Forum answers VII

Looks like there will be a need for one more set of answers, which might be a record. Here’s the seventh set of answers…

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Questions: What were your thoughts on the Smyth trade? Do you think Smyth is worth the $6.2 mill he earns. Was there any rumblings of anyone else coming via trade? I know DL has his Philly connection, was there any truth to the Gagner or Hartnell rumors?

Answers: 1) The Smyth trade can’t hurt. The Kings got rid of a quality defenseman, but they (at least potentially) have a bunch of those ready to come up through the system, and they got rid of an awful contract when Tom Preissing left. In exchange, they get a team leader with 30-goal potential. 2) Define “rumblings.” That’s pretty vague. Smyth was the first target, so there really wasn’t any need to go beyond him. 3) Hartnell, yes; Gagne, no.

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Question: how much does Scuderi know about Doughty? Lemme rephrase that … Are you as looking forward to (as we are), of hearing Scuderi say into Daryl Evans interview microphone (after say the first 20 games of the season): “Wow … I had no idea this kid was this flippin’ good, this young.” Just curious? Thanks

Answer: It seemed, based on talking to him, that Scuderi certainly was aware of Doughty, but I would be surprised if he knew much more about him than from just catching Kings games on TV. Obviously they didn’t play together growing up and they haven’t met in any international tournmants, but I’m sure Scuderi has seen a bit of Doughty and heard some good word of mouth.

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Question: Who if anyone will be replacing Quincy on the fan cruise later this month?

Answer: Haven’t heard, but I doubt that he will be replaced by anyone at this late date.

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Question: I’m always curious when the Kings trade for a new player, like recently with Smyth, you say “I’ll be able to get an interview with him by tomorrow.” I take it you don’t already have his contact information. How do you get a hold of a player if you’ve never been able to talk with him before? Do you contact the Kings and request that they give you Smyth’s information?

Answer: There was a similar question earlier, but yes, the Kings’ communication staff is very helpful in terms of getting me in touch with newly acquired players.

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Question: Who do you think the leader is for the 2nd line center position? Handzus? Stoll? or someone who can produce scoring wise?

Answer: Good question. I think I would work backward, and say that because the Handzus-Simmonds pair was so successful last season, the Kings might be inclined to keep them together on the third line. Also, Stoll and Brown seemed to have some chemistry too, so that might increase Stoll’s chances of taking that spot. I guess, based on those factors, I would give Stoll the edge.

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Question: What ae the Chances we trade for Kaberle now that Beauchemin has taken his place? it would replace Quincey’s production almost exactly.

Answer: Tomas Kaberle? Of the Maple Leafs? The guy who will make $4.25 million next season. I’ll go with “zero percent” on that one.

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Question: Do you think TM spoke to brother BM for insight about Heatley’s character (flaws) before pulling out of any reported trade dialogues or do you think they got word of the “red flags” through the media like everyone else? I think there’s quite a few GM’s that would be willing to forget about his negotiation tactics and take him on for 40-50 goals a season. How forgiving could DL be and for what price?

Answer: I don’t know, for a fact, that Terry Murray talked to his brother, but I certainly don’t think your theory is ridiculous, by any means. I don’t think Lombardi, or any GM, is influenced by media reports when it comes to players. They have much more reliable sources they can go to, people around the league whose insights and opinions they trust. I don’t think Lombardi completely cut off Heatley. Obvioulsy he at least talked to Ottawa about a possible trade, but he concluded that the price, coupled with the risk, was too much. Edmonton looked at the same factors and decided that it was worth the risk, but then Heatley bit Edmonton’s hand.

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Question: Understanding that Smyth has made Heatley a mute point for the Kings, where do you see him landing? Are there GM’s that care more about stats and less about character?

Answer: wow, I really don’t know. Given that there weren’t many realistic options to begin with, and two of them (the Kings and Edmonton) are off the table, I guess I’d say that the odds have Heatley staying put. Edmonton’s willingness to pull off a trade certainly indicates that there’s a market for Heatley. The questions are, who can afford him, and where will he agree to go? It’s going to be difficult to find a team that answers both questions.

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Question: Please answer if this hasn’t been brought up more than a couple of times: How is Drewiske not the 6th defenseman? I hear a lot of talk about another veteran d-man coming in to fill that spot. Granted, he played what, a quarter of a season, but he was the best defenseman on the team not named Doughty over that stretch. Poise, vision, intelligence – the kid has what it takes. What are your thoughts, and the thoughts of the KIngs’ organization on this? I think it’s his spot to lose. Anybody else coming in is purely insurance and our 7th guy. Then of course, there’s Harrold…

Answer: At this point, I think Drewiske would be the favorite to fill that sixth spot, but I’m definitely not shocked that Lombardi would look for another veteran. Remember that other than O’Donnell, the Kings don’t have a defenseman over age 30. When you have that many young defensemen, it’s never a bad idea to bring in a steady hand who can provide some leadership. It could very well end up, as you suggest, that the “unnamed veteran” is the No. 7 guy, while Drewiske fills the No. 6 spot. The chances of that increase even further if the Kings decide to keep Harrold at forward.

