the word "stud." First ballot HOFer if anybody is.
  2. Absolutely, and if the NHLPA is smart, the next thing it'll do is push for scale contracts like in the NBA, where the amounts rookies are eligible to make are tied to draft position--though it still wouldn't have helped SeaBass.
  3. JW tore both an ACL and MCL on the same play in Philly. He tore both again, in the same leg (left), with us the second year after the Cup win (2007-08). Both times he returned weeks ahead of the typical rehab window. In early April of 2008 he left with a back injury, but was fine after the off-season--until tearing his achilles tendon in an off-ice, pre-season workout prior to the start of the 08-09 season. He came back from that one sooner than the normal rehab window too--only to have his hand broken by a slapper off his own teammate's stick. More recently there was his cheekbone goal. And you STILL can't keep him out of the slot.
  4. It made neither side look bad to me. Neither would budge and both exercised rights that their parent orgs (Owners and NHLPA) mutually agreed to. Question Aho's loyalty if you want, but greed is a stretch. I choose to believe that when the puck drops, these guys are professionals who want to make as much as they can at work--just like you and me. If anything Aho has only put further pressure on himself to perform, and not just for his next deal, but to quiet all those looking for something to wring their hands over in the off-season. Like you.
  5. I guess we read different statements. He knew he had limited options and he exercised them, and he said so. Trying to "blame" the agent or Aho--when there is nothing to blame them for--what's the point? I get that a lot of guys think the players rule the roost and don't like it. I'm one of those who know they do and love it. As others have posted, owners' profits have increased at levels exponential to players' rewards. Fans who don't like that players are only trying to get some equivalency would change their tune after exactly one game pitting owners and trainers against GMs and PR people.
  6. I agree on both points, yikes and really liking his game. But I think of the yikes more generally, i.e., in the bigger scheme of were NHL pay is going in general. I think this is the last year we'll be in the low 80s and that we may see 90M by 2025, maybe sooner. As recently as 20 years ago the huge majority of NHL players were still Canadians who were largely brought up in a system that only rewarded stardom, not specialization. Those days are gone. Not only has Canada lost control of the pay ethos, it is no longer the only system producing bonafide talent--both superstars and specialists. Last year's Canes' success was a textbook example of the need to have really good players on every line and pairing. I hate to pick on Necas, but his deficiencies were absolutely glaring, despite looking to many scouts like he was shoo-in for making the NHL when playing at his prior level. The quality of play in this league is off the charts and only increasing, and I wouldn't be surprised if the days of the $1 million-dollar-a-year 5-6 dman are very soon gone, never to return.
  7. Yup, don't want to go down Recycling Players Road to anywhere the extent that JR did, but he'd be a guy I'd take back. Since he's 27, there's enough of a window that maybe he'd finish up here, if it made sense--i.e., if the next next wave (the wave after Necas/Geekie) is a little lacking bottom-six wise.
  8. Yup, that and SeaBass and TT getting on the kill were huge.
  9. Well, and pay the players more in line with what they should be paid. I'd love to see Durant or LeBron do what they do on skates.
  10. Who knows is right, but if you take that comment at face value, all it really says is, "Those guys are clueless." Which is not exactly the league's best-kept secret.
  11. I'm finding no such comment from TD, only that DW said Montreal "got played" by Aho's agent, which is absolutely true. But that doesn't mean the Canes are unhappy about it. Until someone can provide even one plausible business/cap-related reason that the Canes should be unhappy with this result, I'll continue to believe that the Canes are elated. The whole Aho loyalty argument is BS, because owners haven't been loyal to players--well, ever. Further, I think it's very likely the Canes stuck to their eight-years-or-bust guns specifically in hopes that some other team would do all the work of negotiating a shorter deal, and they'd reap the benefits, which are many, and which I've previously detailed. But there's one I've left out: They made Aho put his money where his mouth is, in terms wanting only a five-year deal. The door is now absolutely closed to him ever claiming he wanted a longer-term deal.
