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Playing GM for the 2009-2010 Season

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Out of curiosity, has anyone in this topic actually said they'd be willing to pay LaRose 2m+, or does this all stem from the rumor that Detroit might pay him that much, if they're interested in him at all?

I'm fine with paying the amount that Eaves is "earning", and probably would go a little higher, but if another team is willing to overpay him, the team's got no choice but to let him go.

I'm guessing the LaRose camp is looking at around $2M or more. JR might be a hard butt when it comes to finance and negotiating, but JR did say that LaRose deserved a raise. I don't think its unreasonable paying him around $1.5-1.75M. Now I could be totally off base and JR is only offering $1.2M, in that case, its a whole new ball game. Unfortunetly we aren't privy to any of the negotiations.

If I can somehow become a fly on the wall, I would for sure fly on to JRs

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Caniac247 made reference to this interview: JR on The Fan 590 (Toronto)

In summary, the numbers being thrown around are "goofy". That sure doesn't sound good. He said if he didn't have LaRose and Cole signed by 7/1, it would likely be August before they'd be in touch again. Reiterated that Seids is as good as gone. Nothing on the other R/UFAs.

Time is definitely short. I was starting to wonder if we weren't in trouble with these two. Maybe they will just play the market and see what is out there for leverage with JR, but I have a feeling JR isn't playing that game. He doesn't have the $ to be messing with FA money. Hard to say how close they are, they could still sign, of course.

I've thought all along that LaRose was likely to go (and Seids), but surprised a little at Cole (not a lot, due to past history). I guess separation from the season puts things in perspective. FA signings are always a players market, so you can't really blame them, but it sure sounded like they were aiming to get back here.

For the record, I say we try to re-sign both. LaRose 3 years, something like 1.6, 1.8, 2.0. Cole 2-3 years, 2.6, 2.9, 3.2. I'd do an NTC to cut those numbers down a bit.

I'm guessing each is looking for $1-2 mil more than those total packages. If they want to test the market there isn't much we can do except hope they are still there in August. Cole probably will be, but LaRose will probably be gone.

Good grief, there's a lot of weasel words necessary in this guessing game! :)

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Apparently not only are we losing Seids but possibly Larose and Cole? This team is going to forever be doomed to following long playoff runs with let down seasons. We sign under achievers who perform well then want more than we can afford. As a result we lose what made us great. Hope I'm wrong.

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Apparently not only are we losing Seids but possibly Larose and Cole? This team is going to forever be doomed to following long playoff runs with let down seasons. We sign under achievers who perform well then want more than we can afford. As a result we lose what made us great. Hope I'm wrong.

for the most part you are, I don't see us losing much in Seids and definitely not what he is wanting. All you have to look at is Cole past two years and you we realize we aren't losing all that much there. LaRose would be a bit of a loss but if he bolts we sign Bayda and problem solved. We have talent in the minors chomping at the bit to prove they are worthy.

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Apparently not only are we losing Seids but possibly Larose and Cole? This team is going to forever be doomed to following long playoff runs with let down seasons. We sign under achievers who perform well then want more than we can afford. As a result we lose what made us great. Hope I'm wrong.

I wouldnt worry yet. Could be a GM ploy to set a "deadline" for the agents and players to respond by. I'd sit back and see how things unfold between now and July 2nd before getting too concerned. Remember, the cap hasnt been set yet so GM's are probably making their best guess and trying to keep offers conservative until they have hard numbers to work with.

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The potential for the salary cap to decrease adds a pretty big wrinkle. This year probably won't change much...maybe a slight decrease (depending upon the NHLPA vote on whether or not to inflate)...but projections (for what they're worth) are that the cap could go down a few million for 2010-2011.

On top of the salary cap projection, JR needs to make sure he has money for Cam...so if you are JR, how does that change your approach to take on salary this off-season in the form of multi-year contracts?

As it stands now, the Canes already have contracts to pay 7 forwards top-9 money for next year...Ruutu, LaRose, Cole, and Jokinen will all command at least high-end third-line money....something has to give because JR isn't going to pay 11 forwards top 9 money.

It might not be a sexy game plan...but maybe JR just goes really cheap this year...he can sit back and watch the inevitable spending frenzy on July 1st. Then come next year he can bring in talent from forced buy-outs on the cheap just like he did after the lock-out.

On another topic...I'm predicting a big step forward from Eaves next year...trading him now would be selling low.

