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Playing GM for the 2009-2010 Season

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Hm, well...to talk about a scoring top 3 winger on a more realistic standpoint than dreaming of great 8 coming to town...Marty Havlat could be available. I think he's an awesome player with a payroll that could fit depending on how the contracts of our free agents will work out. If that's not an option...I would go this far to just stick one of our young prospects with Eric (Bowman, Boychuk), and see how it fits. Besides Havlat, I don't see any UFA out there JR is likely to pay for....well...hmm, maybe Tanguay

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If I were GM:

Biggest questions though: Does Kabs join the KHL(hopefully)? Does walker retire because of injuries and his wife? Does Brindy retire? (doubtful)

1. Re-sign Ruutu and Rosie for multi years. 2-3

2. Re-sign Babs and Jokinen to one year deals

3. Trade either babs or corvo, whichever gets more value, spec and a this first rounder for J. Staal- we have too many 3rd line centers, we dont draft well until recently and its a late pick, also staal is a expensive 3rd line center there.

4. Sign Zanon to a 2-3 year deal

5. Get Cammalleri

Cammaller-Staal-Ruutu

Whitney-Staal-Rosie

Samsonov-Cullen-Jokinen

Eaves-Brindy-Walker/Bayda/Rat

Pitkanen-Gleason

Zanon-Wallin

Babs-Conboy

Would be money to get Camm, Zanon, and Staal. Staal would replace cole's salary. Losing Seids, Corvo's and Kabs salary will cut some 6 mil which would cover cammalleri (with some left) and if Walker retires because of his wife we could be at the same salary we are at now with zanon because we lose tanabe's and hamilton's salary. The only hit in the pocket will be staal's and the re-sign raises. I know we have a imposed cap but, we got to compete.

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Plus maybe JK can be convinced to spend alittle more this season. Cuz '10-'11 season Canes will be losing about 15 mil in salary. Of course with my plan it would only be about 8 mil.

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First let me say how amusing it is that every Cole-bashing poster feels the need to preface their comments with "I'm the biggest Cole fan, but..." or "We love him, but..."

Now that that's out of the way, let me discuss a few points:

in reality the money would clearly be better spent elsewhere so that Staal can get some help from someone who will actually produce.

This assumes two things -- one, that Cole is finished, and if you believe that, then there's no changing your mind anyway, and two, that JR will actually spend some money on a FA, and we all know how prone JR is to spending $$ on free agents.

BTW: I bet Williams has a great year with LA.

Why wouldn't he? He'll finally be healthy, and he'll be on a team with a lot of young players that compliment his skillset. It's a great situation for him.

We could go back and forth all day about Cole needing to be re-signed or not, but the fact is.... if he is re-signed, everyone can give up hope of getting a top line winger.

The day JR spends big bucks on a "top line winger" is the day I upgrade my seats to the lower bowl. It ain't happening.

My feeling is that the best possible move is to not sign Cole and to use that money saved to get a bonafide top six forward (or shut down defensiveman). I really don't understand what logic (other than sentimental reasons) that we bring Cole back under any circumstances.

Again, as much as I'd like to believe we'd get a top six forward or top pairing d-man, it ain't happening. That's not how JR rolls.

And also, anyone that feels that way about Cole isn't going to change their mind no matter what I say. He didn't put goals on the board in the playoffs but he's one of the few guys that actually hit people, caused havoc, and wore the other team down with his skating and physicality. He improved as the playoffs went on.

a couple goals and assists with his buddy Staal and then dropped off the face of the earth and was invisible in the playoffs.

and his performance in the playoffs does not appear to have been a fluke

Maybe I'm misremembering things, but I seem to recall half our team not producing in the playoffs.

The move to bring Eric Cole back was VASTLY overated. I was disappointed by that move when it occured

Ask Eric Staal if the move was vastly overrated.

Still, we could have added any number of decent rental wingers and gotten a similar response and maybe more in the playoffs.

Ah, I guess you should have lent your crystal ball to JR sometime before March 4.

Cole still looks good at times, even great, but he is the ultimate "almost" player, who looks really good and "almost" but not quite, produces points.

There are other things happening on the ice besides the one player that puts the puck in the net. Cole causes other players to change their game. He makes plays that lead to scoring chances. BTW, he had 76 hits this postseason. That's almost 20 more than the next highest Cane, Gleason, and 4th in the entire playoffs.