  12. Not if he's a smart businessman, and there's plenty of sample size showing he is. There is equally ample proof that Montreal hasn't had anyone with a business head for a long, long time. I've posted this once, but it bears repeating: The Canes realized they couldn't go wrong by offering Aho max term, so they did, and maintained all along that they'd be fine if the negotiations had to go all summer. In terms of both the public and organizational messages, that is exactly the right thing to say; nobody can accuse them of being cheap or unwilling to commit; the worst folks could say was they wanted to get the best deal possible. But when Montreal bit, I'd wager it was not anger flowing, but champagne: The strategy worked. Instead of being hog tied to a kid who may or may not withstand the rigors of NHL hockey long-term, the org now has an escape hatch. And the same opportunity as every other team in the league, assuming SeaBass survives and thrives, to commit to him again when this deal is done. PLUS, we get the benefit of a lower cap hit on him at the exact time we'll be needing to sign more promising players who are coming off their ELCs. TD has every reason to be elated and not one thing to be upset about. By playing his cards exactly right, he got the org exactly what it needed.
  13. You're rewriting facts. Inaccurately. DW and TD have never expressed ire toward Montreal. Indeed, DW said he was happy because he'll now have a good summer. Aho and his agent not negotiating in good faith? What proof do you have of that? Unless you call digging in for what you want not negotiating in good faith? If so, be careful, because if that's your standard, the Canes also met it. All that happened here is that both sides refused to budge: The Canes wanted eight years of Aho, and Aho wanted five, so he'd have another bite at the apple--which is completely within his rights. So when it became clear to Aho's side that the Canes weren't going to budge, they took the action they needed to take to prove they were serious. Unless you still think players are property--which they are not--your assessment is straight-up wrong.
  14. cc, this one's for you. He had a full life: https://apnews.com/9df2f613e90d4bae9cd5adf3dbf5d2c9
  15. Beating a dead horse, I know, but it also makes tremendous sense from the Canes' perspective. What if Svech turns out to be Aho x3?
  16. I'll just add one thought, as far as the concerns about Aho's loyalty. It is entirely possible that Aho's agent called around to see if any GM would do an offer sheet and when Montreal bit he went to SeaBass and asked whether he'd sign it, purely to get the Canes' off their duffs regarding eight years.
  17. Just calling the players the inmates--when without them there'd be no game--indicates to me that we'll never agree on this. But thanks for sharing your POV, and I'll reciprocate. Everything Aho did was within the rules--rules the owners have mutually agreed to. Nobody held a gun to their heads to get them to sign off on the last CBA, and they're the ones responsible for players' distrust of them in the first place, thanks to years of treating players like property instead of like what they are, and what every employee is: a person, with talents and needs and a life outside of work. The NHLPA is a union. Unions form for one reason: labor practices which employees find unfair. Before Curt Flood, players had no leverage at all. They literally were property. Now they do--and they have every right to use it, a right that was hard won. Aho wanted a shorter-term deal than the Canes would offer, so he went out and, completely within the rules, did what he had to do to get what he wanted. Until owners wake up and realize that without the players there are no games--something they apparently forget every decade or so, when they lock players out of their arenas--players will be more than happy to keep reminding them. Further, both our owner and GM are fine with how this played out, as they should be. Shorter deals=more options. Both sides win.