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Apparently not only are we losing Seids but possibly Larose and Cole? This team is going to forever be doomed to following long playoff runs with let down seasons. We sign under achievers who perform well then want more than we can afford. As a result we lose what made us great. Hope I'm wrong.
I don't know about Seidenberg (as I think we need to bring in a defenseman to replace him), but we have the talent in the system and already on the roster to replace Cole and LaRose. These are nice second/third line players, but ultimately replaceable.

Cole is not the player he once was. We all know that. He scored 42 points this year and his point-per-game pace has down rapidly every year since the lockout. Outside of a little hot streak when he was traded here, he has done little the past two years. He scored twice in 34 games as a Hurricane. He hasn't scored a playoff goal since 2002, spanning a total of 31 games and he only has 5 assists during that time period. Those numbers are absolutely brutal and can't be ignored. Yeah, Staal saw in an increase in scoring at the end of the year after Cole arrived, but Staal pretty much does that every season anyway.

LaRose, for all his hard work and fan favorite status, is a third liner with a career high of 31 points. Anybody who thinks this guy is even a Top 6 forward - let alone a "rising star" as I saw him described in an actual news piece on WRAL :lol: - is crazy.

We've got good young players like Bowman, Boychuk and Eaves ready to step into bigger roles or make the team. Jokinen, who should be back, is a guy who has been a regular 40+ point player in the past (hit that total or more each year from '05-'08). These are all guys who played in either minor roles on the team last season or weren't here at all.

You do not overpay for players like Erik Cole and Chad LaRose. Why? Because when you do that, you lose money that can be used to keep significantly more important players. Everyone wants some great winger for Staal next offseason or some stud shut-down D, but that's not going to happen if we have $5+ million tied up in those two guys. We're already overypaying for Scott Walker and Rod Brind'amour, why make that list any longer?

I'd even go as far as saying that even signing Cole for any price is overpayment because the guy has completely lost it as an offensive player. He is now a puck-hog who tries the same move every shift and constantly turns the puck over leading to rushes the other way. He has turned into a physical, American version of Maxim Afinogenov. These are the same complaints we had about Cole last year and are at least part of the reason being traded (the other being we really needed a defenseman like Pitkanen) and they haven't magically disappeared and aren't going to. Cole at nearly 31 years old isn't likely to change or get better. He could, however, get worse.

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The potential for the salary cap to decrease adds a pretty big wrinkle. This year probably won't change much...maybe a slight decrease (depending upon the NHLPA vote on whether or not to inflate)...but projections (for what they're worth) are that the cap could go down a few million for 2010-2011.

On top of the salary cap projection, JR needs to make sure he has money for Cam...so if you are JR, how does that change your approach to take on salary this off-season in the form of multi-year contracts?

As it stands now, the Canes already have contracts to pay 7 forwards top-9 money for next year...Ruutu, LaRose, Cole, and Jokinen will all command at least high-end third-line money....something has to give because JR isn't going to pay 11 forwards top 9 money.

It might not be a sexy game plan...but maybe JR just goes really cheap this year...he can sit back and watch the inevitable spending frenzy on July 1st. Then come next year he can bring in talent from forced buy-outs on the cheap just like he did after the lock-out.

On another topic...I'm predicting a big step forward from Eaves next year...trading him now would be selling low.

Well said. JR's decisions for this year have to fit into the long term plan and unlike many other teams, the Canes have been conservative with their spending to allow them to lock up their franchise players long term in the future. It means we'll probably watch a few really good players walk each year but until we add a lot more to the STH base, the spending will always be conservative. Other teams that have consistently spent to the cap each year will find themselves in a fire sale to get under the cap if it goes down.

I can see JR waiting quietly in the wings to help some big market team unload some contracts. On Eaves, I couldnt agree more. It would be crazy to give up him now just to dump salary IMO.

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JR's either a hit or miss on that though. Let's not forget about our Dman of the offseason, Josef Melichar. :rolleyes: and Jeff Hamilton for the... 07-08 season?

So if he's going to sit back this offseason, understandable. But I hope it's to land someone that can really make a difference next season. Not an over the top kind of guy looking for big big money, but someone that is worth +2M. Does LaRose deserve that kind of money? Not my money, not my call. I enjoy having him, but we'll see what JR does with that one.

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I know we are a budget team and are still growing in regards to fan base and STHs so we cant afford to spend alot of money on the big name players...but doesnt there come a point when you take the risk of losing money when if it works out, you could make a lot more?

