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remkin

FREE AGENT TALK: 2016

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So now that the draft is over, we are in this "negotiation" period where teams can talk to UFA's but not sign them. This is a new thing. So that could be interesting.

 

The Canes, given where they were picking, had a good draft IMO, but not one that will help them this year.  With the signing of Ward, it is pretty unlikely that we run at a UFA goalie, at least not a bigger name. And it is about zero percent likely we go for a D UFA, again unless it is a deep depth move.

 

So focusing on the forwards, is there anyone we might make a run at?

 

Also, just any general talk of UFA's can go here. Any players (Even D), other teams, deal size, etc.

 

Certainly the Stamkos sweepstakes are the MEGA news. Are we in on it? Wouldn't think so, and we're not in anyone's rumors or predictions, but it would be pretty sick though.

 

Anyhoo, he's one ranking of the top 15 players:

 

http://icted-free-agents-2016-steven-stamkos-anze-kopitar-dustin-byfuglien-andrew-ladd-staal-okposo-vrbata/

 

The frenzy starts Friday, July 1st a 12 noon.

 

Will Stammer's deal already be done and announced at the opening bell? Will any deals be done by then?

 

Francis has implied we probably won't go a splashing into OverPay OverTerm Land. And Peters kind of has too. But you never know.

 

I'm partial to Louie Eriksson. He is 30, but has some good years left, and this is a guy who does a lot of things right and put up more points last year than anyone on our team, by a LOT. He has the total skill package, and isn't reliant on Tavares for points, though Okposo, is a younger man.

 

He could (anyone could, but the UFA"s are more likely) end up being a bad contract, but....

How does this team miss the playoffs if Eriksson puts up 55 points? "Bad goaltending." Quiet, you! Other than that.

 

Smart money wouldn't bet that we actually get in on the day one frenzy, but then there are a lot of other, lower tier guys that can be picked up cheap in later days. Not sure who's there, but there are bargains most years. If you have a guy in that bunch discuss away, because I, for one, would love to hear about a guy, and haven't really looked yet.

 

So, have at it: :popcorn:

Edited by remkin

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I have no idea what RF will do. I doubt he will get caught up in the FA frenzy.

 

If I'm RF (everyone collectively shout thank the hockey gods your not) I would be looking for a Right Wing maybe a center who is under 30 preferable 28, shoots right., and has some playoff experience.

 

That would be Stamkos but not at the expected price. We just can't afford him.

 

Okposo fits the bill but what kind of paycheck does he want?

 

I won't be surprised to see us sign a goalie but I doubt it will be a big name. Perhaps someone that will play in the AHL but is NHL ready if needed. I'm not sure who that would be.

 

That is as far as I have gotten with thinking out loud

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I believe the best we might see is a deal with Vanek. Maybe a 1-2 year deal worth 3.5-4 AAV. That's a typical Hurricanes FA frenzy move.

Or we wait until August. Shane Doan, David Jones, or Michael Grabner could be there for a cheap 1 year deal.

Our best bet to add O is when FAs are signed and teams run out of cap space. We could get an unsigned RFA or a veteran winger in a trade.

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In my most humble opinion, we can and should afford Steve Stamkos.

 

That said, he is highly unlikely to consider us. It is hard to imagine that he wants to come to our out of the way berg with no big names really, and a building that draws more opposition than home fans, and offers little in the way of endorsement deals, and is so very out of the limelight, and never spends to the cap, and has missed the playoffs so many times and heck a team constantly rumored to big moving even and...well that's probably enough.

 

But that is his end.

 

From our end? Game changer.  Both in terms of winning, contending annually (the stated goal), and excitment and buzz and selling tickets and filling the building, and did I mention making the playoffs every year from now until forever?

 

But what about the budget? Well, if we filled the building nightly and went deep in the playoffs most years, one would think we could up the budget.

 

Why would that happen?

 

We would go; Stamkos, Jordan Staal, Rask down the middle. It is entirely reasonable to think that would be one of the top 5 3 center combos in the league, especially if you value J's shut down ability, and Rask's upside.

