Monday, April 6, 2009

The Long Good Bye!?

1) With the expected flat lining of the salary cap (with significant player money withheld- up to 18%) followed by an expected significant DROP in the salary cap in 10-11, many teams are going to be cutting back in anticipation of this new fiscal reality starting THIS coming off season. We are told to expect a larger number of buyouts as teams try desperately to unload bad contracts (decisions). WE are also told that impending free agents, both RFA as well as the impressive crop of UFA's are going to be in for a rude awakening when their agents sit down to negotiate new deals. The long term deals with mega bucks will be much more rare, and many may find themselves getting significantly less than their team mates last summer.

2) However the other component to this story is that we will likely see many players forced to retire. We saw this take place in the first post lock out year when many older players were forced to eventually retire before they felt they were ready because teams simply no longer wanted to risk their finite assets on the 35+ year olds. In the last few years with the expanding cap, older players have been able to hang on. However, we are hearing that this summer will see a significant number of big names either retire out right or end up fading away when the calls go unanswered and they re forced to accept the reality that their NHL careers are over.

3) So who are some of the bigger names who may be playing in their final NHL season?

  • Scott Niedermayer- The elder brother may decide to return , but if he does it will have to be at a reduced rate from the current 6.8 mil he's getting

  • Mark Recchi- The perennial deadline trade fodder is over 40. He still can play a decent 'half court game, but is too slow to be an effective top line forward.

  • Max Afinogenov- Not many in the NHL/Buffalo will miss Minimum Afinogenov. At 3.5 mil he was a bust! Time to play in the KHL comrade!

  • Teppo Numminen- The 40 year old Finn worked hard to comeback this season, but has lost a step, and is a shadow of his former self. We doubt we'll see Teppo back.

  • Michael Peca- The former power forward is more of a utility player than a significant contributor now. Appears to be older than his 34 years.

  • Chris Gratton- Muck like Peca, at 32 appears to be done. One of the more over rated players the past decade. We doubt he'll get more than a 2 way offer this summer

  • Joe Sakic- Captain Joe's long and storied career may be at an end. Injuries have hampered the Av's captain the past 2 seasons. He's one of the players that could return if he chose. Its 50:50 right now we hear

  • Mark Parrish- After getting bought out last summer Mark's career appeared over. He got a brief reprieve this year, but hasn't done anything to earn another look. Time to hang em' up!

  • Sergei Zubov- One of the better/under appreciated defensemen of the past decade, however the 38 year old Russian has suffered numerous injuries the past 2 years. If he returns it'll be at a significant pay cut from the 5.3 mil he made this season

  • Chris Chelios- The 59 year old ageless wonder is probably in his last year in Mo-town, playing a sparingly 24 games. perhaps a nostalgic return to Chicago for one final season to be eligible for the Olympics in 2010?

  • Dwayne Roloson- Pushing 40, but the combo of having respectable numbers and a dearth of quality UFA goalies will probably earn Dwayne a short deal at less tan the 3.5 mil he made this year.

  • Mathieu Schneider- Matt will probably be back to play in his 20 th NHL season but he's gonna take a serious pay cut from the 5.7 mil he made in 08-09

  • Greg De Vries:The 37 year old defender's effectiveness has waned the past few seasons. Not worth the 2.5 mil cap hit.

  • Bobby Holik-In limited time the 38 year old has looked his age. We doubt the Devils will have Bobby back, unless he wants to begin his coaching career in the organization?

  • Brendan Shanahan- Brendan has earned another invite at a similar salary(under 1 mil+incentives) if he wants to continue his long Hall of Fame career.

  • Kevin Weekes- Has lasted a long time as a perennial back up on 8 different teams in a decade career. The road is probably over for the Toronto native

  • Doug Weight- Has made it clear he'd like to return to LI. Had few offers this past summer. Might get a team to bite if he's willing to take a low salary for i year + incentives

  • Mike Sillinger- Multiple hip issues have probably ended the long career of Sillinger.

  • Derian Hatcher- The 37 year old has been hobled by injuries the past coupe of years. we don't see the Flyers resigning the Michigan native

  • Ken Klee- Like Mark Parrish, got one last shot. Unlike Parrrish he's probably earned another NHL contract

  • Miroslav Satan- Pitt regretted signing the 33 year old Slovak to a 3.5 mil deal. He's playing out his deal in Wilkes Barre, and probably won't see an NHL rink again.

  • Bill Guerin- If he's willing to take a Doug Weight type contract we can see Bill returning to Pitt for one last go around, else he's done

  • Jeremy Roenick- The 40 year old isn't contributing much on the ice to earn the 1 million the team is paying. This might finally be it for JR

  • Claude Lemieux- The experiment of bringing in the 47 year old has failed. Nice story, but see no reason for it to continue

  • Rob Blake- may be having a renaissance season, but if Doug Wilson has any sense he won't sign the 39 year old to more than a 2 year extension at a similar salary(5 mil). At his age injuries occur frequently

  • Keith Tkachuk- The 37 year old Boston native will probably get another bloated contract from someone(probably St Louis) Has a mere 8 even strength goals all season. We'd let him go, but we're not fans

  • Manny Legace- No takers when he was available on waivers should give a clue how teams feel about the 36 year old net minder.

  • Olie Kolzig- The comeback with TB didn't work out(as much of the Lightning season didn't). Its all but assured the long time Capital has played his last NHL game.

  • Brad May- The long time agitator/enforcer is probably playing his last few NHL games. It was surprising that he even made the NHL this season

  • Curtis Joseph- (See Kolzig) hopefully fans won't recall this season when they recall CuJo's body of work. Clearly he's lost his effectiveness and his age (42) is apparent. The Hall beckons Curtis.

  • Mats Sundin- We implore, For the love of God Mats, decide on your future on the first day of the off season! Not worth the prorated 8 mil he signed for in our opinion. he may get another deal next year, but we'd offer 1/2(or less) to see the big Swede return

  • Sergei Fedorov- Has been in and out with injuries, and his output sharply down and not worth the 4 mil in cap space. We believe this is Feds swan song season. The HOF is the next stop!

  • Donald Brashear- The 38 year old has made the most of limited ability. Can fight as well as anyone, but that era sadly appears to be over and designated fighters will soon be gone.

  • Michael Nylander- No the 36 year old is not an UFA, but we are hearing whispers that he will be bought out of his remaining 2 seasons if a trade partner can't be found. If that happens Michael will probably be done in the NHL

4) Clearly not ALL the listed players here will be retiring, but we might see a large number of these and several others either not getting an offer, or not receiving what they might feel is a fair deal and hold out until its too late to get back in.

1 comment:


1) Looks like Weight in fact has been resigned by the Isles. A 2 million dollar contract plus incentives. No word if there is a no trade clause

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