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It sounds like JR will wait after july and sign some free agents to fill the open spots. I just hope we don't rush Bowman or Boychuk into the lineup and let them play in the AHL next year.

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for the most part you are, I don't see us losing much in Seids and definitely not what he is wanting. All you have to look at is Cole past two years and you we realize we aren't losing all that much there. LaRose would be a bit of a loss but if he bolts we sign Bayda and problem solved. We have talent in the minors chomping at the bit to prove they are worthy.

For the most part you are... a big *edit*.

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With the contract difficulties described on the home page, how much of this comes from the player himself and how much from his agent? How does one determine a realistic value of a player to a team? Is just on-ice number, intagibles such as adding or detracting to team spirit, butts he puts into seats,...

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Seidenberg, Bayda, Cole, LaRose, overall I am not too worried about losing all of them and would much rather that than overpaying any of them. The guy I worry most about overpaying for is Cole. He has to come down off of a big number while the other guys are looking for a raise. If JR has a soft spot for Cole, and difficulty thinking that his master stroke of last year was just a nice move and not really a master stroke, he might be tempted to overpay. But I dont' get the sense that is going to happen.

If I had to pick one guy of that whole set to have back at a fair price it would be LaRose. I do not think his 20 goals were a fluke and as I have mentioned they were not all garbage goals. He will always have to fight harder given his size and odd skating style, but he has skills. No, not first line skills, but skills and he has that heart and work ethic and has improved steadily. He is around a 15-20 goal guy and he is a premeir penalty killer. His contibution to those short handed goals with Cullen were uplifting for the entire team. We can't pay goofy numbers, but I would really like to see LaRose back on this team.

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If you guys HAD to choose between Cole or Larose being on the team (which might be what JR is doing right now) who would you pick? Just wanted yalls opinion. And yes, I used the worD "yall" - I'm not ashamed of my heritage.. lol GO CANES!

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Eaves couldnt replace Craig Adams, nevermind Larose. At least Adams was good on the PK I am still trying to figure out what exactly Eaves excels at other then warming our bench. When Eaves had 32 points he was on a very high scoring Sens team, I think his potential was overstated by that tenure and the Sens knew it.

4 years in this league and this guy has not shown nor proven much. Nor has he shown a reason to believe we should give him a chance with increased minutes, during the season he often looked lost and like his heart wasn't in it. During the playoffs he was flying up and down the ice, yea he's got potential when a big shiny trophy everyone wants is on the line. Kinda concerns me he cant bring that same intensity all season, not sure why that doesn't concern anyone else.

Also concerned with JR's comments that if we lose someone to FA he'll replace them by trade. Uh JR, you gotta...give someone up to do that, we cant replace Cole and trade our talent to. No idea who he thinks he's going to deal to replace Cole, Larose or Seids because with all those guys leaving who the heck can possibly be put on the trade market that wouldnt weaken us further. Unless Tampa wants to give us Lecavalier for a twinkie which I think Lawton would take.

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The more I read within here about Colesy and whether or not he can be resigned, the more I get to think about what really is the matter about his performance.

When we look at Staal, we can see a big issue in consistency, but why is that? I thought it wasn't like he would have better or worse games when he scored or didn't score. He does it the same way, putting up big effort and...just trying to get the puck to the net each possible time. That's in some way what I would consider a call for help. Staal's no setup guy, he doesn't think about puck movement a lot. Colesy is just like that...skating hard, hitting hard, and getting opposing defensemen into trouble. Staal and Cole often look like two wild dervish, turning the defense around badly, but in the end both just lack the ability to take reward out of their business.

When I was considering that Staal's not in need of a scoring winger, but of a smart playmaker and setup guy who can make him and his line better, I also think that this is the case with Colesy as well. Erik can totally take the defense out of business, that's what makes him a worthful player and always did, but then he has to count on his linemates to use the open space to their advantage, and that just doesn't happen right now. Same thing happened to him in Edmonton, a team that also lacks smart setup guys, as Horcoff just doesn't live up to expectations.

With that being said, I'm more than ever into this: We are in desperate need of findig...

A. a smart and clever setup guy taking the left wing on a line with Staal and Cole (pretty difficult, as most playmakers are playing center)

B. find a playmaker to center Cole and Staal on the wings (that would also fix that faceoff disaster on our first line)

Thinkin' about a resolution, I think we have a winger like that in Whitney, so it's worth a shot again with Whitney - Staal - Cole. On the other hand, Boychuk is also known for good playmaking abilities, and could take the wing as well as the center position, so that's also worth a try.