 

We need a center. We are talking like we don't, but Aho, Lindholm, etc, have not proven to be centers. How about just picking up one of the best centers in the game?

 

We give up NO talent for him, at least not now. Unlike a trade, Stamkos would be pure money, no assets.

 

So: Some combination of:

 

Teuravenan-Stamkos-Lindholm

Nord-Staal-Nest

Skinner-Rask-Aho

PDG-Nash-Bickell

McClement.

 

 

Yes, we have a couple guys on their off wing, but that isn't Stamkos' fault.

 

Yes TT and Lindholm may not be the best first line wingers in hockey, but whoever of Skinner/Aho/TT/Lindholm/PDG is best can slot up there. But the real deal is the third line. We could have three 50 point guys on our third line.

 

So J's line goes out and plays your top line even.

Good luck having your second line outplay our first, and just forget your third line.

 

As time goes on, someone has to get paid! Well if Gauthier is all that, move him up a trade not paid that guy. AND we have defensive prospects out the Ying Yang if we need to make more moves.

 

 

Stamkos is 26 years old. Jordan Staal and Riley Nash are 27.

 

But Stamkos will want $10 million/year! Or more. Yes, and the problem could come at the end of that, but we're talking at least 6 years of really good. We were paying Eric Staal over $9 million, AND Cam Ward $6.5 million, AND A. Semin $7 million. We pay J and Skinner $6 million. Everyone else is under $2.9 million (except one year of Bickell at $4.5 million and done). Just cut Cam in half.

 

Plus Stamkos is still a 70 point guy.

 

We are paying Skinner and Jordan $6 million for 50 points. That's $120K per point. (man I'm in the wrong business).

Stamkos at $120K/point is already worth around $8.5 million.

 

But you pay more at the top of the range. It's guys like Stamkos that put you over the top.

6 first graders don't equal a 6th grader.

It is exactly guys like Stamkos that we are going to have a hard time finding. They tend to come at the tippy top of the draft, and we are already too good to be there.

 

Teams need stars to also create buzz and interest but also to put up the big points while drawing the opponent's best D. Guys like Stamkos are planned and schemed against, and still put up 70 points.

 

We have adequate (hopefully) goaltending, and a very good defense that will just keep getting better. We have that now.

I mean really? Hanfin in a couple of years with Slavin, Pesece, Faulk, and Fleury/McKeown?

Not to mention Bean.

 

Is this team one piece away? It is if that piece is Stamkos.

Edited by remkin

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Stamkos-Staal - Rask down the middle. I like your thinking Rem. This is the time to dream before July 1 brings us back to reality.

 

I doubt RF is going to sign a long term big money contract. I doubt Stamkos is looking at us. But I do like the dream..

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I think we eventually have to make a splash but Stamkos is likely too big of a splash. It's reported Buffalo is going to offer him 12m per season. I know it's not always about the money, but that is definitely hard to turn down. Other teams will certainly be offering 10m+. I cannot see RF going that big.

 

It'll be interesting to see how it all shakes out. We aren't traditionally regarded as a desired destination, but I wonder if players are taking notice to what RF is building here. If a player thinks he can be "the missing piece" we might can snag a bigger name. Of the big names, I could see us calling Okposo, Eriksson, and Ladd. However, Ladd said he wants to go to a contender so that may drop him out of our sights. 

Edited by TheFaulker

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I think anybody that signs Stamkos to a $10m x 8 year deal is going to be sorry down the road.  Those deals don't have a great track record of ending up happy, and the blood clot issue would scare the crap out of me if I were a GM.

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I agree GMRF probably shies away. GM remkin pulls the trigger.

 

Then again, GM remkin spends PK's money like a drunken sailor, that and GM remkin is a figment of the imagination, and even if GM remkin existed he would do whatever GM Francis told him to.

 

Also, GM remkin did not know the price was over $12 million. Add term to that, and that is getting a bit nutty.

