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remkin

FREE AGENT TALK: 2016

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I'd love to see a legit RW signed, and it could happen. But if it happens through free agency, I don't think it's gonna be an old guy looking for term; RF has said as much. And while Stamkos is 26, a 10-year deal with the NTC he will demand (and that someone will give him) makes him 36, and ties you to him throughout what, all the metrics show, will be years of declining production. A $100 million bet? I think RF is too smart for that. I'm certain PK is too cheap.

 

Now to be clear, I'll just re-state my opener: I'd love to see a legit RW signed, and it could happen. But...

 

Then I look at what we've already done this summer and the competition that will be occurring in camp for two - count 'em, TWO - open roster slots:

 

Skinner-Rask-TT

Nord-Staal-Nest

PDG-Lindholm-???

Bickell-McClement-???

 

Maybe the lines don't shake out that way, granted. But conspicuous by their absence are a slew of FAs who were on the roster at the end of last year but we haven't yet signed: Terry, Gerbe, Nash, Malone. My money says all but Nash are gone, although I think BP likes Terry and he could also remain for depth. Malone might too, even he spends most of his time in CLT.

 

But let's say, in terms of the NHL roster, it's only Nash, and that he plays on McC's other flank.

 

If that's so, we're now down to one roster slot--for which all the following players (in no particular order) will be competing in camp: Aho (that's right, Aho is NOT in the listing above, and I think we all expect him to be on the opening-night roster), McGinn, Zykov, Tolchinsky, Saarela, Camara, Brown, Shugg, Sutter, Woods. Nine guys.

 

Again: I totally want that high-end RW. But what if he's not there, for any number of rea$on$?

 

In that case, I can absolutely see the brain trust saying, "We've got more than enough guys to let competition dictate who's gonna make it--and if all we end up doing is trading the 5-5 Gerbe for the three-inches-taller Tolchinksy on the fourth and slotting Aho on the third, we're already, thanks to TT and Bickell, a far better team than we were three months ago." Indeed, I think our moves up to now were carefully designed so that, if nothing is there via FA or trade, we're still okay.

 

I'm still hoping for more of the "magic" BP promised. But I also think an important, fundamental dynamic has changed on this team: We've acquired and are developing guys with legit NHL aptitude and challenging them to show they deserve ice time, versus signing anybody we can and giving them ice time by default.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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GM Ron Francis has said he's looking for another scoring forward. But it doesn't have to be a UFA, it could still be a trade.

 

Having the depth is awesome, but to me they're all at least a year away except Aho. Sure we've had guys come up and be adequate: Bowman, Dalpe, Boychuk, Terry, etc. But to me the guys in the prospect pool are long shots to produce 40 plus points, Aho excepted. Which is what I think we need.

 

IMHO, despite Peter's comfort with him, the presence of Terry anywhere on the depth chart is a strong indicator that we are not there yet, and, well, need another forward.

 

The exceptions could be McGinn or Tolchinksy, who are at the point that that they should step up. But I would not count on them. Having all those guys and not counting on them, is the definition of depth.

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GM Ron Francis has said he's looking for another scoring forward. But it doesn't have to be a UFA, it could still be a trade.

 

Having the depth is awesome, but to me they're all at least a year away except Aho. Sure we've had guys come up and be adequate: Bowman, Dalpe, Boychuk, Terry, etc. But to me the guys in the prospect pool are long shots to produce 40 plus points, Aho excepted. Which is what I think we need.

 

IMHO, despite Peter's comfort with him, the presence of Terry anywhere on the depth chart is a strong indicator that we are not there yet, and, well, need another forward.

 

The exceptions could be McGinn or Tolchinksy, who are at the point that that they should step up. But I would not count on them. Having all those guys and not counting on them, is the definition of depth.

I hear ya. My point is just that, with the additional ice time TT will get, with Aho on the roster, and if Bickell is rejuvenated, it's very possible we haven't only replaced the points Eric and Versteeg contributed, but increased them.

 

Not my preference, to be clear. My preference is a legit RW. But I don't think we can discount the possibility, with both TT and Aho in the mix, that he might already be here.

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Stamkos would be ideal; however, I agree, his contract would be small market suicide.

