July 26, 2005

To buy out or not buy out: The St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators say they aren't going the buy out route in the NHL's new fiscal landscape. The Red Wings have already said goodbye to Ray Whitney, Derian Hatcher and Darren McCarty. What's the right way to go about this, who needs to get the axe and who are you hoping your team lands?

posted by wfrazerjr to hockey at 01:18 PM - 27 comments

I hope my team manages to grab that Sidney kid in the draft. He's supposed to be pretty good.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 01:27 PM on July 26

I'm confused. Why did the Flyers directly buy-out Leclair and Amonte, while the Wings placed the trio on waivers so that they could then exercise the buy-out later. What's the point of that? Bought out players can't re-sign with their current team. So yeah, I'm confused. Did the Wings think someone would claim Hatcher or Whitney in the hope of getting compensation? That wasn't going to happen.

posted by garfield at 02:12 PM on July 26

I think the Bruins should sign more than 4 players.

posted by yerfatma at 02:23 PM on July 26

I like the release strategy. In fact, I think the Leafs have a good chance if they release the entire team and sign the Lightning.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:33 PM on July 26

I hope the Leafs up the Swedish population of the GTA with either Naslund or Forsberg. Or both. Niedermayer or Aucoin would be a sweet pick up. Marchment should never put on a Leaf sweater again.

posted by garfield at 02:39 PM on July 26

Whitney might be worth grabbing for another team at a lower price. His speed and shiftiness might turn out to be an asset on the right team. But at $2.6million, he's a bit overpriced. $1.5million + incentives is what I'd pitch to him if I was an interested team. The real test is to find out how many players in the NHL really WOULD want to play in Toronto, or just used the city as a bargaining chip to sign a bigger deal somewhere else. I hope the Leafs up the Swedish population of the GTA with either Naslund or Forsberg. I said the same thing to my friends, that Sundin should be part of the pitch for those players. Supposedly, Mats is considered the head-honcho of the Swedish players, so maybe they'd line up to play with him at a reduced rate? Just as long as Tommy Salo doesn't join them. I'm hoping the Leafs trim Nolan, McCabe and Belfour from the roster, ignore phone calls from Nieuwendyk and Roberts and sign Domi to a $750,000 contract ("for the fans"). If they can make these decisions, then grabbing guys like Naslund and Niedermeyer might actually happen.

posted by grum@work at 02:55 PM on July 26

True. It's a shame, though. I like Nolan and McCabe, and if they weren't so pricey I'd love them to stay. I guess te Leafs are going to find out if Tellqvist is ready for prime time in the nets this year.

posted by chicobangs at 02:58 PM on July 26

Good Christ - I'd pay Whitney about $1.5 million over 3 years. New era guys, make your lunch at home. I like to order Jeff O'Neill, Scott Neidermayer, Roberts, Nuiewendyk, Leetch, Kariya. I think it can be done. Maybe 3 free agents are actually going to see a $5 million/year contract in whole league. I think you can get all those players for about $12 million. Crazy, huh? Hold the Marchment. And I never ordered the Nolan, that's a mistake on the bill. And McCabe stays. He's under contract - it ain't worth buying him out and he's fucking good. People forget - he was 4th in defencemen scoring many moons ago, when hockey was played all over the continent.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:33 PM on July 26

So getting rid of all the high priced guy's means lower ticket prices right. Or am I the only one that thinks there is going to be a flood of hockey players in the want ads?

posted by volfire at 03:41 PM on July 26

maybe they'd line up to play with him at a reduced rate I think that is a legitimate possibility. All of them have had lucrative contracts before, so $ isn't definitely no.1, and this stint with the Leafs would be a last NHL hoorah with your homeboy, and maybe win a Cup. Atleast some smart GM is gonna pitch the 'come to a winner' line and land ridiculous talent.

posted by garfield at 03:42 PM on July 26

I think the Bruins should sign more than 4 players. Well, at least they don't have to buy anyone out. According to www.bostonbruins.com, they made long-term offers to Thornton (5 years), Gonchar (4), Samsonov (3), Axelsson (3) and Lapointe (3) today. So far they're headed in the right direction, and it looks like O'C will be trying his hardest to make sure Joe and Sammy won't walk as free agents after this season. I'll start bitching about management as soon as they do something wrong, but so far I have to admit I'm pleased.

posted by Samsonov14 at 05:39 PM on July 26

I fully expect the Leafs to offer Domi $750K and for Tie to head to Pittsburgh to play with his buddy Mario. I also expect Belfour to go bye-bye, but I think the Leafs might look at a much cheaper Curtis Joseph as the answer. Joseph (from the hockey grapevine up here) really wants to return to Toronto to be near his family and hopefully resurrect his popularity. I think it'd be a great signing. As for Forsberg, I think Sundin should have some pull with him. Be neat to be able to sell his jerseys. Nieuwendyk and Roberts are toast, so is Nolan. And what in the holy hell are the Blues doing? Why would they choose to keep paying Keith and Doug? I know the buyout number's a bitch, but my god, talk about hamstringing your franchise! I could just kick Bill Laurie in the nuts right now.

