Monday, July 9, 2012

Brooks Is Nuts!

1) NY Rangers Columnist Larry Brooks has been one of our favourite hockey writers for some time.  His run ins with John Tortorella are some of the most funny;postID=7750758086293205905  back and forths one can see.  He is also one of the few writers out there who see the NHL-NHLPA situation clearly and isn't an NHL mouth piece.  However having sad that usually he has trouble seeing past his big market(NY Rangers) bias.  You see in the Larry Brooks world every big name player wants/needs to play in NY.  Every big name is either coming there or is being prevented from playing there by some maleficence conceived by someone or other. 

2) His latest whine/column concerns Nashville's Restricted Free Agent defensemen Shea Weber. In The Larry Brooks world the Predators SHOULD find a way to trade Weber to the Rangers. After all, as Larry writes,"he'd be a good fit".  Can Larry point to ANY of the other 28 teams in which Weber would be a poor fit?  If he was actually on the trade block, and we are NOT hearing that right now, nor do we anticipate it, there would be at least 20 teams or more making David Poile offers for the 27 year old Norris Trophy runner-up. Why would the Rangers be the best fit?  This isn't the old days (and we're certain Brooks laments this) when the Rangers could simply use their financial muscle to get what they wanted.  Today, for better or worse, all 30 clubs are bound to a tight capped system, and the only advantage the Rangers might have is the allure of a big market and possible increased exposure/(non hockey income) and at the moment the chance to win.

3) The problem with Brooks' logic in his article is he wouldn't part with any of the biggest/best prospects/players to get Weber.  If you're not willing to part with something significant, you can't expect to get something for nothing. The days of getting a Mark Messier, in his prime, for Louie Debrusk, Steven Rice, and old Bernie Nichols along with a boat load of cash, are done Larry. Get over it!  The biggest problem is the Predators are NOT trying to lose yet another big named defensemen, AND they can afford ANY possible offer sheets a team like NY might attempt, front loaded or not.  Its in Weber's best interest, as Brooks correctly does mention, for Weber to sign a long term extension NOW, before the new CBA is written.  When its likely there will be a limit placed on contract length, and the sliver of cap circumvention used with such deals is closed.

4) Additionally, and undoubtedly Brooks knows this too, not all players want to play in NY (or Montreal) and be under the scrutiny of playing on such a large stage brings.  A lot of these guys are from small towns and prefer the slower way of life and not everyone takes to the metropolitan life style like lets say Henrik Lundqvist does. Brooks needs to realize the days of EVERY player being rumoured to be headed to NY are over.  The rangers actually have benefited from the salary cap. Since its implementation they have concentrated  on developing their own talent and this is what has produced dividends like Girardi, Kreider, Lundqvist, Staal, etc.

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