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Playing GM for the 2009-2010 Season

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As for Babchuk, either JR or his agent are weighing options. In fact, his agent said as much in a recent interview (and yes, this I took from HF):

Doesnt sound much like either side has many options to me. Only thing that appears obvious is that Babs wants out and JR wants him out but neither can find a productive way to get it done right now. If Babs had any real offers in writing you'd think by now he'd jump on it, and Im pretty sure JR would sign just about anything that would wash his hands of the whole thing. Im not buying the whole "we're not in any rush" cause the longer Jr keeps trashing him in the media, the worse his value is.

superdave, I dont think Kabs has a no trade. Older Kabs does but not ours.

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superdave, I dont think Kabs has a no trade. Older Kabs does but not ours.

That's why I linked to the site I found it. It seems a little strange to me too (superdave scratches his head).

Maybe Paul Branecky would know or could find out.

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We'll have to wait and see. My scenario would be different if Ruutu does a multi-year.

According to http://www.nhlscap.com/no_trade.htm' target="_blank">nhlscap.com[/post], the following players have NTC's.

Frantisek Kaberle, CAR - NTC

Eric Staal, CAR - NTC [starting July 1, 2010]

Scott Walker, CAR - NTC

Niclas Wallin, CAR - NTC

Ray Whitney, CAR - NMC

Please keep this in mind with your trade proposals. That would leave Walker out and only Eaves and Samsonov in your reasoning. What top line winger or top 4 d-man would those bring as part of a trade without giving away a major prospect or 2? J.R. is going to hang onto those prospects that can play in a year or two because they will be CHEAP. That's why I keep coming back to Ruutu if he ends up with a one year deal.

I say send Kabs, Babs, Conboy, a bag of pucks, and a 5 dollar foot long to Chicago for Patrick Sharpe. (sarcasm alert)

I knew Walker and Wallin had NTC but didn't know Whitney had one. Of course a NTC makes it difficult but if the player

will agree it can be done. But ok that narrows it down to Sammy or Eaves in my trade talks.

I'm with you on the Kabs, Babs, Conboy, bag of pucks and foot long for Sharpe. ;)

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We'll have to wait and see. My scenario would be different if Ruutu does a multi-year.

According to http://www.nhlscap.com/no_trade.htm' target="_blank">nhlscap.com[/post], the following players have NTC's.

Frantisek Kaberle, CAR - NTC

Eric Staal, CAR - NTC [starting July 1, 2010]

Scott Walker, CAR - NTC

Niclas Wallin, CAR - NTC

Ray Whitney, CAR - NMC

Please keep this in mind with your trade proposals. That would leave Walker out and only Eaves and Samsonov in your reasoning. What top line winger or top 4 d-man would those bring as part of a trade without giving away a major prospect or 2? J.R. is going to hang onto those prospects that can play in a year or two because they will be CHEAP. That's why I keep coming back to Ruutu if he ends up with a one year deal.

I say send Kabs, Babs, Conboy, a bag of pucks, and a 5 dollar foot long to Chicago for Patrick Sharpe. (sarcasm alert)

I knew Walker and Wallin had NTC but didn't know Whitney had one. Of course a NTC makes it difficult but if the player

will agree it can be done. But ok that narrows it down to Sammy or Eaves in my trade talks.

I'm with you on the Kabs, Babs, Conboy, bag of pucks and foot long for Sharpe. ;)

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You know very well HF comes from your previous insinuations.

They're dead weight, high $ contracts on the Rags, because the amount they're being paid doesn't match with the production on the ice. Doesn't mean they're terrible players, just that the Rags paid way too much for what they were getting. And while Redden would still be a dead weight contract (Seriously, what was Sather thinking?), Rozival's contract is simply combining the dead weight we already have into one contract. Kabs is dead weight, Babchuk is dead weight, and Eaves is...well, let's just say he's not doing much on the 4th line. That's 4.6 right there. Rozival's a Top 4 defenseman, a year removed from 13 goals and a few years removed from being a +35. Easily acquired without giving up a pick/prospect, something this team can't afford to do.

As for Babchuk, either JR or his agent are weighing options. In fact, his agent said as much in a recent interview (and yes, this I took from HF):

http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/article-item/338336''>http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/article-item/338336' target="_blank">http://www.sovsport.ru/gazeta/article-item/338336[/post]

A trade of Eaves, Kaberle and Babchuk would only save us 3.6. Right now Babchuk is not counting against our budget at all, his 1 mil from last year is gone. So it would just be Kaberle and Eaves contracts that we're getting rid of, which would be 3.6.