Yeah, his scoring isn't what it used to be but I don't see anybody here advocating signing him to a "scorer's" contract. If JR can get him for around 2M he'd be stupid not to. He's not going to make the same mistake twice.

And those of you mentioning Recchi....and Gerber? Talk about living in the past and trying to recycle garbage. At least Cole is still relatively young.

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This is hilarious. The Whitney guy doesn't want Ray to go. The Babs guy doesn't want Babs to go.

GM's don't/can't operate that way. Take the emotion out of it and make the deal that is the best for the team. Ruutu is my guy, but if an offer is made and another team tops it and we get compensation, well that's the way the game goes.

First let me say how amusing it is that every Cole-bashing poster feels the need to preface their comments with "I'm the biggest Cole fan, but..." or "We love him, but..."

Now that that's out of the way, let me discuss a few points:

Insert several pro Cole comments here

Yeah, his scoring isn't what it used to be but I don't see anybody here advocating signing him to a "scorer's" contract. If JR can get him for around 2M he'd be stupid not to. He's not going to make the same mistake twice.

And those of you mentioning Recchi....and Gerber? Talk about living in the past and trying to recycle garbage. At least Cole is still relatively young.

Here I get to quote myself. I see Cole's pic in your sig. Now we can add the Cole guy doesn't want Cole to go. Pro sports doesn't work that way. The GM makes the deal that is best for the team. I think everyone here that has been anti-Cole hasn't been anti-Cole at 2 million a year. We just don't think he is going to sign at that ammount. The anti-Cole sentiment has been for the 4 million a year Cole. Cole brings a lot to the table but if you are going to play general manager, you have to take off your "#1 Erik Cole" fan hat.

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Maybe I'm misremembering things, but I seem to recall half our team not producing in the playoffs.

Half is a little much, but a good portion had very little points. Of course, a good portion of those not producing got MUCH less ice time than Cole. Cole's the only one in the top 6 that didn't produce what was expected.

Ask Eric Staal if the move was vastly overrated.

If Staal wants to be treated like the star he is, he should be able to produce no matter who's on his line. And he has. Cole is leeching off Staal, not vise-versa. Staal, throughout his career, has always had a huge increase in points in the latter half of the season. Even when Cole was on his wing the entire year, he's taken his game up another level when that pressure to make the playoffs is on. Cole just happened to join the team when Staal was getting hot, and he benefited from it.

There are other things happening on the ice besides the one player that puts the puck in the net. Cole causes other players to change their game. He makes plays that lead to scoring chances. BTW, he had 76 hits this postseason. That's almost 20 more than the next highest Cane, Gleason, and 4th in the entire playoffs.

Yeah, his scoring isn't what it used to be but I don't see anybody here advocating signing him to a "scorer's" contract. If JR can get him for around 2M he'd be stupid not to. He's not going to make the same mistake twice.

We need a scorer. We've got plenty of grinders, so there's no point in signing Cole unless he becomes a scorer again. And the difference between Cole and the other grinders is, every chance Cole creates with a hit or a steal or whatnot, he negates by turning it over in the offensive zone using that same move he's used since day one. The guy's a liability off the rush. If we set up, he can be useful, but that transition game kills him.

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I dont see why people want to get rid of whitney he has been the leading scorer on this team for the 2006-2007 season and this season 08-09. I fail to see how trading the Wizard is going to help the team also even though he is 37 he is still producing and for his age his doesn't really have to many injury problems (knock on wood). I would have no problem with letting cole go and trading Brindy. It isn't like this team needs to have huge over haul or anything afterall we did make it to the ECF. I could understand getting an elite or near elite level winger for Staal to play with, but at the same time I really dont want carolina investing 6-7 million a year on a winger. It would be ideal if we could get a really good winger for 3-5 million a year that price range would be a lot more reasonable. I think a shut down defender would be good around 3 million could get you a very good defenseman. My guess is that if Rutherford wants an elite winger to play with Staal it is going to have to be via trade. I could see JR going to the free agent market for a defenseman (Boynton, Komisarek, Oduya etc..). Overall there are more defenseman to pick from the free agent market than elite level wingers.

Whitney is a big producer in the regular season, but the playoffs are a different story. He tends to get shut down a lot more often, and usually seems a bit banged up as well.

But I love him, and would die if we got rid of him. Just want people to realize that although Ray is one of our foundational players in the regular season, one could argue a different story come playoff time.

