Monday, June 18, 2007

That's What You Call Forward Thinking

Philly trades for the rights to Hartnell and Timmonen and then signs them both to long term deals.

That's what you call being ahead of the curve. Ahead of everyone else in the league.

Ramifications for the Oilers - well, Hartnell who they apparently coveted is off the table.

And with Timmonen's arrival, Pitkanen is certainly available.

Kevin Lowe, take notice of Mr. Holmgrem's work. That's some impressive stuff.


robert cleave said...

Well, where to start? First, both of those contracts seem to be on the high side. Timonen's seems very high for a guy who wasn't exactly a terror at EV.

I'm not sure I buy the "Pitkanen's more available" line of thinking, Pat. He's making 2 million, which will be right around the league average next year, and he's RFA as opposed to UFA after '08. Why unload him? If they wanted to add the type of player the Oilers have to offer (Torres), the Hartnell signing takes care of that need. Philly really needs a centre to cap off their summer, and unless you see Horc or Stoll on the move to the Flyers, I'm not sure the parts match up anymore.

Finally, this turn of events has all sorts of potential signs for the Preds' future. Leopold seems certain to be in charge of the franchise through the summer, so a cut in payroll is highly likely. Will this discourage the locals from buying tickets? The business community wasn't exactly hopping on the bandwagon of a good team the last 2 seasons. Does a stripped team drive them away even more? On a tangential note, if the league slow walks the sale to Balsillie in order to hold him off moving the team to Hamilton, does he walk? Does Leopold sue when the next bid for his team isn't for 220 million-plus? By not giving a yea or nay to the sale before the draft and free agency, the hockey side of the Predators has their hands tied. They may not have kept Timonen or Hartnell, but they don't look to be replacing them with current NHL players either. The BOG may think Balsillie is a pushy arriviste, but but not moving on the sale until the fall, the on-ice product is going to suffer.

Black Dog said...

well, robert - I would agree that both contracts seem a little high but that's the nature of the UFA market - I think last season I could count only a handful of guys who were good bargains, in my mind, and they were 2nd tier guys - I like the move and I like both players - I think Kinger had a look at Timmonen that showed he actually may be a little underrated in terms of the opposition he faced and the results

My thinking behind Joni is that Timmonen takes his place essentially - he will run the PP - now they may keep him around but he really struggled last season and a change of scenery might do him some good - plus he has some good value I think. You're right on about Torres though and maybe the Oilers are out of luck

as for the Preds - crazy stuff - I think its just the beginning and its Leopold's way of saying he's done - interesting thing I saw yesterday on the Reporters - essentially according to their bylaws they have to approve Balsillie - I think he and Leopold have planned this out and if they do not get approval it will go to the courts

how do you tell Leopold that he cannot sell his team to the highest bidder - a lot of bs that is and he would have a case I would think

Kyle said...

Pat, couldn't agree more about the increasing availability of Pitkanen.

You have to wonder if Kevin Lowe tried to make a trade for those guy and was refused.

Black Dog said...

I would doubt it Kyle - reeks a little of a set up to me - I think if teams knew that rights to these guys could be had for a low/mid first rounder that someone would have stepped in with a better bid.

If you're the Oilers and you really want Hartnell (and they may not have at that price lets face facts) then you could offer the Isles pick or the Ducks' pick plus a prospect if you really wanted him.

Now of course Robert is right as to the contracts being overpays esp. when you think Hartnell will be behind Gagne on the LW but as I said the UFA market is always crazy.

Kyle said...

You're probably right, I was mostly alluding to the supposed teams that didn't get a chance at Smytty. You wonder if some of them don't really want to deal with Lowe for a while.

A lot of speculation based on hearsay by my part though.

Master Lok said...

So unless the Oilers were willing to pay Hartnell 4.3 million per season - how have they lost out?

If they traded a first to Nashville - and couldn't get Hartnell signed because they didn't want to pay $4million plus for six years - then they would have given up the 1st rounder for nothing.

Mr DeBakey said...

The contracts were done [with permission] before the draft pick changed hands