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:47 PM on July 26

Oh, and by the way, Mighty Ducks GM Brian Burke is actively shopping the No. 2 pick. How about Chris Pronger to Anaheim for that slot?

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:52 PM on July 26

Puck aficionados I have a question for you. Seeing as how Bettman & Co. have effectively slashed contract pricing in half, what are the odds that a few of the former high priced players opt to play overseas rather than play in the NHL?

posted by lilnemo at 06:06 PM on July 26

Lil, unless they have ties to the old country, I suspect very few will venture back over. Money and endorsements might be about the same, but there's still a prestige factor involved in playing in the NHL.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:45 PM on July 26

Very slim, lilnemo. As always, some guys who can't cut it in the NHL will head overseas. The problem is that overseas leagues can't even begin to compete with NHL salaries. The Russian Super League is the closest in salaries, but since they don't publicize the terms of deals over there, no one is quite sure what the real story is. You can find some basic info on RSL salaries at Andrew's Stars Page. You might see one or two older free agents go back to their home countries if no teams bid for them, but it's highly unlikely that you'll see anyone who could be described as a pretty good player heading overseas anytime soon.

posted by Samsonov14 at 06:49 PM on July 26

Prestige that they gave up for more money. Which they ended up not getting. It's like starting a war and then losing , now your you play by the rules the winning side makes. They agreed to less than what they originally went on strike for no? The owners are in charge now unconditionaly. What resources do the players have left? The union?

posted by volfire at 08:01 PM on July 26

Seeing as how Bettman & Co. have effectively slashed contract pricing in half, what are the odds that a few of the former high priced players opt to play overseas rather than play in the NHL? you mean like jager?

posted by goddam at 10:36 PM on July 26

d'oh. i meant jagr.

posted by goddam at 10:36 PM on July 26

Who ever wants Pronger, take him and build your team around him. See where it gets you. Nowhere. Maybe then the Blues will have a winning season. We need to keep Doug and Keith because they are the best two players on the team and we wouldn't be anywhere without them.

posted by ccdistancerunner at 11:05 PM on July 26

I'm glad/relieved that my boys have finally told Patrice Breeze-by not to let the door hit his ass on the way out (to Paris.) Not only was he only kept around to remind the good-ol'-francophone fanbase of the (completely improbable) last Cup run, he was the highest paid player on the team. Ye Gods. I hope they keep Koivu but trade him after they sign a franchise player. God knows there is gonna be one or four big names going wanting for teams -- it's time to admit Koivu is just not robust enough to carry the team.

posted by docgonzo at 11:34 PM on July 26

correction: the players didn't strike. they were locked out.

posted by garfield at 08:21 AM on July 27

So getting rid of all the high priced guy's means lower ticket prices right. It never has and it never will.

posted by grum@work at 09:24 AM on July 27

I'm a Rangers fan: Anyone and everyone can go.

posted by ajaffe at 09:59 AM on July 27

CC, as a Blues fan, I think they should have done what they've been putting off doing -- clean house and start over. Here's the one chance the franchise has to admit they've made some awful free-agent acquisitions and begin anew, and instead ownership is going to hamstring the Blues for several more years to come. Tkachuk and Weight aren't bad players, but with the new cap, there's no way you can have them eating up $12-13M of your payroll. Cut 'em loose, sign some new talent, play the young 'uns and look to the future.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:55 AM on July 27

It never has and it never will. Exactly. we're talking supply and demand. A place like Toronto has a huge demand so they would be silly to lower prices. A place with lower demand will have some special offers to ticket buyers. Ticket prices have pretty much nothing to do with team payroll and are mostly related to what the market will bear.

posted by gspm at 12:12 PM on July 27

in the new nhl anyone who makes over 5 million dolars aaing a39 million dollar slary cap is expendable. I hope the wings can at least resign Bredan Shanahan, and make a run at Tony amonte

posted by navy9112000 at 12:15 PM on July 27

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