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remkin

FREE AGENT TALK: 2016

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My Island is still out there. Shuttered, But it was shuttered by expectations for guys who had done it, and should have been able to do it, but didn't even come close to doing it.

 

The Island is also being rebuilt along with the team, but this time it rests on predicting improvement from our drafted a traded for prospects far more.

 

On Stempniak, I am far from an expert on him. Really didn't watch him play much the last few years. As my Island shows, I do tend to get optimistic this time of year, so temper things with that. His 51 point year was a recent outier for sure, and just looking over his stats there is no doubt that 30-35 points is a better bet based on the weight of his history.

 

But overpay? Maybe a little, but we also paid to get a short term. $2.5 million for 2 years? If that's our worst overpay? Given our current payroll? I'll take it. I don't know, but I didn't see any NTC either. I'll bet it's limited if it's there at all.

 

Stempniak is a skill guy and a playmaking guy. It could be saying the right things but the word was that he was thought to really fit in with what we are going. I'm thinking quick plays, hockey IQ, and playmaking.

 

I just really think this is a classic small ball, risk-reward play of the kind that can really pay off, or not hurt too bad. And if Francis still finds the big trade before the start of the season, he can look over the roster and see who still makes sense. But given the expansion draft? Makes even more sense.

 

Within probabilities:

 

Risk: 28 points. Still top 9. BUT then he can be one of our two exposed forwards in expansion draft.

Reward: 50 points. He really did figure something out that makes him a better skater with better balance, and last year was not a fluke.

 

If he is a top 9 guy of some contibution, well Nathan Gerbe's best year with us, the one we all loved him, he was 30 points. Now admittedly he was paid under $1 million. But that's the downside.

 

If Stempniak hits near 50 points, he will be worth every penny.

 

Bottom line: all UFA's are overpaid, almost by definition, or their agent should be fired. But assuming we did overpay, it was at the low end in money and term. We really can't be hurt that badly by it, and in all likelihood he ends up protecting a younger player from expansion exposure.

 

As I said, I don't mind the signing.  I noted the different attributes Stempniak brings to the Canes.  Sometimes it's appropriate to overpay if a guy fits your needs well enough, and even if it turns out that we did overpay Stempniak, it won't likely be egregiously so (unlike many of the 1st day UFA frenzy signings).  I am still a little irked that we didn't sign him each of the last 2 years when we were just as shallow at RW and he was available most of the summer at a bargain basement price. I suspect that's some of what nudged me to post my "buy high" comment.  But another big part of me posting that is that I think it's unfair to Stempniak to set expectations that may be overly optimistic.  I said the same thing about Khudo when he came in here with a gaudy save % based on 23 NHL games.  Many expected him to continue that, in spite of the fact that his much more extensive AHL experience suggested otherwise.

 

p.s.  can't see any way RF would have included a NTC in Stempniak's contract.  Expansion bait seems like a valuable factor in his signing.  

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I don't think we overpaid. He can help our team in multiple ways besides his point production. I think he will bring the best out of his line mates. I can understand being irked at not signing him at a value price the last two years but his point production was much lower as well and our Management probably felt he wasn't the best fit. Lee contemplated retirement a few years ago and that may of come into question. I don't see Lee as an expansion bait as he will simply retire if that comes into play.

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Slap,

 

Why do you think Stemniak would just retire if LasVegas picked him up? He'd have 2.5 million reasons not to.

Edited by remkin

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There are so many articles floating around the internet praising the job Francis has done and pinning us a team "doing it the right way" and as a team on the rise. I know it's hard to be patient after so many years of being told the same thing over and over. But you have to remember, Francis inherited a mess. A terrible roster, terrible cap situation and a very swallow prospect pool. In just 2 seasons he has improved all three of those things. Drastically. He has set us up perfectly for the expansion draft and we have potential for a very bright future.

 

I know it's easy to be frustrated. But when every "expert" is praising him and raving about our future, I think we should be optimistic. 

Beautifully said, Faulker.

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I'll also go out on a limb.

 

I see TT getting 45-55 points, and Aho with at least 35.  I see Lindholm at center next season, and I predict a big breakout from him as there is now more skill on the wing to find the best fit around him.  Stempniak, I would predict the average, or 40-45 points - but he brings tangibles to that young group up front.  Not expecting a lot from the fourth line scoring wise

 

I like PDG, when I watch him I'm thinking - there's your glue guy, can work on any line.  Hopefully he jumps up a tick in points along with Nesty and Nordstram.  I expect to see Hanifin's totals jump up a bit, maybe up 10-15 points.  Faulk is good for at least 40.

 

I don't  really see these as bold predictions either. 