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Questions: 1) I’m confused as to why Quick isn’t our No. 1 goaltender for ’09-’10 (at the very least tentatively, if not clearly) coming into this season. Granted, I didn’t get to watch every game, but nearly every game he gave the team a chance to win. He was nearly perfect when it came to breakaways and odd-man rushes (so many spectacular post-to-posts). To me, he’s the best thing that’s happened to the Kings in goal since…since…wow, it’s been a long time, huh?
2) How do you see our third/fourth lines changing, if at all, this next season? What ‘personalities’ do you think TM will want out of those lines?
3) What odds would you place on Simmonds putting up 30+ goals this year? I’m sorry, I love the kid, and I really hope he turns out to be our best surprise. He’s got grit, speed, and a great shot. I think if given the chance and experience in the upper lines he can be a fantastic player. Any chance TM will give him a shot in the top 6 for a while?
4) Is there any truth to this ‘sophomore slump’ rubbish I hear tossed about? With folks like Simmonds, Doughty, and Quick coming into their second year, it vaguely worries me, like that spicy burrito you eat before a long drive.

Answers: 1) A couple things. First, I would agree that Quick seems to be the Kings’ best option at this point, and logic dictates that as long as he performs well in training camp, he will enter the season as the No. 1 goalie. I’ll give you a couple words of caution though. One is that Quick has yet to play a full season in the NHL, and the stress of being a No. 1 goalie is much different than coming in, without many expectations, and thriving as a midseason call-up. Second, remember that 12 months ago, a lot of people were ready to hand the No. 1 job to Ersberg based on his strong play at the end of 2008. 2) I would expect that Handzus/Simmonds will remain the anchor of the third line. The other four spots, in my estimation, are completely open and are subject to Terry Murray’s whim and the way that players perform in camp. 3) Simmonds with 30 goals, this year? Wow, that’s VERY optimistic. I would set my realistic sights more in the 15-20 range. That said, Murray wasn’t shy about moving Simmonds around when Simmonds was playing well, so I don’t doubt that Simmonds could play his way into a more prominent role. 4) No, I don’t really believe in the term “sophomore slump.” There’s no question that a player’s performance can dip in his second season, but I don’t think there’s anything inherent about a second season that makes a player likely to slump.

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Question: Rich, does it scare you with such young players on our team that need to be developed from a fitness perspective consistently and properly, that the strength coach was fired in the offseason, or simply let go? Players like Doughty, Moller, Simmonds are very young and need to properly exercise with clear goals in mind over these months. Another player like Purcell, needs to gain weight but his body type needs to be examined and scrutinized by the strength staff to properly put weight on him, he is 23-24 and needs 20+ lbs. What are your thoughts? If I was going to fire the strength coach I would have done it prior to the end of the season so as to not lose one second of time for the new guy coming in…

Answer: Not particularly. The new coach is in place now, and he now has more than two months to get the players where he wants them. Frankly, if they’re dedicated pro athletes, they shouldn’t even need a coach looking after them all that much. They should be self-motivated and know what they need to do in order to get themselves in top shape. Remember that Doughty, without any supervision from the Kings, dropped something like 20-25 pounds before last year’s training camp. I certainly agree, though, that the timing was odd, particularly since at the end of the season, Murray and Lombardi spoke so passionately about the need for an offseason plan.

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  • TeamHasHoles

    So Rich, if the Kings are looking for a cheap, veteran defenseman over 30 who won’t play in every game, why not consider Chris Chelios.

    He has a home in LA, he played for $750,000 last season and I doubt he’d be looking for much of a raise. He virtually invented the words grit and character (well, aside from the Nagano Olympics) he was apart of the Detroit machine and could certainly instill work habits in the young players, particularly the defensemen and he still wants to play (yes at 47!).

    I mean if you’re just going to sign a bad penalty and turnover machine like Gauthier, why not look at Chelios? There are other veterans I think would be cheap that have the requisite experience and would fit in as well.

  • JPUCK

    The last time Jarret Stoll had 20 goals was on Edmonton in the 05-06 season. Stoll also also had 46 assists that year. Coincidentally, Ryan Smyth played with Stoll quite a bit that season and had 36 goals (a decade high) and and 30 assists.

    Does DL see something in the chemistry between Stoll and Symth? How do you think their playing styles will match up?

  • Mudfish4

    Re: TeamHasHoles

    Amen my friend! I think Chelios would be a great fit as you described. Maybe we’d get a new Chili place in LA with it too. :-)

  • Kevin Y

    As much as Chelios would be the perfect player for the Kings to acquire for that role, there’s something telling me that it’s simply too good to be true. Considering that we had Gauthier in that spot last season, Chelios is better, probably cheaper, and a team leader. Only deterrents are that he’s significantly older than anybody on the roster, and he had that injury last season, so you don’t have any idea how many games he’ll be good for, and if it would be worth taking a guy like Drewiske out of the lineup for any amount of games.