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If Ruutu ends up with a one year deal, the only way it makes sense for J.R. to trade him at the deadline is if we are sellers (not playoff bound). If Ruutu is having a bad year, he isn't going to have much trade value and it will mostly be a dumping of salary which will not help much that late in the season. If Ruutu is having a good year he will be too important of a part at that time to trade unless we are sellers at the deadline. Would J.R. take a key component off the team and take a chance with chemistry if we were playoff bound? It's easy to say if he's that good that J.R. should see the season out with him, but J.R. will get a return on Ruutu without the bidding war next summer. Ruutu would be the biggest tradeable asset that we would have and some teams would jump at the one year deal.

My opinion for what it's worth. Ruutu's maximum trade value is before the season.

You may be right on the deadline deal, but it's hard to say. He waited to trade Stillman and Commodore at the deadline, but then again they were veterans coming off long term contracts. His trade value is definitely highest now. And JR could be thinking he's replaced his scoring and physicality with Cole, so he's more expendable. It's pretty clear there's a deal coming for another Dman, and we are forward heavy, but considering the offseason focus on size/physicality, I don't think JR would include Ruutu in that trade. He could look to package him in a separate deal, but I'm not sure how many physical 50+ point top 6 forwards around $3 mil there are out there. While I agree with your reasoning, especially if it does go to arbitration, I just don't see JR pulling that trigger.

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You may be right on the deadline deal, but it's hard to say. He waited to trade Stillman and Commodore at the deadline, but then again they were veterans coming off long term contracts. His trade value is definitely highest now. And JR could be thinking he's replaced his scoring and physicality with Cole, so he's more expendable. It's pretty clear there's a deal coming for another Dman, and we are forward heavy, but considering the offseason focus on size/physicality, I don't think JR would include Ruutu in that trade. He could look to package him in a separate deal, but I'm not sure how many physical 50+ point top 6 forwards around $3 mil there are out there. While I agree with your reasoning, especially if it does go to arbitration, I just don't see JR pulling that trigger.

I think the difference with Stillman and Commodore was that J.R. had no intentions on trying to resign them at the end of the year anyway.

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A trade of Eaves, Kaberle and Babchuk would only save us 3.6. Right now Babchuk is not counting against our budget at all, his 1 mil from last year is gone. So it would just be Kaberle and Eaves contracts that we're getting rid of, which would be 3.6.

But it'd be 4.6 from last year's cap. Probably should have made that a little clearer. My bad.

I don't think Kaberle has a NTC, though the concept is brought up enough times that I'm not 100%. I thought Luke touched on this a while back. I'll look for the article.

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Aaron Ward is allegedly available from Boston - $2.5M for this year. Is he the top 4 defender that we need? Can he and Walker play together? The rights to Babchuk and a draft pick may be all that Boston would want - they need to drop salary to sign Kessel.

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Aaron Ward is allegedly available from Boston - $2.5M for this year. Is he the top 4 defender that we need? Can he and Walker play together? The rights to Babchuk and a draft pick may be all that Boston would want - they need to drop salary to sign Kessel.

Aaron Ward isnt available...not yet anyway and Im not sure he's a top 4 answer although he did skate with Chara a lot of last season. Until they figure out the Kessel situation, I doubt they'll be moving anyone.

Here's something for all to ponder since there's liitle talk about. While trying to figure out what was a reasonable contract price for Phil Kessel, they did comparisons of his production to other top scorers: (all you stats addicts will like this one :) )

Opposing snapshots of Kessel's production

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff July 21, 2009 01:46 PM

A few months back, we took a look at Phil Kessel's goal-scoring breakdown against playoff and non-playoff teams in the context of all Black-and-Golders with 10 or more strikes. Kessel was the low man, scoring 19.4 percent of his 36 goals against playoff clubs. This is one statistic the Bruins have been considering in setting their salary for Kessel, with the theory being that it's harder to score goals against better teams.