 

Through FA, I think we could see one of the following first lines:

 

Skinner Rask Okposo

Ladd Rask Skinner

Skinner Rask Vanek

Perron Rask Skinner

 

 

We DO have plenty of dmen to trade, as well..

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After signing Rask and assuming Aho is on the team the Canes will need to still sign two additional forwards to have 12 and an extra.

 

After signing Rask (at the high end, say 4 million/yr) and assuming Aho is on the team the Canes would be still be short of the cap floor.

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I also noticed we will have to do something to get to the floor.  I do expect some activity.

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After signing Rask and assuming Aho is on the team the Canes will need to still sign two additional forwards to have 12 and an extra.

 

After signing Rask (at the high end, say 4 million/yr) and assuming Aho is on the team the Canes would be still be short of the cap floor.

I'm assuming one of Nash/Terry will be one of the 2 signed. That leaves room for the quality, top 6 player we all hope for as the other one. For me, Okposo checks off all the required boxes. I wonder if he sees the Canes as an "up and comer". In reality, I think the gravy train passes by a couple of days for free agency and RF is turning over the rocks that were left undisturbed in the feeding frenzy. I still see a cap casualty trade as a possibility.

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Based on our need still on the RW does it make any sense to go after a less commodity on the UFA market (more in PK's $ range)? I am not advocating that we do as I think we have a better opportunity to get a better player via trade. RF is looking at youth and it doesn't seem that he would take a fly on an older player but at the right price and low term deal 1-2 years do any of the following players have any value for 1-2 years? . The RW players below had respectable numbers last year and may fill the RW gap for 1-2 years until the yutes are ready for the big stage.

 
Player               GP     Goals      Assists      Points      Age       
Jiri Hudler         72      16            30             46            32        
Troy Brouwer    82      18            21             39            30        
Jason Chimera 82      20            21             41            37        
Parenteau        77      20             21             41           33         
Lee Stempniak 82      19            32             51            33         
Edited by slapshot02

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James Duthie says 12-15 teams have called Stamkos. I'm willing to bet we were one of those teams. Throwing our hat in the basket just to see what happens.

Our only hope is him wanting to stay in a smaller market and then Francis wowing him with his magic. Because we definitely won't be offering the most money.

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Stamkos is about to become the highest paid player in the NHL.

 

The bidding is going to be nuts.

 

Not only is his scoring potential off the charts. Not only is he ridiculously young for a UFA. But he's a center. The coveted 1C.

 

I would love to see him here, and it would put us instantly on the map, but given our track record of recruiting big fish UFA's, the odds of us landing a whale seem pretty tiny.

Edited by remkin

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Oh the Stamkos dream.  wouldn't it be nice.  Immediate definite contenders with a 50 goal scorer.  I don't believe RF can make it happen, mostly because Stamkos will most likely want to go to a big market but you never know.  I mean we got 9mil a year off the books with E, 3mill a year off the books with Ward, so technically if PK wanted to seriously revitalize this market and put instant butts in the seats and make us a major contender, he could afford it.  Now what are the chances of an E. Staal type thing happening where after year four of his 7 year contract he stinks?  Probably very slim. I'd risk it all personally to bring that beast in. I mean RF built the young cheap defense for years to come without spending, we've got Aho arriving and a few other potential 20 goal scorers as well as Jordan and Skinner.  Time to spend some money on someone and pull us out of our 10 yrs of He*L.

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That cheap defense that RF built is going to have to get paid in a couple of years. That has to be kept in mind when long term deals are proposed. I'm not saying that Stamkos wouldn't help. I'm saying that it goes beyond looking at a year or two.

I had real concerns on Stamkos because of the blood clot issue. After doing some reading, it looks like that should not be a concern going forward. I still don't think RF is going to even entertain a deal with Stamkos that is going to be a minimum of 7 years at $10M.

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Kane and Toews are 10.5M AAV.  

 

Stammer will get in that range.  The thing is, look at the salaries for the actual year a team wins the cup, back 10 years to 2006.  This season was the first season a team payed over 10M for a player and won a cup.  Before that, in the 9 previous years, only in 2009 was there a winner (Pens again) that payed a player over 8M (Crosby, 9M).

 

Some of the former winners (LA, Chicago) have guys with salaries up in the 10M+ range now, but they haven't won since that move.  These guys got the ultra-salaries after they won.

