Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Great Goalie Gamble!!

1) The recent trend in the NHL has been to avoid having your better players become free agents and instead act proactively and sign them to long term deals long before they can test the waters of free agency. Its a bit of a risk for both parties.  The player giving up possibly a lucrative UFA deal in favor of security along with a pretty good salary anyway.  However we at Fauxrumors believe the players who would deserve such deals are few are far between, and certainly almost NO goalies would be in that category

2) You would think that teams would have to go no further than what happened to the NY Islanders. Actually we should say, what the NY Islanders and Charlie Wang did to themselves when they gave Rick Dipietro an absurdly long 15 year contract. Incredible for a skater, incredibly insane for a goalie, especially one who had yet to cement himself as a legit top 5 NHL goalie.  It took several sub par/injury plagued seasons before the Isles cut bait and let Ricky retire in peace.  However if you look at some recent, and some not too recent deals of goalies you'd be scratching your head wondering if ANYONE learns from past mistakes,

3) Here are in our opinion a few ridiculous contracts goalies have signed that we feel teams will (if not already) live to regret before the deal is up.

  • Cam Ward: Still has 2 MORE years at 6.3 million to not help the Canes make the post season (again). A probable off season compliance buy-out! 
  • Henrik Lundqvist: 8.5 mil til 2021! No doubt Hank is in his prime, but will he be in 3-4 years when he'll still have 4 years left at that cap hit?
  • Tuuka Rask: 7 million till 2021. Now while he is a probable Vezina finalist this season, can he stay at that level for another 8 more years?  History says probably not.
  • Corey Crawford 6 million till 2020. See above. Really good now, but probably will appear vastly overpaid in 2-3 years
  • Jon Quick 5.8 mil till 2023. What if newcomer, phenom Martin Jones outplays him at some point in the next year or two?  Won't be easy to move that contract (unless Jay Feaster finds another GM job)
  • Carey Price 6.5 mil till 2018. Not quite as onerous, but we still are not in favor of giving any goalie 5 years or more in term 
  • Mike Smith: 5.7 mil for 5 more years after this one.  He had 1 good season and they sign him to that kind of deal?  Very foolish, and they will feel it in the upcoming year or two
  • Pekke Rinne 7 mil for another 5 seasons.  Big dollars for a guy who has yet to win anything. Granted he is one of their more valuable players, but can he be durable/dependable enough for another half decade?
  • Semyon Varmalov: 5.9 mil for another 5 seasons: Having break out Vezina/Hart type season, but past injury issues and inconsistent play would give us pause in giving him that kind of long term contract 
3) Apparently teams have NOT learned.  Its not in most cases that these players haven't earned a nice deal, but its the length that we have a problem with. We wouldn't give any goalie more than 3 years. Perhaps can get an extension after the 2nd year if his play stays at a high level. yes, its a risk that he could ask for even more money, but recent years have shown that goalies are important, but a replaceable commodity. For every Patrick Roy Marty Brodeur who had steady/stellar carears there are many JS Giguere, Jose Theadores, cam wards etc who have 1-2 great seasons than fall back down to Earth.

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