    If the Kings DO eventually sign Chelios, I’d expect it to come a few games into the season. Let a guy like Drewiske get some more games to begin the season, and then sign Chelios and send Drewiske to Manchester. It’s tough, and Chelios would be exactly what we need, but there’s a question as to how to handle it. I’m confident that DL will make the right decision, however,.

  • Kevin Y

    A follow-up from my previous question about whether DL had a deadline on Jack Johnson’s contract negotiations: you responded that he’s not arbitration eligible, and therefore he can’t accept an offer sheet from another club. What is it about his contract then that makes him an RFA? I thought an RFA was a player who could accept an offer sheet from another club, but his current club has seven days to match it and retain him.

  • John Bryan

    Chelios would be great, he was at TSC last night watching Brisson’s CAA skate, DL should just pop out of his office and ask him!

  • Quisp

    Chelios would be pointless. However:

    Dennis Seidenberg
    Christian Backman
    Philippe Boucher
    Alexei Semenov
    Denis Gauthier
    Mathieu Dandenault

    Possibly in that order.

  • Jason

    Rich,
    The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of having Gauthier as the 7th d-man. He always plays on the edge, sometimes going over it. I like the idea of having his intimidation out there once in a while. At the very least, he makes the other team think about taking a big, possibly borderline hit. I think it might be nice to have him as a veteran to instill a little toughness on the back end. What are your thoughts?

  • Naturallawyer

    Chelios wants to go to the eastern conference to limit travel. Doubt he wants to come to LA.

    Rich: if you are still taking questions, who do you think plays the points on the powerplay units? I assume Johnson and Doughty will be two of the four, but we lack any other offensive defensemen. If we drop back both Stoll and Williams to the points, we have to draw from the third line for two powerplay forwards. Zeus and Moller? That also means that we will play almost three forward lines in two shifts. On the other hand, perhaps DL picks up a more offensive type veteran defenseman to play the point on the powerplay?

  • Quisp

    Naturallawyer –

    The last time this question was asked, I and everyone else forgot about Peter Harrold. I would think you would see Harrold and possibly Drewiske, along with Johnson, Doughty and Stoll.

  • Quisp

    Paging Ersberg…You were asking on another thread about salary dump trades. Okay, I’ve got one for you that makes a certain kind of twisted sense. Some will say this is just insane or stupid or one of those trades Kings fans come up with that have no basis in reality. However, bear with me…

    http://kwisp.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/utterly-irrational-trade-thought-involving-other-peoples-stars/

  • jet

    Good points from everyone.
    I think there may be some O’D type deals out there come the last week of September especially if the Aves, Flames and Leafs each sign a couple of more FA Dmen this week.

  • KevinWestgarth

    Quisp,

    Handzus would be traded before Stoll. DL understands what kind of player Stoll is when playoff time comes. His style is bred for playoff hockey, so he’s not going anywhere.

    Who really wants Marleau anyways?? The guy is not a playoff performer…

  • Quisp

    Handzus has a NTC clause and is too expensive. I like both players. Neither is a #2 center really. But I am fine with Stoll as the #2 going into this season.

    And I don’t disagree with you about Stoll’s style of play. He’s a great guy to have when the chips are down. He also happens to be a guy with a big salary who has no NTC.

  • Mudfish4

    I think the other teams would be thinking more about all the goals they’ll score when Gauthier’s out of position trying to make a big hit than the threat of the hit itself.

    Plus, with Greene, Scuderi and JMFJ…there will be plenty of reasons for opposing forwards to play heads up hockey.

  • 4thlinechecker

    I don’t get what the beef is with Handzus. The guy put his ass on the line every night and did all the small things. There were several people who voted Handzus as a team MVP candidate. I don’t think I saw one vote for Stoll as MVP. He is a huge reason why Simmonds is becoming the player he is. I would rather have Handzus then Stoll personally. It’s not like Stoll is some big time banger or anything. He does’nt seem to be anywhere near the player he was in 2006………. Then I guess neither is Handzus, but Zus does alot more of the small things IMO.

  • Brian S

    If you watch the Ryan Smyth tribute on You Tube when he left Edmonton, you will hear Stoll’s name a lot. They seemed to team up well, perhaps why Stoll had so many assists.

    I read somewhere on a credible hockey site that Chelios is looking for a role as a 5-6 defenseman. He is not interested in taking the 7th spot role just to hang on one more year.

  • macdup

    I have to agree with the first poster regarding Chelios. What he could bring to the locker room alone may be worth the money. At 47 I did not feel he was a liability on the ice and I am sure he can teach everyone what it takes to be physically ready for an NHL season. Plus he has family in Temecula and a home in the area. He could make a great 7th man. Plus the warm weather will help his arthritis!