Edited by remkin

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I think the Canes are now in a position to somewhat overpay a FA on a shorter-term deal for a guy in RF's ballpark (referencing his comment about not giving term to guys looking at 30 or older).

 

But we are talking overpay and long-term with Stamkos.  I think that is small-market suicide.

 

It is interesting that the longest deal Francis has given is 3 years, so there is a baseline to speculate from.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Francis has said that big time UFA's are not against coming to Raleigh. I wonder if a guy like Stamkos even glances in our direction.

 

 

Also, if are talking $12.5 million over say 8 years, that is pretty massive, and if Stamkos tails off at all, or has more health problems, that can go bad fast, especially at the end. 

 

I don't think I do that either, but what a game changer it would be if he stayed healthy and productive. Seriously, if that happened it would quickly fast track our cup contention.

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I'll freely admit my choice for a FA addition would by Kyle Okposo.  He checks all the boxes for me.

 

But if he's looking for a 6-year deal, I don't think Francis pulls the trigger if he had the chance.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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As far as having to go long-term, I agree with that to a point.  I think RF's plan is to have guys ready to plug in from the system to avoid having to do expensive longer-term deals.

 

I'm wondering what the threshold actually is in regards to term - the only thing to work from is his body of work so far, and that's been 3-year deals.  It's not like RF spills the beans on anything.

 

I'm not saying he won't go longer, but I strongly suspect anything over 5 years may be deal breaker.

Edited by coastal_caniac

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Stamkos: pipe dream...we all know it...but it's really fun to speculate.

Okposo: I just don't see it.  He's going to want too much, and I have my doubts on his abilities when he's not playing with a guy named Tavares.

Loui: He'll demand too much $$, and want to go to a bigger market than Raleigh. 

Lucic: Too much of a big-market name...and big-market ego.  No prayer.

Vrbata: Now that's an interesting option...career-low season last year...obtained for cheap?

Vanek: Please Franchise, don't even go after him...I think he was overpaid and overhyped for two great seasons in Buffalo.

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Vrbata is an interesting option. RW, which we need.

 

I wanted him last time around. Went to Vancouver and put up 63 points. But last year, not so good...

 

He is 35 (though just turned 35), so it would have to be a reasonable salary and after last year 27 points and -30, we'd need to do serious due diligence on why. That is not worth even getting him at the minimum for one year.

 

But the year before was 63 points and 51 before that and an even plus-minus over those years. So if he can still play, he is a 50 point guy.

 

But we would need to be fairly sure that last year was not him falling off the age curve and that he can still play, and it would have to be a short term (2 years max) and cheap.

 

I think not, but if GMRF and company think he can still play and get a really good deal and short term? Maybe. Probably not, but maybe.

 

This would be at least a week into UFA if not more, and we still hadn't found a better guy and he can still play, and he takes the right deal. Need all of that.

 

 

 

Does anyone know why he stunk last year? Was he injured, or did age jump him?

Edited by remkin

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I don't think RF sees us as being 'one piece away' yet - i mean didn't someone post something where he even said he doesn't think we're a playoff team this year? - and for that reason i don't see him going 'all in' on anyone, be it Stamkos, Okposo, or anyone else.  Like coastal said, he hasn't gone more than 3 years on anyone yet, and i don't see it happening now.  Maybe when he thinks the finish line is within sight, sure, but i think going all in on anyone goes against the long-term goal.

 

That said, i'm just some punter on a message board - i could be, and probably am, completely wrong on this.

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I think the one piece away depends on "away from what"?

 

Are we one piece away from perennial cup contention? Possibly if that piece is Stamkos, but not with anyone else.

 

But one piece away from the playoff cut line? Yes. With the right piece, absolutely yes.

 

If we bring a 50 point forward in here this off-season, there is no reason we can't make the playoffs if we can get at least decent goalie play.

 

Our defense is ready now. Again, cup contender? No, personally not until Hanifin arrives in full potential mode probably. But to make the cut? Yes.

 

Forwards: not as we sit. And that's the rub. One more piece.

