Monday, July 2, 2007

Old Time Economics?

1) The first day of the UFA feeding frenzy is over and what seems to be apparent is that there may be 'cost certainty' with a salary cap, but it seems with yesterday's signings the big revenue squads stepped up and scooped up the big names, while the lower revenue teams had to sit back and watch.

2) We were told repeatedly that Gomez wanted to go west, but when it came down to it, to borrow/paraphrase a popular God Father phrase, he just got an offer from the Rangers he couldn't refuse. The amount and length they gave Scott was way more than LA could or wanted to give, so they dropped out of the bidding and Sather got his man. Not to be out done, Glen then set his sights on another prize, Chris Drury. The man that helped sink the Rangers playoff hopes this past spring. By offering the former Sabre to a 5 year 7+ mil deal, they out bid almost all others, and Drury didn't mind staying in NYS either.

3) Add to those signings the Ryan Smyth to Colorado, the Philly acquisitions of Briere yesterday, Hartnell, and Timonen last week, Rafalski to the Redwings, Jason Blake to Toronto and the it appears the former big spenders were back at it! In fairness other teams were in the running for some of these players. The isles actually offered Smyth MORE money than the Avs, but in the end(as we predicted) he went back to his comfort zone, the Western Conference.

4) Its not over either. There are still a few big fish left. Noteably, Sheldon Souray, Hamrlik, Handzus, Guerin, Forsberg, Bertuzzi, etc. Now, other than Souray, those are the second string of UFA's, but they will get decent deals now that the others are gone and teams scramble to try to fill their rosters. We may also see our first offer sheet in the next few days. One asst GM said to us jokingly that a team should offer Ranger RFA goalie Henrik Lundqvist a huge offer sheet, just to stick it to Sather. We're sure the rangers would match it and somehow get him signed, but it would definitely hurt them. More possible would be an offer sheet for ray Emery or Zac Parise. The Isles have lost out on Smyth, and Blake, so they may try to force Lou to match a mega offer at this time. The same might be said of Vanek in Buffalo, but with their losses of both Drury and Briere it appears they have plenty of space to match any offer he might receive.

5) Additionally, with the first wave of UFA's under contract it is much more likely we will start to see the trades that were initiated last week in Columbus to come to fruition. Its an exciting time! We will do a post in the upcoming week or so and go through the biggest winners/losers of the UFA period. Still too early to make any firm determinations, but already some teams have helped themselves while others need to make significant moves to shore up their rosters


Shuck-A-Luck said...

Not sure if the usual offenders really did throw out big bucks. Many were predicting several $7 Million+ contracts and we really only got a couple. It seems like the way the teams competed for free agents this year was adding years to the deals. 5 year deals are not common at UFA time until this year.

Of course with the Cap at 50 Mil and floor at 37 you now do have two different economies in the NHL once again!

As for your coverage and breaking a couple tidbits before TSN and company-nice work, but not surprising considering the fact that TSN and such need confirmation of deals before they spit them out whereas bloggers like you can spew out stuff without confirmation. That is the good and bad of blogging. You can get scoops faster, but then again you can also get filled with tons of bs ala Ek!

Eitherway, nice work!

Sauce said...

Faux - Care to comment on the 8 year deal you reported offered to Smyth by the Isles? Snow claims it was only 5 years at 6.5 per.

Also, I can't see the Islanders issing offer sheets for top RFAs. It would cost them too many draft picks - things which were in short supply this year. The Isles are in desparate need to "prime the pump", and dealing for RFAs works against that.

Jibblescribbits said...

I think the Kings did the right thing dropping out of the Gomez Sweepstakes. 7 years at $7M+ seems like too much to me.

Of course, the offering Lundqvist a lot of money could be a good idea. He's as good as they get.


1) Thanks Shuck. It was avery interesting day. Not sure who was 'supposed to get 7+ million and didn't. Briere, Drury and Gomez all got 7+ and Smyth got just a tad less, although its likely he could have in another location(LI)
2) Yes, Sauce, interesting that Snow felt the need to announce what Smyth had rejected. Now the real problem he has is to ice a competetive team.
3) As for losing 2-3 1st rounders, those are over rated in our opinion. How many of the Isles last few 1st round picks are in the NHL/have a future? Bergenheim/Okposo. Bergie looks like a solid 3rd liner with the jury still out on Okposo.
4) If you can get a 21-22 year old RFA for the loss of a few picks, you have to, especially with the roster looking so bare. Ofcourse its all just an opinion.