  • BallPointHammer

    Regarding the question about the Gretzky Trade and the three direct descendants currently in the Kings organization:

    1. Oscar Moller – McSorley (traded to Rangers) then Norstrom (traded to Stars) then draft choice (Moller)
    2. Geordie Wudrick – McSorley (traded to Rangers) then Norstrom (traded to Stars) then Modry (traded to Flyers) then draft choice (Wudrick)
    3. Brandon Kozun – McSorley (traded to Rangers) then R. Ferraro (free agent to Thrashers) then compensation draft choice (traded to Capitals) then draft choice (E. Fedorov – traded to Stars) then draft choice (Kozun)

    See prosportstransactions.com for details.

  • Quisp

    BallPoint -

    Wow. My first reaction was that you were wrong about Kozun, but you are absolutely right.

    The third name I was thinking of was Teubert.

  • JB

    Rich- Any chance we can get Kings guru Solomon to do a “cap 101″? What is the picture for the nex few years?

    For example, if I understand correct this year there is now more of a bonus cushion? That was what I was getting from listening to some of the TSN commentators.

    I’m hesitant to buy some of the things you alluded (and Quisp too) about the cap dropping big enough next year to cause teams to dump any players. Did revenues really drop that big last season? Doesn’t NHL get most of its money from tickets unlike some of the other sports which get a decent chunk of TV/ad/corporate $. So unless attendance plummeted wouldn’t it stay somewhat stable?

    And even if it drops do you really think team GMs/Players will accept a cap that forces them to destroy what they’ve worked to built? As far as I understand the CBA doesn’t clearly say what happens if your over cap. So while some have speculate that means a team can’t play couldn’t they agree to impose some other penalts like a luxury tax,lost of draft picks or drop in draft order?

  • Quisp

    JB –

    You make a great point. However, imagine if the CBA turns out to have a “but not really” clause. What would people be saying about Lombardi if he were operating under the assumption that if he manages the team’s cap toward a catastrophic end it will be okay because the league will in effect bail everybody out. This isn’t GM. And if several teams (GMs) assume the cap is coming down and act accordingly, but some persist in acting recklessly, and THEN it turns out their recklessness is rewarded by some kind of CBA mulligan, how angry do you think those teams who abided by the CBA and dumped huge salaries are going to be? And think about which teams those will be. The big ones. Detroit. San Jose. Calgary. NYR. Chicago. Conversely, if those teams all decide to ignore the CBA and bust the cap or put themselves in a position where they simply cannot get under the cap, I don’t think I would be alone in imagining some kind of collusion on the part of those teams. Because I’m quite sure none of them is going to want to act alone to be the only team that boxes itself into a corner.

    And what about the players who took less money in order to help their team stay under the cap, only to find out that the cap wasn’t really a hard cap? Shouldn’t the NHLPA scream bloody murder? Wouldn’t this be seen by the union as a giant con by the owners, who — they would be right to wonder — maybe never really had any intention of sticking to this whole cap thing if push came to shove?

    I guess my shorter bottom line is this: the idea that somehow the rules they have set up will turn out not to be firm will lead to the CBA version of a constitutional crisis.

    I wonder if it wouldn’t be easier, in terms of the amount of cataclysm, just to let the troubled teams send their stars to the AHL for a year, until the new CBA negotiations happen and they can fix it. You’re probably talking about four huge contracts sent down to the minors. That would be ridiculous, but it wouldn’t be as bad as total f’ing anarchy.

  • Quisp

    …and maybe it would serve the players right who took on those giant stupid contracts in the first place. Sort of like people who bought houses they couldn’t afford. And it would be an effective disincentive to future bloated albatross deals. Seriously, look at the numbers, which I just updated. It’s bad:

    http://kwisp.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/updated-whos-vulnerable-a-k-a-the-idiots-chart/

  • Stonewall

    WAAAAAY off topic Rich – Will Lance still be in the mix after the Pyrenees? Will Contador pace him up the big passes…?

  • brianguy

    lol… fan cruise.

  • mrbrett7

    JB…just about every expert alive feels the cap will plummet going into next season.

  • JB

    Quisp- Most of those teams at the bottom of spending are there because of thjeir own personal business decision. For example, remember it was referred by DL last year to the budget AEG gave him. Phoenix/ Tampa same reason. It’s not like they were positioning themselves strategically.

    Most teams will say yeah we need to stick to a cap but we can’t let a 1-2 year economic decline completely disrupt the system. My question is are there any hard rules in CBA about what happens? It’s not like the teams on the bottom of your chart would really be in any position to take on those bad contracts the big teams negotiated. That’s why I see it more likely they come up w/ a luxury tax or draft pick penalty. From the perspective of the responsible teams that helps more since they are the types of teams that rely on younger players anyway. Why would they want to take on some bloated veteran contracts?

    And players are not going to begrudge their brethren who were able to negotiate big contracts. They also aren’t going to want a system that forces a bunch of trades and disrupts their personal lives.

  • mrbrett7

    That’s what they have JB.

