Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Odds and Sods

Some random thoughts while we wait.

1/ I can't see the Sabres finding a team to take Briere unless they take comparable salary in return and in that case, why would they?

2/ I think they do their best to keep it together for one more season - they were damn close to the final last year and the Sens have taken a step back - they'd have to get through the Canes but I'd say they could do that.

3/ Speaking of the Canes, if they lose Ward or if he plays poorly then they are in trouble but that can be said about nearly every team and their number 1 goalie. Other then that not a bad offseason for Rutherford. Other then rentals they lost Gerber, Aaron Ward and Cullen. They may be back.

4/ I'd feel a whole lot better about the Oilers' no name defence (a la Carolina) if two of Matt Greene, Marc Andre Bergeron or Smid were closer to 32 then 22.

5/ Still waiting for Garth Snow to deal himself to give his team cap relief

6/ Still waiting for Jersey to start the firesale. How much is Scott Gomez going to get anyhow? And if its over 6 million, what will Lou have to throw in to get anyone to take him off his hands?

7/ And interested to see how the Canucks, Leafs, Lightning, Bruins (among others) fill out their rosters - a lot of minimum wage guys for these guys and they still may be too tight to the cap

8/ Can Jan Hejda play in this league?

9/ Can Captain America?

10/ Is there an offseason anymore?

11/ Finally and this truly is food for thought, do the Oilers play the system that is not a trap this season? At least some of the time or maybe even the majority of it? Will this or can this make up for some of the lack of experience on D as well as help teach some of the forwards a little bit about their half of the ice?

Maybe that is the card that MacT will play - lining up five along the blueline can do a lot to hide holes in personnel - ask the Wild or the Panthers the year they made it to the final.


Big T said...

1/ What gets me is the arbitrator is too dumb to see that using Richards and Havlat as comparables makes no sense b/c they got an overpayment to take them into their UFA years. This is not MLB type arbitration. No way in hell.

2/ I hope they walk away from Briere. And then I hope more GM's do the same when the arbitrator gives these RFA's, UFA type money. This is the biggest failing of the new AND old CBA. Nothing else in those documents are more inflationary b/c the market is set by the dumbest guy out there.

3/ Ward is the question for the Canes. That Conn Smythe award has created a lot of pressure to not just perform, but stand on his head. He'll be expected to be 'All-World' down south. He seems like a pretty grounded kid. I hope he can do it, but I will not be betting on it.

4/ Yeah, older is better for Dmen. Another side effect of 27y/o UFA's; Other than for potential franchise Dmen, it may be cheaper to sign UFA's than to go through the expense of developing your own. IMO, the value of Defensive Prospects should be a lot lower than it appears to be.

5/ What else can I say that hasn't already been said. Mr. Wang has turned the Isles into a joke.

6/ Lou's a smart guy. He might find a way out of this yet. His eyes aren't on this year though. They're on 07/08 and beyond. One thing to note; With the way teams are spending, I wouldn't be surprised if many teams recieve money back from escrow. The cap is not set so that if every team spends the max it will equal 54%. $44MM x 30 teams = $1.32BB = 63% of expected league revenues. Knock 5% off of some of those big contracts and the free-spending GM's will be recieving a refund for being dumb. Just the kind of incentives needed to keep things rational. At least they'll still have to live with their mistakes like Lou is now. Like that old saying about democracy goes, "A [salary cap] is far and away the worst kind of [system]... except for all the others."

7/ The middle-of-the-road type players sure are feeling the squeeze this year. I wonder if and how long that will continue.

8/ Going by what I've read and what Lowe has said regarding Hejda, I think he can play, though he won't be as effective as he's capable of being until after Christmas.

9/ Robbie probably has the ability to play on the wing this season. What needs to be decided is if the Oiler's would like him to be an NHL pivot or not. If they would, he should be in the AHL this year and some of next. If they don't care, he may play something like 40-50 games this year on the kid line with Pouliot as his pivot.

10/ There was an off-season for Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota, Columbus, Phoenix, et al. Be glad we didn't have one.


Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

comments on your comments, T.

I agree with the whole arbitration process and the fact that smart teams have to pay the piper because of what dumb teams (Hawks - Havlat) dish out. I don't see the Sabres walking away from Briere and maybe this summer it won't happen but I have a feeling in the future it may start.

Lou pays for his mistakes this season but I think next season the Devils will be back in the mix - I posted about this a while back.

I think middle of the road guys will get squeezed - its the same as in the NFL - stars get paid while guys like Dvorak, McAmmond, Anson Carter, Bulis etc etc are left out in the cold or sign for less then they hoped. I think that is just starting and that in the future a lot of vets will be playing for close to the minimum or going to Europe.

Agreed on your take on Schremp.

Big T said...

We've been listening to Bob McCowan too much with regards to middle of the road players and vets me-thing BDHS. ;) I don't agree with much he says, but he's right on this one.

My point on the Sabres is I HOPE they walk away from Briere as $5MM per makes no sense for this guy. Maybe it will bring other arbitration awards back to realistic ground. It's an awful year to be trying to sign Hemsky long term. Lowe must have just cringed when he saw that number.

I agree with your previous post on Lou. It'll take him a few years for the Devils to be a legit contender again, but he'll get 'em back.

As for Schremp, I'd rather see Mihknov on the kid line (4th line) than Robbie. At least one year of AHL is needed for this guy even if he does play on the wing, which I think he should. Mihknov is 24 (i think, too lazy to look it up) and has been playing against men. That'll make all the difference. My expectaion is more along the lines of a Ponikarovsky type player though. That big frame sure gives a lot of people something to drool about though.


namflashback said...

on 9)

The view of a Schremp/MAP is somewhat telegraphed by the length of the Horcoff/Reasoner/Stoll deals.

My opinion is that MAP will be groomed much in the way that Horcoff. That gives him 3 years to fill those shoes. Schremp, his junior coach, and Geoff Ward like him better at C. He would be the new Stoll if he were to play that position.

MAP will play C on the 4th. Get some exposure to tough ES time. Likely will get PK time and maybe a look see at PP on the second unit. As long as the mono didn't affect his conditioning.

If Schremp "outplays" at TC looks strong and stays strong, he might get some games, but I would count on MacT exposing him at some point in order to show Schremp why he has to go down to the A.

I think MAP -- all effort being equal is the sure thing on the roster. They are pretty high on JFJ too.

Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

T - I'd like to see some teams walk away and I think some will but it won't be the Sabres in this case - that would kill their season before it begins - if Dumont gets a big award though they may walk from him

Matheson had some interesting points on why Hemsky would come in @ 3M but he's not the arbitrator either

I think MAP is on the roster definitely unless the mono really screwed him up - even then I think Brodziak gets that role before Schremp - unless the kid really really lights it up in tc

he has to play a lot - I can't see Lowe wanting his first year of pro spent playing minimal minutes - he'd rather he get a lot of icetime in the minors, imo

Mikhnov is the wildcard, huh? I think he is 23 or 24, iirc

Earl Sleek said...

Some random thoughts while we wait.

Wait for what? Some sort of six-year, franchise-defining deal?

Big T said...

Big T said;

"It's an awful year to be trying to sign Hemsky long term. Lowe must have just cringed when he saw that number."

Well what the hell do I know??? Turns out not too much. Glad to be wrong on this one. We'll see how Hemsky handles the expectations now. They're gonna be huge.

Good for him for suggesting a long term deal though. I might even buy a Hemmer jersey.