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Everything posted by top-shelf-1

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. Waddell is actually on the record saying he's in no hurry to "make a decision." All over Quebec, panties are in a wad...
  6. Your original post sounded more like we were the desperate ones. Sorry if I misunderstood.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. Not even close. Mraz thought he had proven he was worth 1A money, which no goalie with his history and game count is. Talk to me when you've started 60 games in one season--and dominated. As others have pointed out, the fact that we're paying another guy of the same ilk MORE further proves that Mraz's little "test" of the FA market was a failure. Once we signed Reimer, we weren't the desperate ones. Petr was. In other news, Florida today signed Bobrovsky its own death warrant.
  10. I'm tickled that we're not committing to SeaBass for eight years at this stage of his career. If he can can handle the grind for the next four years, re-up him with a year left in this deal (he'll be 25) and pay him like the man we can then be sure he is. If not, head 'em up, move 'em out. Would be happier if we were paying him on a par with Gaudreau, but Les Cluelessness screwed that pooch for us. Which is awesome in a twisted kinda way: A bluff was the best play the most storied franchise in hockey's long history could muster. I freakin' love it.
  11. No it doesn't. It sends the message that we only pay top-10 guys top-10 money when they've actually attained that level. Which Aho has not. Plus, he is still a kid.
  12. Let alone fund treatment. Meanwhile, we can blow up the world many times over. Absolutely shameful.
  13. We loved that too. Mrs. Shelf is in MH too. Robin's praise in the Athletic for Lou and the Isles does make his treatment surprising. That said, we don't know what he's asking for.
  14. Stranger things have happened. Every year after the season ends there are serviceable goalies available. This year some are more than that. If he can finally hold an NHL crease with a guy like Reimer backing him up, Mraz could be one of them, and that'd be awesome. But if Mraz leaves, the move keeps other possibilities open. We may have just created enough space to sign Aho, and pick up a pretty "quick" keeper who won a couple of Cups with our Captain. Though his cap charge is 5.8 million for each of the last four years of his deal, his salary ($7 million this year), drops dramatically the rest of the way, to 3.5, 3, and 2.5. Pure speculation of course, but what a great guy for Ned, Helvig, and Booth to study with.
  15. Well, it worked out last year. Martinook.
  16. It doesn't matter what we do with him, he has waaaaay more value to us than Darling. Decent numbers last year in 39 games, and career 2.81 and .913. Non-contact injury in late February, played one more game and got shelled, allowing 3 goals on nine shots before getting pulled in the first. Looks like he's the new Mac. If we can't sign Petr or an FA, he could be the new Petr. Sign Petr or an FA and Ned likely gets another year in CLT--or, we flip Reimer, who is under contract for two more years at 3.4 million. Smart move.
  17. Exactly. We're not cheap--we're poor, thanks to HWSNBN and AHWSNBN. That's put us in the position of having to thread a needle this season. But I'm not as pessimistic as some here. In addition to TT, Haula, and Nino, we've got Svech, Goat, Kouk, and Geekie (all are under their ELC deals through 20-21). (I haven't included Necas, whose deal runs through 21-22, because I think he'll need another full year in the A to be ready.) With Marty already under contract and able to slot into the top nine, Goat or Kouk would fit nicely on the fourth. By the time their ELCs expire, our buyouts of the above-referenced SNBNs do too. Plus the conditional pick we got for Marleau gives us the option of re-stocking the cupboard or packaging that pick for a move in the meantime, depending on what we end up paying for goaltending. That is clearly the focus right now. Petr may be back, and I'd be okay with that, but we're obviously holding off on Aho's deal until we know for sure, because if a Bobs or a Lehner is a possibility, we're suddenly less reliant on the (modicum of) offense Faulk provides. We could move him for a smaller return than we might otherwise want, but get enough space to pay both a proven 1A and SeaBass. Despite the buyouts. And once those come off the books... mo money, mo money, mo money...
  18. Because...?? I loved Vellucci's dedication to the org, and that when he left, he went out on top. Clearly he liked his old boss better, and though I didn't read the piece you linked, I'll bet JR overpaid him--because that's JR's MO, as sure as the Next Big Move in Pittsburgh will be: blaming the coach. If the Pens don't charge out of the gate next season, Sullivan will be gone and Vellucci will be the "Calder Cup winning coach who has paid his dues" who replaces him. JR is all about appearances: the sizzle, not the steak. I love that our new owner likes his medium rare. It means the org doesn't get burned. If the message that sends throughout the NHL is that Carolina makes you work for what you get and doesn't wrap your steak in bacon once it has a little success, I'm down (I could stretch the analogy even further--I just don't want to). Because that message will speak to and attract hungry people (oh yes I did!!) with strong work ethics.
  19. You've actually watched hockey, right? This team, even? Once or twice anyway? It always matters if you get crap goaltending.
  20. Was it Dreger who said Faulk was headed to Washington for Priskie's rights? Regardless, I just don't get the whole "TD won't spend money" thing. That was true a year ago, while he found his feet in this business, and good on him for his moderation: It got him a finalist for GM of the year and confirmation that Roddy was the right choice for HC (and I was one of the loudest doubters on the latter here). If we're gonna have a hands-on owner, I want one who knows how to judge his managers' abilities and who considers the full arc of player's careers. Then there's the fact that Dreger is just an idiot. There is no team in hockey that's going to take that bet, because if you lose it (which in this case would mean Dundon calls your bluff, and you have to sign him) you've just lost 11 million in cap (read: options) for every one of the next eight years. If Aho cannot stand the demands of this league for the long haul, you lose twice. That Dreger is stupid enough to suggest it won't make one NHL team dumb enough to chance it. So what could happen? This is pure speculation, but stay with me. Let's say Aho won't take less than $8.5 million on an 8-year deal--$64 million. So offer him 7 million for 6 years (42 million), with a gentlemen's agreement: If he grows into what we believe he will, we'll do another 6 years at $9 million a year (54 million more, a 12-year total of $96 million). He'd be 27. The overpayment in the latter years of the second deal would hopefully be as in appreciation for the Cup(s?) he's brought us as much as for helping us work within the constraints that small-market teams must if they want to survive. On top of that, Aho would make more sooner over the 12 years of that kind of deal than he would make at what would certainly be the less than 8 million a year he'd get when his 8-year deal ends and he's staring down 30. For our part, we'd help re-establish the idea that it's fiscally imprudent to give men their payoff deals BEFORE THEY ARE MEN. If we were trying to sign Laine, I'd have a totally different opinion. At 21, he already is a man, in purely hockey terms. At the same age, however, Aho is not.
  21. Like I said, summer. And anything but dead air (or an empty Twitter feed) is acceptable. So you go to the lake house, and between casts, post whatever springs to mind.
  22. It's a long summer, and dead air don't sell.
  23. Agree. Whether we pay him like Gaudreau or not, I could see this going until early October unless an offer sheet speeds the process.
  24. I don't either, year in and year out--but when a team gets as close as this one just did, I could see him spending pretty darned close to the cap for a year or two. Maybe it puts them over the top, maybe it doesn't--but regardless, it puts butts in the seats and buys our CLT garden time to grow.
  25. We need seven D who are ready to go on Oct 1. We snuck into the dance this year against all odds, and I have to think that winning early and being at or near the top of the pack is the plan, because that shiz an't gonna happen two years in a row. I really think moving out DeHaan is as simple as that--although I'm still wondering if the Hawks might be willing to take Darling back if we retain some salary. Cheaper than a buy out, and if he's going to come back--big if--his odds for doing it are probably best in Chicago. Pure speculation.
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