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There are so many articles floating around the internet praising the job Francis has done and pinning us a team "doing it the right way" and as a team on the rise. I know it's hard to be patient after so many years of being told the same thing over and over. But you have to remember, Francis inherited a mess. A terrible roster, terrible cap situation and a very swallow prospect pool. In just 2 seasons he has improved all three of those things. Drastically. He has set us up perfectly for the expansion draft and we have potential for a very bright future.

 

I know it's easy to be frustrated. But when every "expert" is praising him and raving about our future, I think we should be optimistic. 

Faulker, I 2nd what top_shelf said, and just wish a few of the doubters on these boards would just take a moment to consider the thoughts, instead of constantly thinking the worst. I am not advocating "living on the good ship Lollipop", but just being receptive to the good we are seeing.

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Kind of off point, but I wonder if there will be a lot fewer deals at the trade deadline this year as teams hang onto players they might have traded to prepare for the expansion draft?

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Kind of off point, but I wonder if there will be a lot fewer deals at the trade deadline this year as teams hang onto players they might have traded to prepare for the expansion draft?

Great question. It'll be interesting to watch.

 

IMO, there'll be a collective holding of breath - i.e., little dealing - between non-playoff teams, but the rental market for pending UFAs among Cup contenders at the TD should be about the same as other years. I think the mindset for most orgs which feel they have a real shot at a Cup is to get whomever might put them over the top for the coming run.

 

Knowing expansion will follow the playoffs might have the psychological effect of emboldening more teams to think that way, but in reality, expansion changes nothing for teams considering a rental. Their options after the playoff run ends will be exactly the same: They can sign the guy (in which case they'd doubtless protect him in the ExDraft) or not sign him, depending whether they feel he's part of their future--just like any other year. And since the LV franchise must select players who are under contract for the 2017-18 season, unsigned free agents will still be unsigned free agents come July 1, after the expansion draft has occurred.  

 

That's what I think happens--but who the heck knows??  :lol:

 

I do like that the league had the foresight to enact the below (from this article), to prevent teams from gaming the system:

 

TRADE BAN: To prevent a team from “hiding” a player on another [team], teams cannot reacquire players they trade after Jan. 1, 2017 prior to Jan. 1, 2018. So if the Maple Leafs are in a tank-and-sell mode, it will mean a permanent goodbye to players traded at the deadline. No more Daniel Winnik re-acquisitions.

 

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Slap,

 

Why do you think Stemniak would just retire if LasVegas picked him up? He'd have 2.5 million reasons not to.

I'm just guessing that since he contemplated retirement previously that at his age he may not want to go to an Expansion team. You are 100% correct that 2.5 mil is tough to pass up and who knows he may love Vegas. Pure speculation on my part based on previous retirement thoughts.

Edited by slapshot02

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I'm just guessing that since he contemplated retirement previously that at his age he may not want to go to an Expansion team. You are 100% correct that 2.5 mil is tough to pass up and who knows he may love Vegas. Pure speculation on my part based on previous retirement thoughts.

Got it. As you know I love to speculate.

 

I would think that paycheck might counterbalance things. I think he was struggling and making close to league minimum when the retirement thoughts crept in. He claims he's rediscovered something that has re-ignited his game, if he has a nice year again, I would think he'd play out year two here or in Las Vegas.

 

But to be honest, if we expose him, not sure he's what a brand new team would pick anyway.

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Got it. As you know I love to speculate.

 

I would think that paycheck might counterbalance things. I think he was struggling and making close to league minimum when the retirement thoughts crept in. He claims he's rediscovered something that has re-ignited his game, if he has a nice year again, I would think he'd play out year two here or in Las Vegas.

 

But to be honest, if we expose him, not sure he's what a brand new team would pick anyway.

Good points, here is a good article on Lee. http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/hockey/bruins/dj-bean/2016/03/21/lee-stempniaks-life-nhl-journeyman

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To the nay-sayers.  What big deal with a big name player was signed yesterday do you think would have been a good contract (dollars and term) for the Canes to take on?  Assume they all have NTC's when doing this. 

 

Go on, I'm waiting.

Okposo......He's a top Line RW, which we need, he's only 28 and his contract is front loaded. At a $6 mill cap hit, he's the type of guy we needed to sign.

 

Now, in fairness, I will say this...we don't know that Francis didn't try to get him, or any other player. Problem is we have been so mediocre for so long it's hard to attract talent that believes this team is going in the right direction. Okposo even said one of the reasons he signed in Buffalo is because they are moving in the right direction with good, young talent. 