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If I were GM:

Biggest questions though: Does Kabs join the KHL(hopefully)? Does walker retire because of injuries and his wife? Does Brindy retire? (doubtful)

1. Re-sign Ruutu and Rosie for multi years. 2-3

2. Re-sign Babs and Jokinen to one year deals

3. Trade either babs or corvo, whichever gets more value, spec and a this first rounder for J. Staal- we have too many 3rd line centers, we dont draft well until recently and its a late pick, also staal is a expensive 3rd line center there.

4. Sign Zanon to a 2-3 year deal

5. Get Cammalleri

Cammaller-Staal-Ruutu

Whitney-Staal-Rosie

Samsonov-Cullen-Jokinen

Eaves-Brindy-Walker/Bayda/Rat

Pitkanen-Gleason

Zanon-Wallin

Babs-Conboy

Would be money to get Camm, Zanon, and Staal. Staal would replace cole's salary. Losing Seids, Corvo's and Kabs salary will cut some 6 mil which would cover cammalleri (with some left) and if Walker retires because of his wife we could be at the same salary we are at now with zanon because we lose tanabe's and hamilton's salary. The only hit in the pocket will be staal's and the re-sign raises. I know we have a imposed cap but, we got to compete.

I like the offense, but signing Cammalleri means we can't afford a good defense. Wallin is not a Top 4 defenseman and Conboy is not an NHL-caliber defenseman. Furthermore, the only mobile puck-moving defenseman on that team is Pitkanen. It's basically a return to the style of defense we had in 06-07 and 07-08 (prior to the Corvo trade), only with much worse personnel.

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Here I get to quote myself. I see Cole's pic in your sig. Now we can add the Cole guy doesn't want Cole to go. Pro sports doesn't work that way. The GM makes the deal that is best for the team. I think everyone here that has been anti-Cole hasn't been anti-Cole at 2 million a year. We just don't think he is going to sign at that ammount. The anti-Cole sentiment has been for the 4 million a year Cole. Cole brings a lot to the table but if you are going to play general manager, you have to take off your "#1 Erik Cole" fan hat.

Cole will want 4 million and JR will offer 2 million. They will agree on 3 million and will sign a three year deal, JR loves Cole.....just my 02 cents......

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Ruutu would go for 2.75, up from 2.25

Jokinen around 2, up from 1.875

LaRose around 2, up from 0.875

Right there we are up almost 7 million putting us at 49 million.

I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer and I haven't read all the posts to see if this has been questioned before BUT

it looks to me like this would put our cap at a little less than 44 million (42 million + the raises). As GM one of us ought to be fired. :lol:

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If I were GM, I'd have a heart to heart talk with my HC, whoever he is, about the wusses on my team. Trade for "big, physical players?" What we need is players like Tuomo Ruutu, guys with big hearts. I'd find a Herb Brooks type coach to "train" my team. Games against the Sharks would be a walk in the park, a day off from the physical practices. The Bruins felt it but we quit on the Pens and they pounded our rears.

Here's a list of some of the Detroit Red Wings Forwards that aren't all that big. Have you seen #43 play? This guy is a holy terror. He's a LaRose with skills.

13 Pavel Datsyuk "A" 5' 11" 194

33 Kris Draper "A" 5' 10" 188

51 Valtteri Filppula 6' 0" 193

43 Darren Helm 5' 11" 172

21 Ville Leino 6' 0" 182

40 Henrik Zetterberg "A" 5' 11" 195

The 5' 11" 195 lb. Zetterberg, has blanketed Crosby on every shift, holding him to a single point and a minus-2 rating through 71 shifts in three games."

Detroit's # 1 D pair?

5 Nicklas Lidstrom "C" 6' 1" 189

28 Brian Rafalski 5' 10" 191

The 2nd and 3rd pairs are out of this group of bruisers. OK, Stewart is fair sized, about like our Gleason

24 Chris Chelios 6' 0" 191

52 Jonathan Ericsson 6' 4" 206

55 Niklas Kronwall 6' 0" 189

22 Brett Lebda 5' 9" 195

23 Brad Stuart 6' 2" 213

For reference here's a list of our D-men. I'm beginning to think we don't need bigger D-men, we need smaller, quicker D-men who know how to play and can keep track the Malkins and Crosbys.