  • Quisp

    Why would they want to take on some bloated veteran contracts? Some they won’t want. Some they will. The point is, they will be available for peanuts. Like the Smyth trade without Quincey.

    And players are not going to begrudge their brethren who were able to negotiate big contracts.

    No. They would begrudge their agents who f-ed them and their union which told them it was in everyone’s best interests to drive up salaries.

    They also aren’t going to want a system that forces a bunch of trades and disrupts their personal lives.

    But that’s the system they negotiated for. That’s the system.

    Most of those teams at the bottom of spending are there because of thjeir own personal business decision. For example, remember it was referred by DL last year to the budget AEG gave him. Phoenix/ Tampa same reason. It’s not like they were positioning themselves strategically.

    But the cap system is also there to keep costs low. The same owners who wanted to keep costs low in some cases personally decide to keep their own costs even lower. You can look at this cynically. That might be the best way to look at it. But it’s also true that in the case of the Kings, the Yotes and Bolts, it makes a huge amount of sense to limit your cap hit when you suck. Chicken/Egg? Maybe. But it’s also possible to spend to the cap ceiling and suck. So I can’t say I disagree with the business model.

    The CBA, as far as I know (and I’ve read the stupid thing), says nothing about what the penalty is for going over the cap. It is simply forbidden. This is why people think teams won’t be allowed to play if they go over the cap, forfeiting games, etc..

    It’s not like the teams on the bottom of your chart would really be in any position to take on those bad contracts the big teams negotiated.

    EXACTLY. But what is the effect of that? That just means there are even fewer buyers and therefore the players on the market are worth less (large supply, small demand).

    And we are seeing this play out in slow motion. The Smyth trade is part of it. The teams at the bottom of the list — PHI, CHI, SJS, NYR, DET (I think I’m forgetting somebody, CGY?) — MUST DUMP SALARY NOW, not next year when/if the cap goes down (that’s a separate, hypothetical crisis), but now. Before October.

    So, even if you think the owners and the NHLPA will agree on some kind of bail-out regarding their own stupid CBA, that’s not happening NOW. That would be next summer at the earliest. Long before then, there are going to have to be at least six very lop-sided deals like the Smyth one. It’s not hard to put a list together of who the available players are. It’s like a demented version of free-agency, with only a small number of teams capable of buying.

    The Kings are still one of those teams, but just barely.

  • Quisp

    mrbrett,

    better put with fewer words!

  • jet

    JB — revenues were down last year. The owners and players acted together to go to an override escalator. The problem with that action is all of the Sun Belt (Atlanta, Floridas, Carolina, Phoenix, LA, and Anaheim) teams are in financial trouble. When revenues drop and costs rise there is even greater pressure put on the struggling teams. If this happens again next year, the possibility of contraction rises significantly. So the question may be do the owners/players want to reduce the cap or risk contraction?

    Is there a chance that revenues increase in these troubled areas? It is unlikely at best, since housing was a major driver of economic fortunes in these Sunbelt areas. Realtors, mortgage brokers, and contractors with six figure salaries are starting to realize the magnitude of the overbuild and realize these are jobs that are not coming back in their generation. As they cut back, it affects other companies and people’s spending habits. Entertainment cutbacks are one of them.

    Let’s look at the Cities that have supported their hockey teams in the past.
    San Jose – IT spending is down 6% this year
    Vancouver – import/exports have dropped significantly in the past 12 months.
    Calgary, Edmonton, Dallas, Denver — The price of a barrel of oil has dropped 20% in the past 3 weeks, and this is at the beginning of summer. If oil goes under $50/bbl, then these economies will be hit.
    Columbus – Auto and banking (self explanatory)
    Detroit, Toronto – Autos
    Isles, Rangers, Devils – financials (self explanatory)
    Philly — import/export, financials

    There are still some problems to overcome before entertainment spending increases.

    You may be hesitant to believe because you work in an insulated industry that has not been affected by the economy, but you need to look at the big picture. There are a whole lot of people hurting (U6 unemployment @ 16.5%), so revenues will drop again this year.

  • jet

    Verteeg signs and the Hawks are at the ceiling. I hope he can put on the pads a few games next year.

    Quisp — you are one of the few who understand and can articulate the issue clearly. Please do not stop.

    wrt – playing over the cap, I believe the Flames played with 11 forwards for a dozen games last year. They were not going to risk the wrath of other teams by going otc.

  • BallPointHammer

    Quisp

    As you probably know August 9 will be the 21st anniversary of “The Gretzky Trade”. It amazes me that all three of those guys -Moller, Wudrick and Kozun – weren’t even born yet when the trade was made and that they all became Kings via Marty McSorley. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving.

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    A couple of thoughts to bring up with the salary cap discussion…

    Thanks again, Quispie, for keeping your numbers up to date!