By applying the same breakdown to the players who scored 36 or more goals last season, Kessel brings up the rear again. Here are the top scorers in descending order of production against playoff teams:

1. Loui Eriksson, 63.9 percent

2. Dany Heatley, 61.5

3. Patrick Marleau, 55.3

4. Rick Nash, 55

5. Zach Parise, 51.1

6. Thomas Vanek, 50

7. Ilya Kovalchuk, 48.9

8. Mike Cammalleri, 48.7

9. Marian Hossa, 47.5

10. Alex Ovechkin, 42.9

11. Jeff Carter, 39.1

12. Eric Staal, 37.5

13. Kessel, 19.4

It's a significant dropoff from Staal in 12th place to Kessel in 13th.

However, let's apply another breakdown to the top goal scorers, and see how Kessel fares. This time, let's look at the theory that it's harder to score even-strength goals than power-play goals. In descending order, here is the percentage of power-play goals among total goals recorded by the league's best snipers, with average PP TOI per game noted:

1. Vanek, 50 percent (3:50)

2. Cammalleri, 48.7 (4:03)

3. Heatley, 38.5 (4:05)

4. Staal, 35 (4:15)

5. Ovechkin, 33.9 (5:24)

6. Parise, 31.1 (3:41)

7. Carter, 28.3 (2:43)

8. Marleau, 28.2 (3:54)

9. Kovalchuk, 27.9 (5:48)

10. Hossa, 25 (3:03)

11. Kessel, 22.2 (2:22)

12. Eriksson, 19.4 (3:00)

13. Nash, 15 (3:38)

Of the 13 players, Kessel averaged the last amount of PP ice time per game. So you could assume that given more man-advantage opportunities, Kessel could have added to his goal total.

ANALYSIS: While these are only two statistical snapshots of Kessel's production, they prove that there are different ways to interpret his output. Just by looking at these two examples, you can get a picture of why the two sides are not close to an agreement.

I'd assume this analysis could also apply to any of our hold outs like Ruutu and Babchuk.

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http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/27303-THNcom-Blog-Are-there-Sharks-in-the-water.html' target="_blank">http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/2730...-the-water.html[/post]

Sharks need to trade someone. Anyone think we could get Milan Michalek? We'd probably have to give up Ruutu for him along with Eaves and Babchuk, but my, would he look nice next to Staal.

Michalek has a pretty back loaded contract: 3.5 mil this year, then 4.25, 4.50, 4.75, 6.00 after that. I'm not sure the club can afford that... and from the SJ side, even if your hurting financially would you trade a guy who locked up for 5 years, with a guy who will play for you one year and then leave as a UFA (Ruutu)? Ottawa got hosed when they took Stillman and Commodore from us who both played half a year and then took big paydays as UFAs. We certainly got the good end of that deal with Corvo alone.. Eaves was just a bonus.

Would he be an awesome addition? Heck yeah.. 50+ points and +11(or higher) the last 3 years. He's been a scorer his whole career.

Add Whitney's 50+ assists, Staal's 40g 30a and Michalek's 20g, 30a and 50 PIM and you have a DEADLY line. Hard hitting, fast skating and high scoring.

The question for SJ is can Ruutu help them enough only being with the club 1 yr to make it worth the trade. Yes, they ditch a lot of contract, so it may help them, but the goal is still win a Cup... Ruutu's 26g 28a is pretty much a wash with Michalek, so the only incentive is a huge salary dump.

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I think there are some interesting tidbits in JR's latest interview.

1. Sounds like of Carson and Rodney that Carson has the better chance to make the big team. Rodney needs a little strengthening; probably headed to AHL.

2. Harrison and Fitzgerald have a shot of making the team as well (both d-men).

3. Sounds like at least 2 deals: one that nets us a d-man to play with Pitkanen and one that involves moving Babs for prospects.

4. Good things to say about Dwyer (though he has a lack of size) and Ryan (though he has lacked scoring touch at the NHL level).

I think what's interesting in all of this is not only the mention of the potential trades but also the depth we suddenly have on D. I understand the need to find a top 4 d-man, but suddenly we're looking at:

Pitkanan - TBD via trade

Corvo - Gleason

Alberts - Wallin

Fitzgerald, Harrison, Carson

This assumes Kabs is bought out. I doubt we keep that many on the roster, but JR certainly indicated that all of these guys had a shot at making the team. It suggests to me that one of these guys may be involved in one of the trades, but Wallin has a NTC (which I believe he has exercised before). The only other guy I could see us moving is Corvo because he's in the last year of his deal, but I don't think we want to lose a top 4 dman.

