Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I'll admit that I have no idea where the market is going in the NHL. If you had asked me what Ethan Moreau was going to get if he got extended I would not have guessed a cap hit of 2 per year. And I would not have figured on Staios getting 2.7 per.
But I'm alright with it.
1/ The Oil are a young team and these guys are two of the few vets remaining. Sure they could go out and get other guys of this ilk but why do that when you already have two guys who know the organization, the players, the coaches and who both want to be there. You might save some cash but not a pile of it for these type of players.
2/ Considering the Oilers lack experienced defenceman and guys who can play a physical two way game they would likely have to replace these guys with UFAs (overpay) or through trade (give up an asset for a guy who you don't know and who is again, likely not much cheaper)
3/ Stability. In a league where turnover of players was already high before the new CBA the Oilers are locking up their core guys and, with MacT also locked up, showing that some things should stay the same. It also sends the right message to their teammates.
4/ The fans. This franchise has watched player after player leave over the years. Few Oilers spent the majority of their careers here. Call me sentimental but its nice to see guys like Moreau and Staios who established themselves as players here look to stay here. I'm tired of cheering for laundry - these guys are Oilers through and through. They're good players and they are popular with their teammates and the fans.
5/ The Oilers aren't getting handcuffed by these contracts. With so many youngsters who will not get paid for a while and with the fact that these are lower - medium deals this isn't the Lightening paying 20M for three guys. My math may be wrong but presuming that Sykora and Tjarnqvist are gone the Oilers can still pay Smyth @ 5M and be around the 40M mark. Only Raffi and Greene's contracts are up, I think, and while Raffi might get bumped up I think he's still affordable as well (or tradebait). Finally, and this might sound hypocritical after all my lovey dovey talk earlier, these contracts are eminently tradeable. Say its 2010 and they have to give big bucks to Pouliot. He's got the Oilers by the short and curlies, especially as he is the three time defending Conn Smythe trophy award winner. They can give him the money he has earned (especially with four runs to the Cup finals, with three consecutive victories, might I add, they will be flush with cash) and stay under the cap by trading guys like Staios or Moreau.
Who would want them, you ask? There are always going to be teams looking to reach that salary floor and those teams are probably going to be young teams. Having a gritty veteran around to teach the young fellows what it means to be a pro is of value to a club like this and paying 2.7M for a year to meet their cap obligation (plus likely trading him to a contender at deadline time for another asset) is eminently sensible shit.
Know what I'm saying?
Now, when Smytty gets his 5M that's a different kettle of fish unless he pulls a Shanny and keeps going and going .... But we all know where I stand on Smytty.
Posted by Black Dog at 3:58 PM