    #1): No one likes total anarchy, but some of this anarchy is good for hockey. In business, yearly bottom lines rely on estimates of yearly expenses. This is true even for the biggest spenders in any line of business. Anarchy in hockey circles revolves around power structure. If 10-15 teams are forced to shed costly talented players in order to stay underneath the cap, a certain ebb and flow of talent can be established which would not bring down team identity, and could ultimately be healthy. But if the heart and soul of every team could be in jeopardy every year, too much change could occur. How can fans of the Red Wings identify with their team if every year Zetterberg, Datzuk et al. were forced to go to the team with the most cap room? A certain amount of predictability and order must be present. The question is: What kind of order? Which teams must always thrive in order for the NHL to thrive?

    It is my belief that hockey ‘order’ in the NHL revolves around the six Canadian teams, plus the Rangers, the Red Wings and the Bruins (the remainder of the Original Six). Of these, the Maple Leafs hold sway. As long as the Leafs do not have to strip off top shelf talent to get underneath the cap, all will stay as it is. However, Leafs Nation has entered the reign of Brian Burke, and so TOR cap space will be in jeopardy. However, TOR would love to get their own superstar filled lineup first. Nothing will change until TOR achieves that, IMHO. As it is, only TOR is in decent shape among the critical nine teams of the NHL. Based upon Quisps list, the CBA will need to be revisited in no more than two years, based upon impending Critical Nine vulnerability.

    No matter what the timing, though, total anarchy cannot happen. Total anarchy would cause even more turnover than is seen throughout the Juniors, whose teams are constantly rebuilding. Take a look at the U.S. college basketball top twenty. With the impending departure of every dominant young basketball star within 1-2 years of college admission, it is difficult for college teams to develop and maintain an identity. While parity might be good for the small colleges battling to get into the Big Dance during March Madness, it gets harder and harder for Universities to hit up the big donors when no one has any idea who will be playing for their alma maters.

    With that anarchy/stability battle in mind, the ‘fringe’ GMs like whomever is in ATL or CAR or PHX or STL may want to tie up their stars in order to have a marketable product, but at what price for the future? While CLB just charged up its Cap credit card in order to keep Nash; isn’t that a smart move?

    That leads me to my next question:

    #2): Taking JB and Quispies points of view, shouldnt DL charge up the Cap credit card to the max for the Kings during this season and the next? There will be a watershed of talent available, and only for a limited time, until the Owners and the Players Association close this window of talent-dump insanity by changing the Cap rules and allowing teams greater Cap flexibility. Look at the Lakers, playing with the NBA cap, finding this exception and that exception, limited somewhat but still basically doing just what they want. That kind of roster adjustment flexibility is coming to the NHL soon, to a rink near you.

    It may be time for the Kings to take advantage of a once-in-our-lifetimes fire sale of pure top-level NHL talent.

  • Boyle22

    Reviewing DL’s moves this summer its clear that he has taken a minor/major detour on the rebuilding process. The addition of Smith will no doubt make the team much more competitive in the tough west. But my question to you is, do you think that Stoll can raise his game to another level? Where he can score 20+ goals, which a second line center is required to do in this league for the team to be successful. I guess there are some unanswered questions that need to be addressed by DL, namely second line center and the play of Justin Williams. This leads me to my second question. Is Justin Williams going to be able to score 25+ goals during the season in order for this team to make a serious push in order to make the playoffs? Without these two players producing, this team will not have a chance to make the playoffs.

    Roger

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Hey Quispie,

    What does CHIs signing of Versteeg do to your Idiots’ Chart?

  • Quisp

    Bako,

    He’s in there. Chicago is holding steady at $1.34MM over the cap with three players left to sign. If they simply promote their prospects under contract to fill the spots (which is the cheapest option), that adds another $2.1MM, which makes the magic number $3.45MM (over the cap).

    Candidates for salary dump:

    Brian Campbell – cap his of $7.14MM for SEVEN MORE YEARS. If you ask me, that contract is literally untradeable. They would have to thrown in valuable assets as freebees just to make it palatable, and even then, there is no one who can afford it. Next…

    Cristobal Huet – $5.625MM for another three years. See Campbell, Brian above. No, he’s their goalie, for awhile, I’m afraid.

    Brent Sopel – $2.33MM for another two years. I doubt anyone will take him at that price.

    (note that these are Chicago’s three UFA signings from last year; how’s that working out so far?)

    So it’s going to have to be one of these guys, two of them if they have to take salary back…

    Sharp
    Bolland
    Versteeg
    Byfuglien
    Seabrook
    Barker

    (or, of course,

    Hossa.

    And wouldn’t that be hilarious. Won’t happen though, because Tallon would immediately be fired. No, it’ll be one of the “core.”)

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    Q–

    I’d want Seabrook, or Sharp. What would we need to do to get either one?

  • JB

    Guys the Smyth trade had nothing to do with cap. We dumped a bad signing and a prospect cuz we’re deep on D. They moved a vet because they’re rebuilding and we’ve wanted the guy for a while.