  18. Or, we got the owner with deep pockets and the will to go into them at the exact time agent tactics required it. I shudder to even consider how this would have played out under JR/PK. I have no ill will toward Aho or any player who tries to get all they can. That's their job/dream. Waddell neatly summer up the org's job: We might differ on this, Ky, but I think the org knew exactly what it was doing. When that idiot Dreger suggested somebody offer him eight years at 10.8, I said no team in hockey would be dumb enough. It would have basically weaponized the offer sheet process and divided the league's GMs so completely that good-faith negotiations on anything would be out the window for a very long time. So, while many fans were wringing their hands that Aho had not yet been signed, the org knew that, with Aho an RFA, it held all the cards and just had to wait him out. I have no ill will toward the Habs at all; they actually helped us out. None toward Aho either. This is the future; teams have not had loyalty to players for a very long time, and players are essentially adapting their negotiation tactics to fit that reality. I think Bergevin will get an earful from other GMs at their next confab, but we should send him candy and flowers. Thanks to him, we got a shorter commitment but one long enough to figure out if this kid's our future, and if not, to give us an escape hatch. Meanwhile, we got to say we wanted him for eight, removing any possibility that his agent could claim we weren't serious/weren't willing to max him. But he wanted the shorter deal to keep his options open, and I'd bet Waddell did too. So Aho went out and found somebody (dumb enough to) offer him what he wanted. From the org's perspective, the Habs did all the work and we got the benefit. And everybody's happy. Works for me.
  19. For one thing, they never know when they'll be traded or locked out (the current CBA expires after 20-21) since owners/GMs are fickle things. So players want to make as much money as possible as soon as possible, and a front-loaded deal like this one certainly achieves that (although the tax hit is ridiculous). Plus, shorter deals give players added bites at the FA apple within their careers; if their current team is on a downward trend when their deal comes due, they can potentially move to one with a better shot at a championship while still able to make a significant contribution--and be paid handsomely (again) for doing so. Owners, meanwhile, would prefer to pay a guy like Aho now for eight years, then sign him to a reduced (or declining) contract as he begins to age out of the league, because owners love certainty, i.e., knowing their fixed costs, for as long as possible. But if they were smart, they'd embrace the options that shorter deals like this one offer. The Canes just potentially saved money, if Aho falters, has injury issues (heaven forbid), etc., versus the cost of an eight-year deal. And as Coastal noted, since the deal is front-loaded, the Canes' payroll will drop just as the next wave of talent is coming out of their ELCs. Deals like this are essentially a hybrid of what used to be called bridge deals, i.e., a bridge to the payoff deal (when the player had fully matured). They were typically valued between an ELC and the big payday, and the term was typically three years, so the team could be sure their clearly skilled but still skinny kid would fill out into the adult stud they hoped for. If not, they'd move him. This deal and Matthews' and even Gaudreau's (last year) are the agents' counter to that. They essentially extend the "bridge" by a couple of years and get their clients mature moolah to boot, plus (when they're super young, like SeaBass) a chance to earn that kind of money for 10 or 12 years instead of eight. Still, I think this approach gives both sides value, plus they potentially expose great players to more than one fan base during their careers, which can only be good for the game. The owners may not like prefer them, but they're essentially reaping what they've sown: They have no loyalty to individual players, so why should the players have loyalty to them?
  20. Waddell is actually on the record saying he's in no hurry to "make a decision." All over Quebec, panties are in a wad...
  21. Your original post sounded more like we were the desperate ones. Sorry if I misunderstood.
  22. I read there was a trade protection piece. He'd be eligible in the fifth year if true, I believe (you need seven years of service).
  23. That's not perspective, it's comparing apples and oranges. Had he been patient, Aho could have signed with us at the same money for eight years, and had an NTC for the last four years of the deal. Instead he's only gonna get five--and one year of NTC. Waddell's comment was priceless: "This means I'm going to have a good summer. I won't be spending it negotiating a contract." In the end it worked out for both sides. Aho got what he wanted (RIGHT FREAKIN' NOW, apparently), and the org got what it needed: a bridge deal, at the end of which it'll have the sample size necessary to decide if it wants to stick with him or change horses--to, say, Svechnikov. Or Geekie. Or Goat, or Necas. When you're as loaded as we are now, committing to a 21-year-old kid full term is beyond foolish. It closes doors. Today's events keep our options open. I want to send Les Habs les fleurs in appreciation.
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