33 Anton Babchuk 6' 5" 212 May 6, 1984 25 Kiev, UKR

77 Joe Corvo 6' 0" 204 Jun 20, 1977 31 Oak Park, IL, USA

6 Tim Gleason 6' 0" 217 Jan 29, 1983 26 Clawson, MI, USA

5 Frantisek Kaberle 6' 0" 190 Nov 8, 1973 35 Kladno, CZE

25 Joni Pitkanen 6' 3" 200 Sep 19, 1983 25 Oulu, FIN

4 Dennis Seidenberg 6' 1" 210 Jul 18, 1981 27 Schwenningen, DEU

7 Niclas Wallin 6' 3" 220 Feb 20, 1975 34 Boden, SWE

27 Brett Carson 6' 4" 220 Nov 29, 1985 23 Regina, SK, CAN

29 Bryan Rodney 6' 0" 200 Apr 22, 1984 25 London, ON, CAN

38 Tim Conboy 6' 2" 210 Mar 22, 1982 27 Farmington, MN, USA

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Cole will want 4 million and JR will offer 2 million. They will agree on 3 million and will sign a three year deal, JR loves Cole.....just my 02 cents......
If this gets Staal 3 40+goal seasons, it's money well spent.

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Well, I thought a bit about that "new winger/forward for staal" thing a bit.

Let's have a look on our actual roster, top 9 forwards, sorted by expected or natural position...

Center

Staal, Cullen, Brind'Amour, (Sutter), (Boychuk)

Left Wing

Whitney, Samsonov, Jokinen, (Bowman)

Right Wing

Cole, Ruutu, Walker, LaRose, Eaves*

* I set Eaves to the top 9 because of his payroll, and because of what he was expected to be when we resigned him. He's paid way too much to be only considered a cheap 4th line energy guy

In addition, we have guys waiting to pick a spot on the energy 4th line: Helminen, Conboy, Bayda, Dwyer, Ryan, + whatever is left from the guys i mentioned as top 9 (Eaves, Walker, Rosey, Brindy)

Considering those (let alone whether Ruutu takes left or right wing, same for Rosie), I have no Idea where a high paid top 3 winger would even fit withoutn moving one of those players mentioned, so: If we talk about a new forward, we have to talk about a player being moved or not to be resigned. And then, in addition, some players will get salary raises, such als Rosey, Ruutu, and pretty much Seids and Babsy (should they be resigned). All theses raised will surely eat up what can be saved on Colesys payroll, so that leaves little space. I have no simple idea where to take, lets say 5 mio. bucks, to pay any top winger that comes to free agency right now (in exception of a guy like Guerin, but we surely don't want another old piece of iron right now).

So, in any of those thoughts, we have to consider a big trade as well, just in order to free some salary space, the only other option would be to let go Cole, Jokinen and maybe Rosie or Ruutu (not goin' to happen).

So...what's it about? Maybe offering Whitney along with any other guy, maybe Kabs, and a pick to acquire a top winger for Staal? Hmmm. Maybe giving up the rights to Jokinen and Ruutu, and add something on the package? Hmmm. I...just don't find a way to make it happen that I can feel comfortable with. I think if greater changes to this team are coming, it will happen in summer 2010, when Wallin, Kaberle, Whitney, Cullen come out of their contract. This coming year is up to resigning promising players on fair deals, throwing in some young guns here and there to get them into the game and fill the holes, and in the end save some money on a long term basis to get in action in 2010, when we finally get rid of some payrolls, and then likely have a picture of what our promising prospects can bring to the table.

ADD: In the end, I think what Staal needs isn't a high scoring winger, but a smart playmaker to set him up. Staal's a great goal scorer himself, but he lacks the playmaking abiltiy and ideas to make his linemates better.

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Cole will want 4 million and JR will offer 2 million. They will agree on 3 million and will sign a three year deal, JR loves Cole.....just my 02 cents......

3 years? Not likely. Unless it is at a salary reduction each year.

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I like the offense, but signing Cammalleri means we can't afford a good defense. Wallin is not a Top 4 defenseman and Conboy is not an NHL-caliber defenseman. Furthermore, the only mobile puck-moving defenseman on that team is Pitkanen. It's basically a return to the style of defense we had in 06-07 and 07-08 (prior to the Corvo trade), only with much worse personnel.

no disagreement there. Conboy has the one way next season right? Well i mean we could bring back Seids too. Give a d of Pitkanen-Gleason, Zanon-Seids, Wallin and Babs. That would just be more money.