    Sorry guys but no way league institutes a punishment that a team over cap can’t play. Schedules are being set now and if you really want to kill attendance or interest in a team that would be the best way. No way players/GM accept playing w/ a short roster and risking injury.

    It’s a business so they will negotiate and compromise other means to address the issue.

    Players did not negotiate for a deal w/ the mind that economy would tank this bad so they will not blame union or agents for getting them more $. Are the GM union members blaming their union for bankrupting that company? No.

    No doubt the cap affected the UFA market and those that could play in it but it won’t lead to what you all claim are a bunch of lopsided trades. I get economy and jobs have crashed but to believe that the old boys club of NHL owners and GMs is going to enforce some type of chaotic frenzy of player trades is ludicrous. They will agree that it is a 1-2 year max correction and that it is not in league interest to force Detroit, Chicago, Pitt, Philly, NYR or whoevver to gut their rosters.

    The only real affect I see is on the UFA market for next couple years. With fewer players guys like Frolov will not find those big paydays.

    No doubt San Jose has some troubles just because they have so many roster spots open. The other teams will address with other creative roster deals or like I said some type of other league imposed penalties short of the things you all think will happen.

  • src3

    2nd rounder and a bag of pucks???

  • Quisp

    JB –

    The Smyth deal had EVERYTHING to do with the cap. Why? Because COL had no trading partners. Why? BECAUSE OF THE CAP. If it weren’t for the cap, everyone would have been a potential buyer for Smyth, instead of just a handful of teams. Even if the Kings were ultimately the team that won out, DL would have had to give up more than Quincey and certainly would not have been able to unload Preissing.

    I’m not disagreeing with you that the league and the players union may have to work something out. However, they’re not going to work something out NOW. It would be next year. And that means there are at least six big dumps coming (sorry for the image).

    I get your point that the league will step in before there’s a cataclysm. But whatever it is would be caused by the cap crashing down (or being stopped from crashing down) NEXT SUMMER. They’re not going to do s*** to bail-out the teams who have to make moves in literally the next 11 weeks.

    And I find it interesting that you say “No way players/GM accept playing w/ a short roster and risking injury” when Calgary did exactly that for the second half of the season, in the middle of a f-ing playoff run.

    see:

    http://kwisp.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/nhl-salary-cap-forces-calgary-flames-to-play-shorthanded-jim-kelley/

    http://kwisp.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/tom-benjamin-calgary-is-out-of-money/

    http://kwisp.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/kuklas-korner-wtf-calgary-cant-afford-to-dress-a-full-roster/

    “it is not in league interest to force Detroit, Chicago, Pitt, Philly, NYR or whoevver to gut their rosters.

    But those teams, especially Chicago and Philly, will already have had to, without a doubt/i>, long before the league steps in.

    Again, underline, this is happening NOW, not in a year, for those teams.

    My last point: I agree with you that the “old boys club” ownership is going to want to act to protect itself. However, you have to remember that the CBA is a contract between the owners and the players union. The owners can’t violate the CBA without the union having something to say about it. And in any case, the owners are the ones who benefit the most from the cap being enforced, because it’s their money. Do you really think 24 teams are going to mind that 6 teams had to dump assets in a garage sale or had to send their stars to the AHL?

    The smart teams are going to be preparing for this eventuality all year. They’re not just going to be waiting till the last minute next June and then freak out. By then, all the teams with cap space will have their strategy in place. If that’s more than half the league, do you think those owners are going to vote in favor of throwing their profligate rivals a bone?

    I don’t think so.

  • Quisp

    Bako, re Sharp or Seabrook -

    Keep in mind, I’m insane. But I would start with:

    Sharp AND Seabrook for Stoll and a non-1st pick.

  • JB

    Quisp- Smyth had a no trade clause so reason more teams weren’t in running is because he had some control of where he wanted to go. He was only going to go to teams on playoff bubble or true playoff contender. And in the West the contenders were pretty set on their top six roster.

    Calgary going 3 games because of some mid-season injuries that couldn’t go on LTI is not the same as telling a team you have to play short the whole season.

    Looking at hockeybuzz it looks like Chicago is $4 million over but that’s with 26 guys listed on roster. Once they cut 3 guys all they have to do is move a Sopel or other low end guy for some low draft picks or minor leagures.

    San Jose needs to do something so maybe Cheecho is on the move.

  • Quisp

    JB –

    You’re right about the Smyth NTC clause. That was certainly a factor. My point is just that, if there were no cap, he might be considering waiving his NTC to go to Detroit, or Pittsburgh, etc..

    Re Hockeybuzz:

    I would look at NHL numbers instead. They aren’t $4MM over. They’re about $2MM over. And they have three players left to sign, 2 d and a goalie. If you look at the players, you will see that they already have 14 forwards signed and 6 d. It’s not rocket science.

    Re Cheechoo:

    Maybe, but that’s not enough cap relief. Big article on the SJS blogs about Wilson moving Marleau for a draft pick.

    This is what I’m talking about.

