Monday, August 27, 2007

Both Extremes!

1)While a great number of the remaining UFA's sit and wait to get a call, hoping to extend their NHL careers (some like Bryan Berard even willing to accept a training camp invite without a contract) 3 other prominent players are STILL out there who CAN play/contribute, but haven't yet decided if they WANT to play.
  • Peter Forsberg
  • Scott Niedermayer
  • Teemu Selanne
2) In the responses of our last post, two folks (I Speek the Truth) and (Bitchany) commented upon Forsberg. We agree that Foppa's(Peter Forsberg) situation is so tenuous/unknown that no GM at this point has him on their short term radar. The cap cost, injury uncertainty, and limit on who he'd be willing to play for all limit his current attractiveness That's not to say that not almost all 30 teams wouldn't mind a HEALTHY Foppa on their team. As we mentioned, quite a few teams have enough cap space to satisfy his anticipated demands (5+ mil) His situation reminds us a little bit of the Roger Clemens nonsense in MLB. He limited the number of teams he'd play for, and wouldn't start until June. So far with 5 wins, we'd say he swindled the Yankees!

3) Niedermayer's situation is different from the other two on our list. Scott has a valid contract for this AND next season for a bout 6.75 mil/per. Right after his Cup win, he mentioned he MAY retire. Since then it has been apparent that his team the Ducks were anticipating he would(signing Schneider), but still held out hope he'd return. To their credit they have remained on the high road. All along saying they'd 'give Scott time'. Even during the Penner situation when Brian Burke could have legitimately demanded an answer, the Ducks didn't publicly call out their (former-?) captain. As we have mentioned previously, no matter his recent/long term success Neidermayer's lack of a timely decision is disdainful and self centered. If reports are to be believed that he has enrolled his kids in Anaheim schools, then it may mean he's returning after all, but Scott, say something NOW!

4) Selanne, unlike Niedermayer, is a UFA. He could go where ever he'd like. To this point, other than some unsubstantiated rumors in July about a likely Flyers destination things have been quiet with regard to the Finnish Flash. Brian Burke has noted he'd like to have him back, but has already invested in other players making it difficult for Teemu to return IF Niedermayer also returns. Retirement is also a possibility, but after a resurgence in Disneyland, we don't see that as a likely hood. If he was dead set on the Ducks and Scott also returned, Teemu would have to take a modest pay cut and have a lions share of his salry in performance bonuses. That way the Ducks could defer his cap hit. We are hearing that this is the most likely scenario, and he doesn't want to uproot his family and leave for another NHL team. Else a return to Finland would be more likely.

5) Meanwhile on the other extreme players like:
  • Anson Carter

  • Brent Sopal

  • CUJO

  • Robert Esche

  • Jason Allison

  • Tony Amonte
    Jeff Friesen
    David Tanabe, etc. are all still looking for a job.

6) Some like carter and Allison may be pricing themselves out of a job. certainly Allison should fire his agent or kick himself in the shorts for not taking a bit less last year. We're told that he'd get little more than the league minimum now. As for Carter, after last year most GM's would be wary of giving him anything more than a 2-way deal, which the proud Anson will never do. A trip over the pond is more likely is no one comes calling soon. Brent Sopal is more of an enigma. he puts up decent enough offensive numbers, but seems to get bounced around more than one would expect. Of all the listed players, he is the most likely to be on a starting roster come October.

Note we are complating our Off season Report cards-West. We hope to have it out Wednesday. As always, keep it here for the latest!


Sauce said...

Niedermayer - you're talking about one of the toughest decisions any professional athlete has to make in his entire lifetime. His employer has given him full freedom to make his decision on his own timetable. Sure, Burke would've liked an earlier answer to allow him to make his cap space moves - but it's not like the delay is gonna be the difference between a cup and not making the playoffs. That team will be just fine no matter what Niedermayer's final decision is. So I'm not sure if it's appropriate for any of us to call for a decision. Leave the guy alone.

Sopel - I think you're quite right about this guy. He's not exactly the model of a "play-your-heart-out" player, but he's still got some real value, especially for a team that needs to fill some holes on the back line.


1) Well, for the first month after the Cup we would have agreed with you. Scott earned the right to take a few weeks away from hockey and decide his future.
2) However, he has to know he is in a business. As such that requires a responsibility not only to his employers, but to his teammates. They won't ever say so, but privately we bet they're none too happy with it being almost September and Scott STILL not sure what he's gonna do
3) Even in the non cap NHL it would have been appropriate to notify the team sooner than now. In the capped NHL reality, a player with another 13+ million remaining on his deal has to accept that the team made a commitment to him financially, and its his responsibility to live up to it by making timely decisions that can affects his team.
4) The Ducks will never go public for a variety of reasons, but they can not be pleased by this dragging of the feet. Just as the Ducks owed Scott time to decide, Neidermayer owed the Ducks a reasonably timely decision

Sauce said...

Question - If the Islanders are still on the hook cap-wise for Garth Snow's 750K salary (even though he officially "retired" to take the GM role, why wouldn't the Ducks still be on the cap-hook for Neidermeyer's salary?


1) We believe it has to do with their respective ages at which they signed their contracts.
2) We believe the new CBA spells out that a player who is over 35 when they signed their contract will have that count against the cap regardless of retirement. Much like the Devils were on the hook with Malakhov last year
3) As Scott was only 33 when he signed his current deal the Ducks would NOT be charged with his salary towards their cap. Snow was 36 whe he signed a 3 year deal that the Isles are forced to count regardless of his new position on the team

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