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Two years ago, we all wanted puck moving offensive defensemen... now we want shutdown defensive defensemen... How quickly the game changes... we are almost back to playing prelockout hockey, the new rules don't mean squat if the penalties don't get called. Our small fast skill team that skated circles around people in 06 and won the cup is now getting hooked, held and tripped into oblivion...

JR got Corvo AND Pitkanen then to add to it Babchuk came back. We needed one and got 3. That's to many offensive d-men in one bag to play responsible D-zone hockey. I dont think the game changed so much as JR went shopping and came back with the entire store rather then the shoes he went for.

The problem is we have a great regular season team because the penalties are called, however postseason not so much because apparently the rules change.

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If this gets Staal 3 40+goal seasons, it's money well spent.

This theory that Staal needs Cole to score is overblown. Cole may open up some space, but Cole rarely finishes a play. Cole shows some amazing flashes and occasionally makes a very sweet play, but he simply has not returned to the form of the pre-injury Cole. Thus Cole is no longer a legitimate 1st line player. Ruutu opens room for Staal. A legitimate playmaker winger with some scoring touch would really open Staal up (along the lines of what Stillman did). Even when Cole is going, he's not a great playmaker.

If Cole can be had at a slashed rate, then at least he can be moved up and down the lineup. Then if he regains his form and starts finishing plays he can be moved up, if not, third line is not crazy. But for me at least, this must not hold back attempts to get that key legit 1st line winger. And at least at present, we have quite a few 3rd line forwards.

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ADD: In the end, I think what Staal needs isn't a high scoring winger, but a smart playmaker to set him up. Staal's a great goal scorer himself, but he lacks the playmaking abiltiy and ideas to make his linemates better.

Which is why you move Staal to the wing and get someone to center for him. It's not like he's tearing it up in the faceoff circle anyway. I still don't know if Cullen could be that guy or not.

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Here I get to quote myself. I see Cole's pic in your sig. Now we can add the Cole guy doesn't want Cole to go. Pro sports doesn't work that way. The GM makes the deal that is best for the team. I think everyone here that has been anti-Cole hasn't been anti-Cole at 2 million a year. We just don't think he is going to sign at that ammount. The anti-Cole sentiment has been for the 4 million a year Cole. Cole brings a lot to the table but if you are going to play general manager, you have to take off your "#1 Erik Cole" fan hat.

Don't be surprised if he does. Of course I'm taking his Exit Interview and speculating. But here are the facts so speculate your way:

Exit Interview was after his interview with JR

In the Exit Interview he said 'this is where I expect to be next year'

He also said something along the lines of the trade to Edmonton opening his eye.

Now to speculate with those bits:

In the past, Cole has been a tough sign and always looking for the pay day. By him saying Edmonton opened his eyes, I gather he realizes grass isn't always greener. He's comfortable here, his family likes it here, and he's already said after hockey Raleigh will be their home. I'm quite sure JR told him in his interview that he cannot sign him for $4M. With Cole saying he expects to be here next year, I'm assuming he is prepared to take a cut in pay to stay in the one place he's known his whole career and the place he and his family loves.

However, this discount Cole takes will likely have a NTC in it ;)

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Don't be surprised if he does. Of course I'm taking his Exit Interview and speculating. But here are the facts so speculate your way:

Exit Interview was after his interview with JR

In the Exit Interview he said 'this is where I expect to be next year'

He also said something along the lines of the trade to Edmonton opening his eye.

Now to speculate with those bits:

In the past, Cole has been a tough sign and always looking for the pay day. By him saying Edmonton opened his eyes, I gather he realizes grass isn't always greener. He's comfortable here, his family likes it here, and he's already said after hockey Raleigh will be their home. I'm quite sure JR told him in his interview that he cannot sign him for $4M. With Cole saying he expects to be here next year, I'm assuming he is prepared to take a cut in pay to stay in the one place he's known his whole career and the place he and his family loves.

However, this discount Cole takes will likely have a NTC in it ;)

and possibly a longer term!!

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If this gets Staal 3 40+goal seasons, it's money well spent.
Eric Staal had 20 goals in 40 games under Maurice prior to the Cole trade. Even if you factor in the time spent under Laviolette, Staal had 28 goals in 65 games. That's a 35-goal pace, which is a whopping three fewer than the 38 he scored the year prior with Cole here the entire season.