On the forwards front, we're really getting quite loaded now. With the possibility that Dwyer, Ryan and Goertzen could make the team along with the signing of TKO and the return of our own free agents (assuming at least a 1 year deal with Ruutu), then we're not just stacked, we're overly stacked. And that doesn't even leave open the door for guys like Sutter, Bowman or Boychuck to make the team.

The layout -- again assuming Ruutu signs -- looks like this:

Whitney - Staal - Cole

Ruutu - Cullen - LaRose

Samsonov - Brind'amour - Jokinen

TKO - Ryan - Walker

With guys like Dwyer, Conboy and most notably Eaves on the outside looking in as healthy scratches. I agree with others here that a deal involving our forwards will include either Eaves ($1.4m) or Samsonov ($2.7m) or potentially one of the guys who has an NTC (Whitney, Walker) depending on whether they would accept such a deal. I think the latter is too far-fetched, however.

I see either Eaves or Sammy being packaged with one of our more notable prospects for a top 4 dman, then I see Babs being moved for a couple of prospects that help replenish those we lose in the first deal.

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My favorites... Michalek is a shot blocking machine, he is still younger but experienced and Phoenix has a ton of D. Same with White and Toronto. Niskanen from Dallas I also think might be a good trade that is possible, though he is much younger, he is still a solid top-4 Dman. In fact Dallas needs RW badly and Eaves might not be too bad there, throw in a pick or a prospect and I think Niskanen might be obtainable. If we wanted to go for a UFA Skoula and MA Bergeron are still available possibly at around $1.5-2 million, near we would save by buying out Kaberle.

I would love to get Niskanen from Dallas, but I don't see them moving him.

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I would love to get Niskanen from Dallas, but I don't see them moving him.

They have 8-9 Dmen and by the looks of their message boards I have seen I really don't think he is untouchable. They still feel they really need a top scoring D-man, they even have a whole thread on Babchuk and Niskanen's name did come up as a trade possibility. This is the only reason I really even mentioned him, I would have though he was untouchable too as he is so young and a very decent top-4 Dman that is still growing but when you have as many D as they do you have to sacrifice someone.

I don't know why people would think JR saying he wanted to trade Babchuk for prospects means he is basically stating he wants to throw him away for a bag of pucks. JR has said before that he knows Babs has value and he would rather send him back to Russia than give him up for nothing. I think some Canes fans are really taking for granted how much value an offensive Dman with a hard, accurate slap-shot and power-play quarterbacking abilities has because we have Corvo and Pitkanen that do a great job at that also. You really don't have to look to hard to find teams like Dallas, Columbus, NY, Vancouver, ect who don't have that type of defender on their team (At least not a skilled one) and would love to acquire one, especially a cheap one like Babchuk for the relatively low price of a top prospect. I'd love to see what kind of prospect we could get when/if we trade Babs for one or two... I think it might be a surprise to many here. Probably not someone who will make a difference this season, but definitely a player (Probably with similar skill level to Boychuk/Bowman/Mcbain) that can come in next year with all our other current prospects and make a noticeable difference.

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The layout -- again assuming Ruutu signs -- looks like this:

Whitney - Staal - Cole

Ruutu - Cullen - LaRose

Samsonov - Brind'amour - Jokinen

TKO - Ryan - Walker

With guys like Dwyer, Conboy and most notably Eaves on the outside looking in as healthy scratches. I agree with others here that a deal involving our forwards will include either Eaves ($1.4m) or Samsonov ($2.7m) or potentially one of the guys who has an NTC (Whitney, Walker) depending on whether they would accept such a deal. I think the latter is too far-fetched, however.

I see either Eaves or Sammy being packaged with one of our more notable prospects for a top 4 dman, then I see Babs being moved for a couple of prospects that help replenish those we lose in the first deal.

Now that Ruutu has resigned, I think your top two lines there are set in stone.

If you move Sammy, I would take Walker up to the third line. I think he has good chemistry with Rod.. Bring up Conboy on the 4th line and you have a very scrappy, hard hitting, grinding 4th line with Kostopoulos, Ryan and Conboy. And hopefully a line that could play more then 2 minutes a game.. we know what fatigue does to us late in the season.

I like the line combos you have up there, swapping Walker for Sammy is not a huge change.. I think that could be a good lineup.

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With Ruutu signed, Sieds definitely gone, Babs to be traded for prospects soon, what is the general consensus here on JR's next step???

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With Ruutu signed, Sieds definitely gone, Babs to be traded for prospects soon, what is the general consensus here on JR's next step???