Finally, I don't see a fitting guy on the free agent market, in exception of "maybe" Gionta, who I still think could be a great addition to this team.

Further, looking at guys to trade for, it's just like that good playmaking top line centers are usually making more money than JR would consider spending (e.g. Marc Savard, who is rumored to be a possible trade bait in Boston).

Lots of talk here, but what I'm trying to say in the end:

1. We should resign Cole. He still has a lot of potential, and if we can find the right guy to take over the playmaking on a line with him and Staal, he could verey likely perform better than some guys would think in here.

2. We have to find "that guy". Could be Whitney, could be Boychuk, could be Gionta, or maybe JR comes up with something totally different I don't consider yet. Without a quality setup guy, I think even Staals payroll is a waste of money, for he won't ever live up to his true potential

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Eaves couldnt replace Craig Adams, nevermind Larose. At least Adams was good on the PK I am still trying to figure out what exactly Eaves excels at other then warming our bench. When Eaves had 32 points he was on a very high scoring Sens team, I think his potential was overstated by that tenure and the Sens knew it.
Eaves is good on the the PK and defensively. He averaged more shorthanded time than Chad LaRose and was second among our wingers in that category (Bayda was first). Eaves was third among forwards in +/- despite having only 14 points. Throughout the course of the regular season, he was scored on 16 times at 5-on-5. Even with his lack of ice time, that's an incredible number.

I fail to see how playing on a high scoring team that year inflated his stats. If anything, they made them worse as he got less ice time to produce than he would have on a worse team. He got a short stint with Heatley-Spezza, but most of the time Eaves played with guys like McAmmond, Vermette and Kelly. Eaves averaged the 18th most minutes on the team (among regulars) at 12:12 and got the 13th most average PP time at 1:02. That was half the average PP time as Chris Neil, for example. He wasn't even a regular second unit guy. On a lower scoring team he's getting more ice time and likely producing more points.

Oh, and the genius Ottawa Senators and their foresight... So smart for giving up Corvo+Eaves for two impending UFAs that failed to reverse their downward slope. Murray said he hated giving up Eaves but that Rutherford had specifically asked for him and he was needed to complete the deal. We wanted to draft Eaves with our second rounder in '03, but the Senators got him two spots ahead of us (we ended up getting Babchuk out of that pick, who we traded Richmond for). We've wanted him for a long time and I fully believe he will get a shot this season.

4 years in this league and this guy has not shown nor proven much.
Except two good seasons, one year where he played less than half the season due to injury and this past year. And we always hear about how "Chad LaRose has scored at every level", so what about Eaves with Boston College? 47 goals and 97 points in 84 games there.

Again, he's a full two years younger than LaRose. What had LaRose "shown" or "proven" at the age of 25? That he could go ~60 games in the regular season without a goal and whiff on every scoring chance? If LaRose can magically learn how to position himself to score garbage goals, then Eaves can do the same to unleash his wrist shot. At least Eaves has the natural talent.

The things being said about Eaves now are the same things that a lot of people here were saying about Andrew Ladd last year. Eaves is 1.5 years older than Ladd, but the point remains. People were 100% sure the guy was a bust and wanted him shipped out of town at the age of 22. Most people preferred the tenacity and fan favorite status of Chad LaRose over the "underachieving" Ladd, but off goes Ladd to Chicago and blows away anything LaRose has ever done with 49 points without an ounce of PP time.

So, yeah, let's give up on another young kid so we can sink a bunch of money into a 27-year old third liner with a career year. When Bowman and Boychuk don't light the world on fire at a young age, maybe they can be traded too to make room for the money to re-sign the then-40-year old Ray Whitney or whoever.

Nor has he shown a reason to believe we should give him a chance with increased minutes, during the season he often looked lost and like his heart wasn't in it. During the playoffs he was flying up and down the ice, yea he's got potential when a big shiny trophy everyone wants is on the line. Kinda concerns me he cant bring that same intensity all season, not sure why that doesn't concern anyone else.
I'd rather have someone that can turn it on and play great at times (Samsonov) than somebody who gives you mediocrity 100% of the time (Bayda). I'm not at all concerned by someone who raises his game for the playoffs.