The problem with Staal isn't his goalscoring, it's his assist total which comes from his linemates not finishing. Cole does not help in this regard as he can no longer finish at a high rate.

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One last point on the Cole situation and then I'm done with it for a while....

Remember that JR was trying to trade Cole for OVER A YEAR! Then saw that he could get him back for an all-too-often injured Justin Williams. Familiar guy, knows the team, knows the system, knows Paul, etc.

So half of me says, is JR going to bring back, and overpay the player he tried to trade for over a year? I don't think so.

But then I ask, "Did JR regret the trade like letting Cullen walk?" I don't know.... but it's worth pointing out that JR tried for a long while to unload his heft contract. I say if you're going to sign him at all... offer him $1.8 million for a year. See how bad he wants to be here...

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Regarding Cole - I spent a little time looking at the numbers, since the big issue with his perceived "worth" seems to be lack of production.

There are currently four forwards on the team making between 2 and 3 million. (The next closest salaries are 1.875 and 3.5. The actual (08-09) salaries in this range end up being between 2.25 and 2.8, with the average being 2.5. The average will go up to at least 2.6 next year, assuming Ruutu is re-signed. It will be more if he gets more than the qualifying offer.) The average points for this group breaks down as:

Goals: 17.3

Assists: 22.8

Points: 40.0

Cole's numbers for this past year are:

Goals: 18

Assists: 24

Points: 42

His numbers seem right in that range - just a tad above average. And they actually put him third (so square in the middle) with regards to both goals and assists. Of course, that was with spending a good bit of the year in Edmonton, so it might be of some value to consider last year's numbers:

Goals: 22

Assists: 29

Points: 51

Not a big difference, but still, they put him on the high end of the range, and would have put him second in assists and tied for second in goals within the group.

To put it in a little more perspective, in comparing his numbers with everyone on the team who makes 2 million or less, only one (can you guess who?) has as many goals. Yep, LaRose with one more goal - but also only half the assists. And I think it's pretty well accepted that he will be getting a good raise, although it may not put him above 2 million. Yet.

Only one player making less than 2 million has as many assists. Seidenberg has one more assist than Cole, but only two goals total. And he's probably looking at a raise, too. Of course, he is a D man. The closest forward in assists is Jokinen, with 20, to go with his seven goals. So it seems that even if Cole has struggled a bit with his production, he is still playing above the "2 million and below" salary level.

And then there are the intangibles. While they generally can't be measured, it is probably fair to mention that he was second in hits in the regular season, with over 10% of the team's hits. (No surprise that Ruutu was first.) And even with the complaints that he "disappeared" in the play-offs, he led the team in hits - taking 14% of the teams hits - in the play-offs. (Basically swapping both positions and percentages with Ruutu from the regular season.)

Honestly, considering he seems confident that he will be back, and that JR did say something along the lines of wanting to see him play the rest of his career here, I suspect he will be re-signed. Not for 4 million, but not for 2 million or below, either. While JR said (after the Williams trade) that long term contracts are not good in the current economic situation, I suspect a long term contract in this case - coupled with a sufficient discount, and a NTC, may work out well for all involved. Well, excluding a few people here. ;)

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One last point on the Cole situation and then I'm done with it for a while....

Remember that JR was trying to trade Cole for OVER A YEAR! Then saw that he could get him back for an all-too-often injured Justin Williams. Familiar guy, knows the team, knows the system, knows Paul, etc.

So half of me says, is JR going to bring back, and overpay the player he tried to trade for over a year? I don't think so.

But then I ask, "Did JR regret the trade like letting Cullen walk?" I don't know.... but it's worth pointing out that JR tried for a long while to unload his heft contract. I say if you're going to sign him at all... offer him $1.8 million for a year. See how bad he wants to be here...

we have always had takers for Cole so I am not sure where you get it that JR was trying to unload him for a while, you might be confusing him with Kabs. The Cole situation was all about maximizing the return.

Part of the reasoning for pulling the trigger last summer was he was going into a contract year and we thought he would have a breakout year commanding $6mil or more and we didn't want to be in that "sweepstakes". By trading him last summer we got the maximum value in return (Pitkanen). Luckily for us Cole had a real mediocre year so the likelihood of big dollar contracts evaporated before his eyes.

My thought is JR will likely offer in the neighborhood of $2-3mil with a NTC and 3+ years.

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