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Prior to the draft Francis clearly stated he would like to improve team scoring and the top 6. He qualified his statement with if a deal is there or we could address the need internally. I can't imagine Francis at the least wasn't kicking tires. The nice thing about having some depth and prospects is you have options. If the deal doesn't make sense to RF he can achieve his ultimate goal (the plan) in other ways. 

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I'll also go out on a limb.

 

I see TT getting 45-55 points, and Aho with at least 35.  I see Lindholm at center next season, and I predict a big breakout from him as there is now more skill on the wing to find the best fit around him.  Stempniak, I would predict the average, or 40-45 points - but he brings tangibles to that young group up front.  Not expecting a lot from the fourth line scoring wise

 

I like PDG, when I watch him I'm thinking - there's your glue guy, can work on any line.  Hopefully he jumps up a tick in points along with Nesty and Nordstram.  I expect to see Hanifin's totals jump up a bit, maybe up 10-15 points.  Faulk is good for at least 40.

 

I don't  really see these as bold predictions either. 

 

Of course I think those are reasonable predictions too. And if we get them, and others just hold serve (Skinner/Jordan, even Rask), we will have enough goals.

 

Then we just need to cut around 12 goals against and we are in.

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Not sure how many are taking note, and possibly its just my imagination, but doesn't it seem that many of our newer signees were college players? It's looking as if RF has a particular bias for them.

 

Having said that, I'm also curious if this player, Jimmy Vesey, whom Buffalo drafted, but apparently is looking around to see where he might get the best opportunity to FIT IN THE TOP 6 of a team, might take a flyer here? Would he be worth it? Would as many of you guys would get great joy out of sticking it to Buffalo, as I would, should that happen? That would practically make my summer!!! 

Edited by KJUNKANE

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Prior to the draft Francis clearly stated he would like to improve team scoring and the top 6. He qualified his statement with if a deal is there or we could address the need internally. I can't imagine Francis at the least wasn't kicking tires. The nice thing about having some depth and prospects is you have options. If the deal doesn't make sense to RF he can achieve his ultimate goal (the plan) in other ways. 

 

He has kicked at least 2 big tires fairly hard that I know of, which would imply there have been others too.

 

I think he suspects also that we need that elite talent up front. We have added depth, and we have a pretty good collection of prospects, and I think we will ice three lines that can score as were are. The final piece is that 1C who can score and make plays. I think we can grow the rest out of our prospects and younger players.

 

We may be more than a year away from perennial cup contention, but I think we are on the cusp of playoff contention such that one more piece would seal it. If somehow we had secured Taylor Hall, or Matt Duchenne? We are there. Right now.

 

But what to give up....it's just tantalizingly close in theory. Just slot Duchenne into 1C, then shift people around and that is a playoff team right now. Just? Well that's it, what is the cost. But if somehow it could be done? That is a LOT of offense.

 

Anyway, what I meant to write was on signing Stempniak. My guess is that he signed him with the full intention of going: Skinner, Jordan Staal, Lindholm, Rask, Teravainen, Nordstrom, Nestrasil, Stempniak, with PDG, Bickell and Stahlberg all able to earn top 9 time with injuries, etc.

 

I do think Francis also felt that we needed that one more guy with 50 point potential to start the season with, and signing Stempniak gives us the minimum requirement, and thus Francis does not HAVE to make a move. This puts him in the enviable position of looking without having to buy. If he finds the big one, he probably moves one of our top 9 forwards in the deal: read: Nesty/Nord/PDG/ even possibly Stempniak.  The history of the team would make "no more moves" the safe bet for what will probably happen, but if the big fish can be landed? It could still happen.

Edited by remkin

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Okposo......He's a top Line RW, which we need, he's only 28 and his contract is front loaded. At a $6 mill cap hit, he's the type of guy we needed to sign.

 

Now, in fairness, I will say this...we don't know that Francis didn't try to get him, or any other player. Problem is we have been so mediocre for so long it's hard to attract talent that believes this team is going in the right direction. Okposo even said one of the reasons he signed in Buffalo is because they are moving in the right direction with good, young talent.

I was all for signing Okposo, but there was the question of how he would produce away from Tavares. I think his contract ended up being about the max amount he could get on the open market. The only way you get this type of player in free agency is by overpaying. I am not buying that Buffalo's future looks better than the Canes.

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Okposo......He's a top Line RW, which we need, he's only 28 and his contract is front loaded. At a $6 mill cap hit, he's the type of guy we needed to sign.

 

Now, in fairness, I will say this...we don't know that Francis didn't try to get him, or any other player. Problem is we have been so mediocre for so long it's hard to attract talent that believes this team is going in the right direction. Okposo even said one of the reasons he signed in Buffalo is because they are moving in the right direction with good, young talent. 