Antzmarching said...

It's great to be back from my annual early summer hiatus... I enjoyed a wonderful holiday in Romania... Now, on to the topics at hand...

1. The lower revenue teams seem to be reacting... For example, does anyone actually think the Caps "coveted" Viktor Kozlov? He was available and they needed to show their dwindling fan base that they were going to do something... Strictly reactionary... Of course, Georgie McFly doesn't really know which Kozlov he signed... "Hey McFly, ya got the BAD one..."

2. How does a second line center (Scott Gomez) get this kind of deal? I do like Gomez, but not THIS much... At least he won't be able to kill the Rag$ like he usually does... This was a good personnel signing, but I am not sure if the long term payoff will be there... His numbers were significantly below Nylander's of a year ago...

3. The Islanders have lost Smyth, Blake, Yashin, Kozlov, Zednik, and Poti - they signed Jon Sim... Good job, Charlie... Well, Dainius Zubrus is still available... The Isles are falling into Flyer/Capital territory...

4. Faux, give it a rest - King Henrik is NOT going anywhere... The Rag$ did not overpay for their two new guys to sit back and watch their FUTURE walk out the door... The King is staying put - his backup, however, will shortly be wearing his 28th different sweater in as many years...

5. The Rag$ are the big winners, especially when factoring in their potential "steal" in last month's amateur draft...


1) Let us clarify Antz. We do NOT believe Lundqvist will be going anywhere even if an offer sheet comes his way. Sather would have no choice but to match it regardless of the cosequences
2)Glen knows that even with his expensive offensive upgrades, his team is not a contender unless King Henrik is playing to his capabilities. It would be nice though to see him have to scramble if such an offer was made.
3) Its a no lose situation for some rival GM. If you get Henrik you got a Vezina callibre tender and only lose a max of 4 1st rounders. If you don't get him, you force Sather into a corner(financially) preventing many further moves/upgrades.

Antzmarching said...

Faux, I made many other observations, so why just comment on the Lundqvist one? What, in your estimation, are the Islanders doing?


1) the isles placed all their eggs in the Smyth basket, now they have an empty nest-Literaly. Wang/Snow thought his personality/the isle's history/having Nolan as coach, along with his $$ would sell Smyth to stay.
2) They never had a chance and we find it amazing that almost EVERYONE inside hockey(Including all of us a FAUXRUMORS) knew this from the beginning. Smyth was NOT going to stay on LI!
3) Now they go to plan B. Problem is Snow is scrambling to write up plan B as we speak. he's on the phone with the agents for Zubrus/Comrie/Souray etc to see if they can placate the fans/ice a competetaive team next fall


1) Antz: Thought you'd find this amusing. Found it from an isles message board. Guess they were getting grief from Ranger fans:
Sim 17 goals / 1 million
Gomez 13 goals / 7 million

Antzmarching said...

Faux, that is VERY amusing... However, Sim would only have had 3 goals had he not played the CRAPS as many times last year... He is, historically, a CRAP/KOLZIG killer... Any time the Rag$ are harrassed, I find it worthy of a read... Thanks

The Dark Ranger said...

The Rangers overpay for huge players? Nonsense!!! ;)

The Rangers were able to pay the big bucks because they had enough room even last season in their salary cap. For the last couple of seasons, "Glenny" actually had a lower payroll than most. As of now, they have only spent $37 million in salary cap -- including our huge Strudwick signing (kidding), so there is still enough to sign Shanahan (2 million, plus veteran 2 million bonus post season) Lundquist ($7 million if necessary, which won't happen), Prucha (1.5 million), Sean Avery (2 million) with room to spare.

I think Lundquist will sign for five years for $17 million, which leaves some room for a REAL defenseman -- the real need for my Blueshirts. We are so Center-Heavy, we forgot about the boys who guard the net.

What a couple of days...



1) Dark, your assessment is pretty true. The Rangers benefited from:
a) a resurgent Jagr who's salary was augmented by Cap's owner Ted Leonsis
b) A rookie goalie who's salary was a huge bargain
c) A no-name defense that played beyond expectations but who's mistakes were covered well by Henrik
2) With the 2 UFA signings, Lundqvist now due a nice raise, the Rangers will have a tad less flexibility, especially since this may be JJ's last season. Replacing his production for 4 mil/year will be tough!

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