 

Look at the salaries for Chicago when they were emerging, i.e. their first cup:

http://dropyourgloves.com/Stat/Players.aspx?League=1&Season=2010&Team=8&Competition=0

 

Only point I am making I guess is that only Pittsburgh has actually won a cup with the ultra-high salary model.  Much more common is a more evenly distributed salary pool with lots of mid-range talent, and typically a few emerging stars who will get paid huge bucks someday but are still in RFA mode and not paid ultra-high yet.

 

I'd rather have 2 fives than one 10 is my point.  It also distributes risk over 2 guys instead of one.

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Stamkos did take a young team to the SCF though. Then again, a similar team made it without him. But it was a better team.

 

Also, Stamkos is a center, which will up his value.

 

But mainly Stamkos is hitting the open market. There will be much bidding and wooing. I think he will be the highest paid player in hockey when it's all over.

 

He is the instant fix for past mistakes, especially teams that don't have a clear 1C.

 

The only thing holding him back some is the relative non movement of the cap. But still, Stamkos is going to cost someone, a lot. He is the embodiment of the term "bidding war".

Edited by remkin

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To my mind, the already very slim likelihood of the Canes pursuing Stamkos was significantly further cut when we picked up Bickell's contract. 

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For better or worse, I actually doubt we get any upper tier UFA.

 

Even Okposo reportedly wants $8 million/year.

 

I just think Francis goes for another small-medium move to get a guy in a trade, or a bargain UFA a week or two into UFA.

 

 

That said, while I know these contracts could go bad on us, and I know it's draft and develop as the main plan, but I still can't help but think that an Eriksson or Ladd or Okposo would put us in.

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As much as I would like Okposo, that's crazy money if he wants 8-million.  I also doubt we put ourselves in the bidding wars for some of these top-tier UFA's.

 

But, their are still some quite effective lesser UFA's out there.  And then there are those teams that will go bananas and find themselves over the Cap, making a valuable player available.  And trades.

 

We shall see.

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Just looking at some of the "middle-tier" guys, there are a few decent options. There's also some older guys who may settle for shorter term deals. One of the following wouldn't be a bad addition.

Jamie McGinn, Troy Brouwer, Jiri Hudler, Radim Vrbata, Teddy Purcell, Thomas Vanek, Kris Versteeg.

I think our "big fish" would be one of Andrew Ladd or David Backes.

Then you have an interesting guy in Jimmy Vesey. Nashville traded his negotiations rights to Buffalo, but his agent is still saying he is going to test the market. Led his Harvard team in scoring and won the Hobey Baker award. He'd be an interesting signing.

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Hudler could be an interesting option, depending of course on the deal.

 

Not a big guy, but he is a producer, and a playmaker. He put up 46 points last year, which was a big drop off from the career high 76 points from two years ago. But that might bring his price down, and he had put up 50 or 50 point pace for 4 seasons before that, averaging 58 points (his pace averaged in his one short year) over those years, and averaging over 50 points for 5 straight years (again injury year projected).

 

Seems like we could count on 50 points most likely.

 

And he's the much needed RW.

Edited by remkin

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Or Frans Neilsen.52 points last year. Third center. Probably doesn't want to be a third liner though...

 

Maybe Mikkel Boedeker...

Edited by remkin

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Based on our need still on the RW does it make any sense to go after a less commodity on the UFA market (more in PK's $ range)? I am not advocating that we do as I think we have a better opportunity to get a better player via trade. RF is looking at youth and it doesn't seem that he would take a fly on an older player but at the right price and low term deal 1-2 years do any of the following players have any value for 1-2 years? . The RW players below had respectable numbers last year and may fill the RW gap for 1-2 years until the yutes are ready for the big stage.

 
Player               GP     Goals      Assists      Points      Age       
Jiri Hudler         72      16            30             46            32        
Troy Brouwer    82      18            21             39            30        
Jason Chimera 82      20            21             41            37        
Parenteau        77      20             21             41           33         
Lee Stempniak 82      19            32             51            33         

 

I still think Ronnie has to make a play for a RW.

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It has been reported that Stamkos signed with Tampa for 8.5 x 8. Talk about a home team discount! He must like Tampa. Could have got a bunch more.

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