6 years too much for RF liking. imo

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Okposo......He's a top Line RW, which we need, he's only 28 and his contract is front loaded. At a $6 mill cap hit, he's the type of guy we needed to sign.

Now, in fairness, I will say this...we don't know that Francis didn't try to get him, or any other player. Problem is we have been so mediocre for so long it's hard to attract talent that believes this team is going in the right direction. Okposo even said one of the reasons he signed in Buffalo is because they are moving in the right direction with good, young talent.

Francis stated that he did not go after any big free agents during the 3 PM conference.

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CBA runs thru 2022. It was a ten-year deal, longest in league history.

 

I doubt the NHL does expansion in two consecutive seasons, partly because of the effects on free agency, which we've just seen. Mostly though, I doubt another new team is added before 2020--unless the Canadian dollar absolutely soars in the meantime. Given what's happening with oil (the commodity, not the team :)) that's just not likely.

 

If I'm right, that makes next year's FA market prime time for us to sign a top-six guy to a big contract, and I think RF sees this. We'd get three years out of him before the next expansion, if one happens at all.

 

I'm really doubtful one does. I think it's waaaaay more likely, assuming LV is successful, that Arizona or, more likely because of the monetary exchange realities, an existing Canadian team heads for QC, and that no further expansion in terms of total teams occurs anytime soon. Could totally see the Peg or Ottawa as candidates for QC, especially the Peg if it misses the playoffs for another couple of years.

 

Thanks, top. Guess I misread whatever I was looking at about the CBA.

 

I don't know what to think about expansion - I understand the arguments about the effects of expansion next year on free agency this year, and your point about the depressed price of oil and the historically-low value of the Canadian dollar v. the US dollar is quite true. What's the current exchange rate do to the $500 million expansion fee - that's in US dollars, isn't it? (Edit: Just checked. US$500million = CAD$643million, at the current rate).

 

Conference balance could be an issue, I guess, either way. If expansion does happen after 2018, most likely the NHL brass will want it to happen in the Western Conference. Adding another WC team to LV would put both conferences at 16.

 

Moving Winnipeg to QC would mean they'd end up in the Eastern Conference, so there'd have to be some fiddling with conference balance - wouldn't want 17 teams in the Eastern and 14 in the Western. At least I wouldn't want that were I an NHL staffer.

 

Insofar as relocation, I still maintain that, since the Islanders have been last or next-to-last in per-game home attendance for seven of the last ten seasons, they should be relocated to QC. :lol:

Edited by JonKerfoot

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Thanks, top. Guess I misread whatever I was looking at about the CBA.

 

I don't know what to think about expansion - I understand the arguments about the effects of expansion next year on free agency this year, and your point about the depressed price of oil and the historically-low value of the Canadian dollar v. the US dollar is quite true. What's the current exchange rate do to the $500 million expansion fee - that's in US dollars, isn't it? (Edit: Just checked. US$500million = CAD$643million, at the current rate).

 

Conference balance could be an issue, I guess, either way. If expansion does happen after 2018, most likely the NHL brass will want it to happen in the Western Conference. Adding another WC team to LV would put both conferences at 16.

 

Moving Winnipeg to QC would mean they'd end up in the Eastern Conference, so there'd have to be some fiddling with conference balance - wouldn't want 17 teams in the Eastern and 14 in the Western. At least I wouldn't want that were I an NHL staffer.

 

Insofar as relocation, I still maintain that, since the Islanders have been last or next-to-last in per-game home attendance for seven of the last ten seasons, they should be relocated to QC. :lol:

 

 

Hurricanes to the Western Conference and done.

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Insofar as relocation, I still maintain that, since the Islanders have been last or next-to-last in per-game home attendance for seven of the last ten seasons, they should be relocated to QC. :lol:

That'd be fine with me, there's too many teams in the NY Metro anyway.

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Thanks, top. Guess I misread whatever I was looking at about the CBA.

 

You may have seen something about the opt out clause. Either the league or the NHLPA can opt out of the last two years. The NHL would have to indicate they are opting out by Sept. 1, 2019. If the do not opt out, the NHLPA has until Sept. 19, 2019 to make their decision. If neither opts out, the CBA will last the full 10 years.

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You may have seen something about the opt out clause. Either the league or the NHLPA can opt out of the last two years. The NHL would have to indicate they are opting out by Sept. 1, 2019. If the do not opt out, the NHLPA has until Sept. 19, 2019 to make their decision. If neither opts out, the CBA will last the full 10 years.

...and then we have another lockout...

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...and then we have another lockout...

Both sides would be crazy. The struggle to get this CBA was brutal but it's pretty amazing for everybody. I predict full term and relatively quick renewal when it comes due.

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