  • PaulCat1969

    Everybody seems so inclined to sign another defensive defenseman when the departure of Quicney leaves a VERY vacant spot left on our roster. Here the Question and ANswer I posed to Rich and his reply (found in Forum Answers II):

    Question: With the departure of Quincey, what do you think comes of our Point Men on the Power Play. I would think Doughty and Stoll would make up one pair but who would you pair Johnson with? I wouldn’t think Scuderi, Greene or O’Donnell would be a replacement or least not good ones.

    Answer: Good question. There’s certainly not a natural replacement among the defensemen, and even if the Kings went to a power-play unit with four forwards, as they sometimes have done, I’m not certain who would be a natural for that spot. That will be something to keep an eye on in training camp.

    Clearly this is a need position. If you figure that Doughty and Stoll will make up one pairing, Johnson really has not natural fit on the PP. Scuderi, Greene, Drewiske, O’Donnell are certainly not viable options. I know some might say put Williams on the point but we really need him in front of the net. Is is a HUGE question to be answered and if we sign someone who will it be and what does that do for Drewiske.

  • JB

    Quisp- I usually use nhlnumbers but they were down today. Looking at that site now it still shows Chicago w/ $2 million in space w/ 14 F, 6 D and only needing a backup goalie.

    I agree that cap will contribute to some trades. But come on Marleau being moved has been an annual ritual regardless of the cap. Sure it may be more pressing now because of cap issues. If all they get is a draft pick then I guess that is a sign you are right but then who fills that roster spot for them?

    Like I said I don’t buy predictions of numerous cap driven trades leading to major stars moving.

  • JDM

    From Smyth’s quotes it seems that the deal was already in place before he was asked to waive his NTC, therefore his decision of whether or not to waive it did not factor much into the actual negotiation of the deal itself.

  • JB

    JDM- Read all the stories. Remember discussions first started back in April so I’m sure they had some talks along the lines of, “let us know if you object to LA and we won’t waste ours and your time.” You seriously think if they had offers from Tampa Bay, Phoenix or Atlanta he would have said yes?

    GM’s aren’t dumb, especially Colorado’s.

  • GoKings09

    Paulcat,

    I could see them using Williams on the PP at the point and having smith, handzus, brown going to the front of the net instead of him. There are more options at forward for the PP than on D so i could see them using Doughty and Johnson with 4 forwards for each unit or possibly using Drewiske or Hickey/Voynov depending on who makes the team or even putting Harrold back there. They do have some options.

  • Quisp

    JB –

    We will see soon enough. There’s only another 11 or so weeks before the season starts (!). I’m willing to grant you that the Smyth trade wasn’t primarily cap driven. The Pronger trade was though. Anyway, here’s my prediction for the rest of the summer:

    San Jose: will move at least one of Marleau, Thornton, Boyle or Nabokov. They may move Cheechoo and one of the aforementioned.

    Philly: will move one of Richards, Carter, Hartnell, Gagne or Briere.

    Chicago: will move one of Sharp, Bolland, Versteeg, Byfuglien, Seabrook or Barker.

    Detroit: will move one of Stuart, Cleary or Holmstrom.

    Boston: will move one of Savard, Bergeron, Ryder, Krejci, Wideman or Ward.

    Calgary: will move one of Jokinen, Langkow or Phaneuf. If they can’t pull that off, they’ll move Regehr or Sarich.

    Pittsburgh: will move one of Kunitz, Staal, Gonchar, Cooke, Eaton, Depuis or Fedotenko.

    These are arranged from biggest losses (SJS, Philly, Chi) to smallest ones (Calgary, Pitt). Someone could pull a gigantic multi-team blockbuster, too, but I’m trying to be conservative. Just my uninformed guesses.

  • jet

    I agree that the Symth trade was a salary dump, and for both teams. The Aves had a secondary purpose of trying to get the first pick next summer. And, therein lies teh problem with moving good players this summer. Most teams fall into one of two categories. First are the teams at or near where they want to be wrt the cap. The second grouping include teams who want to give their youngsters playing time and really do not want to bring on any big names that may get them to the first round of the playoffs(and miss the lottery). JB could be right in the sense that these good players may not be traded for picks, but the only other choices are buyouts or have a Calder cup winner. I do agree with JB that DL was a genius waiting until every other buyer ran out of cash. I think DL may also be on to something by holding off of the contracts. Sedins 6M, Pronger 5M show the values are coming down .

  • JB

    Quisp- Fair enough you made your predicitons so I’ll respond w/ my own to each of the teams you mention and as you say we’ll see in about 11 weeks. Again as I’ve said before there are not enough bottom or mid teams ready to take on those big contracts. So here is what I say happens.

    SJ- Moves maybe Cheecho and some of those 2-3$ mil D men. Thornton and Marleau may happen mid-season if team struggles.

    The rest of the teams you mention are fine w/ their roster and cap space short of 1 or 2 signings which are manageable. Yeah they’re all close to the cap but that’s only issue if someone gets hurt.

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