 

J Staal and Skinner just need to maintain, ie: to play to the sum of his post December play. Rask maybe bump it a little if not injured and with one more year. Lindholm needs to arrive if not break out, and TT needs to get to 45-50 points. That's 5 guys right now capable of 50 points. Add one more and you have 6.

 

Aho? Well it's asking a lot to expect more than 35, but expectations are probably higher than that.

 

If somehow we added a guy like Duchene? How do we not make it, and with him maybe even go a round or two?

 

I really expect Lindholm to have a break out year, but that's just me predicting. I think TT puts up at least 50. Rask was injured and already put up 50 basically, as did J.

 

BTW if J gets back on that Dec-March pace? That's 70 points. Not predicting that, but it is possible.

 

Aspect of the D and up front are still not proven, and we are not yet at the ultimate goal, but one more 45-50 point (or better) forward, and this team really should make the playoffs: this year.

 

The other thing is this: the full team that was there last year has now fully embraced the system and is at a much higher system execution level to start the year.

 

BTW, I don't think this guy has to be a UFA. A trade would also work.

Edited by remkin

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I agree GMRF probably shies away. GM remkin pulls the trigger.

 

Then again, GM remkin spends PK's money like a drunken sailor, that and GM remkin is a figment of the imagination, and even if GM remkin existed he would do whatever GM Francis told him to.

 

Also, GM remkin did not know the price was over $12 million. Add term to that, and that is getting a bit nutty.

GM dogbutler talks to our Capologist, PK, and our insurance guys, and finds out what we can afford to lose if we sign Stamkos, and he pulls a clot related Wisnewski before the end of Game 1, and throws that offer into the ring.  GM dogbutler shies away for 35 year old guys, and from a Tavaras-less Okposo, in case he turns into Vanek  MK II.  GM dogbutler refers to himself in the third person a lot.

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Not that Stamkos would ever give us a second look, but I agree w/SD that a 7 year contract (I think that is the max anyone other than Tampa can offer) for $10+ million may well come back to bite someone. Think about Vinny LeCavilier. 5 or 6 years ago he was an all-star for Tampa who got the big money, long-term deal. Fast forward, and he was bought out by Tampa, flopped in Philly, and has retired. 7 years is a long time. A concussion (or blood clot), serious injury (many think E. Staal's knee injury at worlds is what sent him on a downward spiral), or just getting older, could make the last 2 or 3 years of any such contract an albatross that a budget team like the Canes cannot overcome.

I think any additional forward help for next year is likely to come via trade. RF seems averse to long term deals, and that is what all of the top free agents are going to be looking for. It will be interesting to see if anything happens for the Canes next weekend.

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We'll never win another cup if we don't sign some big names to some big contracts.  Remember all those big contracts we had in 2006 when we won the cup?

 

http://dropyourgloves.com/Stat/Players.aspx?League=1&Season=2006&Team=26

 

That being said, I'm not against spending serious dollars on a player, it's just I don't see it as required to win.  The real art is finding guys who have chemistry, desire, and the skills to be competitive.

 

I'll pay a guy 10M a year if he brings all of that every season he is here.  What I have a problem is paying a guy 9M, or 7M to go through the motions.  When you pay a guy that much scratch for multiple years, he can get fat dumb and happy.

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Stamkos: pipe dream...we all know it...but it's really fun to speculate.

Okposo: I just don't see it. He's going to want too much, and I have my doubts on his abilities when he's not playing with a guy named Tavares.

Loui: He'll demand too much $$, and want to go to a bigger market than Raleigh.

Lucic: Too much of a big-market name...and big-market ego. No prayer.

Vrbata: Now that's an interesting option...career-low season last year...obtained for cheap?

Vanek: Please Franchise, don't even go after him...I think he was overpaid and overhyped for two great seasons in Buffalo.

I get what your saying about Vanek but, he is still good for 40 points. He not be worth 7 mil AAV but I think 3.5 - 4 AAV is fair. Anything over 4 is not worth it. A veteran presence on a Rask-Skinner or TT-Aho line would be preferred.

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