Our elite Conn Smythe-winning goalie says Eaves has the best wrist shot on the team. That's some who I'd like to keep regardless if his "heart is in it" or not. Some players like LaRose are guys who you notice because they fly up and down the ice the entire game, others are guys who disappear and then randomly show up and score a goal. Maybe Eaves has a bit of a Kovalev syndrome, maybe he doesn't. But some guys just make things look easier than others do because of their natural skill level.

Andrew Ladd basically floated his way through an entire junior season with 19 goals/45 points in 65 games the year after he was drafted, which was absolutely pathetic for a 4th overall pick playing in the WHL (by comparison, Bowman had 47 goals/83 points in 63 games this year in the same league). He had issues with his conditioning his first few seasons, but now is a very good player who you can count on to play tough minutes against good players. Some young players do not "get" that you have to work hard to succeed at this level and think they can dominate with their natural skill, so they struggle for a bit. Maybe Eaves is one of these players who will take time. Don't forget that LaRose had the very same conditioning issues that Ladd did before figuring out in the '07 offseason (when he was 25) that he needed to work harder to stay in shape the entire season.

Also concerned with JR's comments that if we lose someone to FA he'll replace them by trade. Uh JR, you gotta...give someone up to do that, we cant replace Cole and trade our talent to. No idea who he thinks he's going to deal to replace Cole, Larose or Seids because with all those guys leaving who the heck can possibly be put on the trade market that wouldnt weaken us further. Unless Tampa wants to give us Lecavalier for a twinkie which I think Lawton would take.
JR could easily trade a pick or a prospect. I wouldn't be that surprised if the #27 is gone. He doesn't have to weaken the roster to add somebody.

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Ladd is a really bad comparison. Ladd got so used to playing on the 3rd and 4th lines he started acting like thats all he had the talent to play on and you reinforce that laziness with how he floated through his last WHL year. He didn't have to play hard so he didn't, he didnt have to play hard on the 3rd line so he didn't.

Even if the kid did play hard at the time there was absolutely no room on the top 2 lines for him to do anything, it just happened that when we moved for Ruutu we made a movement to swap good offensive talent with good defensive talent which allowed movement in our ranks. Would Ladd have done anything? Who knows, apparently if you stick him next to one of the NHL's best scorers he gets points, but so would me and you assuming we can both ice skate. You know full well thats not our situation here, we have one goal scorer and 4-5 guys that we kinda pray each year that one or two will break 60 points.

I also never said ship Eaves out but I am saying Eaves is not the answer, if you want Eaves to be an answer please find a backup plan if he fails. There is a difference in a guy whose got a wonderful wrister and a guy who can skate with the puck and the guy who knows how to set himself up. If you cant get to the net or put yourself in a scoring position your not going to score no matter how amazing a shot you have.

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Ladd is a really bad comparison. Ladd got so used to playing on the 3rd and 4th lines he started acting like thats all he had the talent to play on and you reinforce that laziness with how he floated through his last WHL year. He didn't have to play hard so he didn't, he didnt have to play hard on the 3rd line so he didn't.

Even if the kid did play hard at the time there was absolutely no room on the top 2 lines for him to do anything, it just happened that when we moved for Ruutu we made a movement to swap good offensive talent with good defensive talent which allowed movement in our ranks. Would Ladd have done anything? Who knows, apparently if you stick him next to one of the NHL's best scorers he gets points, but so would me and you assuming we can both ice skate. You know full well thats not our situation here, we have one goal scorer and 4-5 guys that we kinda pray each year that one or two will break 60 points.

47 of Ladd's 49 points were at even strength. Yeah, he played with one of the NHL's best scorers in Havlat, but so did Ruutu with Staal and he only got 37 ES points while being close to three years older.

Furthermore, Ladd's center was Dave Bolland who isn't the greatest player in the world. Those two were productive together even when they were playing with Byfuglien prior to Havlat being moved to the line. At the end of the season Ladd was moved to the third line with Pahlsson and still produced. He didn't do much of anything in the playoffs, but neither did Ruutu (at least in the way of scoring).

Ladd went +26 while playing against the other team's top players every night. I know he was backed by Keith-Seabrook and played with Havlat most of the time in front of good goaltending, but that's still a great number.

I don't have a problem with the trade as I think Ruutu is a great player, but Ladd is a very good player now even after doing basically nothing offensively for four years from 2004-2008 in both juniors and the NHL.

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