Babs, Eaves, and ? for a defenseman.

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Not to toot my own horn, but honk! honk! ;)

This is what I had to say a couple of weeks ago in the infamous Ruutu/arbitration thread. I was off by about $1M over 3 years. IMHO, there was very little chance we were going to sign him to a 1 year deal, and truth be told, I sincerely doubt his agent wanted a 1 year deal given the world economy and the projected cap situation next year. Nice job JR.

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Not to toot my own horn, but honk! honk! ;)

http://forums.carolinahurricanes.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=20237&view=findpost&p=285396' target="_blank">This[/post] is what I had to say a couple of weeks ago in the infamous Ruutu/arbitration thread. I was off by about $1M over 3 years. IMHO, there was very little chance we were going to sign him to a 1 year deal, and truth be told, I sincerely doubt his agent wanted a 1 year deal given the world economy and the projected cap situation next year. Nice job JR.

Good call on the Ruutu deal, and I'm sure he signed for a lot of the reasons you mentioned.. with a bad economy and a lowering cap, next year may not be a great time to try to snag a 5 year 45million dollar deal (exaggerating of course) since few teams out there will have 9 mil a year to throw around at one player. 3 years from now may be a better time to test the market, and also with some players coming off the Canes books in 1-2 years (Whitney, Walker, Wallin UFAs next year, Brindy 2 years away from retiring) he could sign a big extension with the Canes also in the second year of the deal... Gives Ruutu a lot of options and lets him play for a team he loves.

Glad to hear he wanted to stay, just had to dot the I's and cross the T's.

Next up a Dman.

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With Ruutu signed, Sieds definitely gone, Babs to be traded for prospects soon, what is the general consensus here on JR's next step???

I think there are likely two different trades coming. I think the scenarios for those trades are as follows:

Trade #1: Get a Top 4 D-man to Play With Pitkanen

Scenario #1: I think the general consensus here is that Eaves is the odd man out in the current line up. We have our top 6 set (Whitney, Staal, Cole, LaRose, Cullen, Ruutu) and so someone off the 3rd line will need to move. This is true especially if you consider that we might see one of our more promising prospects make the big team (Boychuck or Bowman) and we want them to get significant time on a scoring line. If we're shopping Eaves to try and grab a top 4 d-man, there are some things we'll need to keep in mind: #1, the team accepting Eaves is likely looking to dump a higher salaried d-man for the lower salaried Eaves and #2, we will likely have to give up at least 1 if not 2 prospects along with Eaves in this deal. So I think we'd see Eaves + potential top 4 dman prospect (McBain? Rodney? Carson?) + future draft pick for top 4 d-man.

Scenario #2: As much as I think Eaves is the odd man odd, I think shopping him may be difficult. It's possible that the prospect and draft pick help seal the deal, but it's also possible that the receiving team may be looking for something a little more solid in the scoring department, someone who can play either 2nd line or 3rd line. In this scenario, I see us moving Samsonov + draft pick + prospect (hopefully not one of our top ones) for a top 4 d-man.

Scenario #3: This is where we get into areas called "you have to give up something special to get something special." So it's possible we could be looking at a situation where our trading partner says "if you're getting a top 4 dman, then we want a top 6 forward." This is obviously a situation where JR would REALLY REALLY want that particular d-man. In this situation, I think it's POSSIBLE, but not PREFERABLE, that either Cullen or Whitney would be the forward. Both are in the last year of their deal. Whitney has an NTC so the likelihood that he'd move is pretty close to nil. So the possibility is there that Cullen could be the guy. I think this would happen only if certain other shoes fall: 1, Brindy looks strong in training camp and can resume the 2nd line center spot and 2, One of Sutter/Boychuck/Bowman is ready to play 3rd line along with Sammy and Jokinen.

To be clear, Scenario #3 is something I don't think we want to do, but I put it here because it's POSSIBLE that we'd have to give up someone like this to get someone like a top 4 dman back.

Trade #2: Get Prospects for Babchuk

I'm hoping that what happens here is that Trade #1 is either Scenario #1 or Scenario #2 and that we lose prospects/draft picks in the process of getting our top 4 dman. In which case I believe we will look to re-fill those prospects and draft picks by then moving Babs.

I suppose there is another possibility, that Eaves + Babs is what gets offered for a top 4 dman. HOWEVER, you'd really have to find the right partner to make that happen.

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