Sunday, August 07, 2005


Step By Step: Weekend Update

The craziness may have slowed down over the weekend, but it hasn’t stopped! In some cases, stupidity never takes a rest.

(On an unrelated note, stupid BLOGGER ate my original post. There is nothing worse than spending 30 minutes typing up material, only to have it lost into some black hole for all eternity. I’m so mad I could Tie Domi the next defenseman that skates by me).

Step 1 (We can have lots of fun): Rick “Monster” Nash signs a contract extension with the Columbus Dinner Jackets for 5 years and $27 million.

ESPN The Magazine's E.J. Hradek reported Saturday that the deal was worth $27 million US over five years. The Columbus Dispatch adds that the contract will pay Nash $3.5 million US in the first year, and elevates to $7 million US in the fifth and final year.
Yes, I’ve raved many times about Rick Nash and how he can score goals with both defensemen hanging on to him like Velcro. I must ask, why are the Jackets giving this type of money to a player who is just 21 and has just 2 years of NHL experience?

Has Doug MacLean never heard of negotiating leverage?

The Jackets are in a position of strength at this point of Nash’s career. They can offer him a lot less or take him to arbitration. If Nash doesn’t accept, then he has to sit on his ass or play in Europe for far less $ than the Jackets could give him. The smart GM would have given Nash a 2-3 year extension for less money, and then waited to see how Nash developed. If Nash was truly worth of $7mil/year down the road, he could get it from the Jackets. Now, the Jackets are committed to Nash no matter what happens, and they are overpaying him at the moment. MacLean just doesn’t realize when he is in a position of strength.

Step 2: (There’s so much we can do) Zigmund Pálffy signs a $13.5mil/3 year deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Penguins remind me of certain professional Vancouver pandhandlers. They claim to be dirt poor, but they live in nice apartments thanks to the money they ‘earn’. (OK, enough politics).

At any rate, the Penguins are doing their best to return to their mid-90s form when a 5-4 game was the standard. If anything, this team will be damn fun to watch. You have Crosby-Lemieux-Recchi-Tarnstrom-Gonchar on one PP unit, then you can throw out a bunch of skilled players like Pálffy, Malkin, Surovy, Konstantin Koltsov, Malone, etc… Sure, the defense and goaltending are big black holes, but who cares? I’m just looking forward to the show.

One more question: What will the Penguins play Mario Lemieux? Will Mario accept a very low salary so that his team can sign more talent? (They still have to sign Tarnstrom and a good goalie). Mario hasn’t signed himself yet, and the Penguins are going to run out of cap room at the rate they are going. I’m sure the PA goons will be watching with mucho interest.

Step 3: (It’s just you and me) The Carolina Hurricanes continued to add some thrifty signings into the eye of the storm by plucking Ray Whitney off of the market for $3mil over 2 seasons.

I just don’t get the lack of respect for Ray Whitney in the hockey world. Ray has proven himself to be a capable offensive producer in the NHL for many seasons, and he has few injury issues. So what is he is shorter than 95% of the league, he gets the job done. A big thumbs up to GM Jim Rutherford (Who would expected that the Canes would have a good offseason for once?)

Step 4: (I can give you more) Time to respond to some reader comments.

First, John F:
You said that you would pay Roy / Hasek (in their prime) that kind of money that Khabby is getting. What about Brodeur?
In two words: HELL NO!

I guess it has been awhile since I’ve gone on a “Martin Brodeur is Overrated” rant :)

Martin Brodeur, as you should know, has been the luckiest goaltender in hockey history. He is a good goalie who has had the fortune to play behind many great New Jersey and Canadian teams. If you are going to give the maximum salary to any goaltender, it has to be a goalie that will truly carry your team.

Only two goalies from the past decade, IMO, have ever earned that right in their careers: Dominik Hasek and Patrick Roy.

I got backup: Daryl Shilling’s Goaltender Ratings.

Looking at the Top 25 single seasons of all time, Dominik Hasek truly lives up to his DOMINATOR nickname with 4 appearances in the Top 10 and 5 in the Top 25. Looking at the single season leaderboards, Hasek lead the league for 6 straight seasons (94-99) and again in 2001. No other NHL goalie in history has shown such dominance. Only Ken Dryden comes close.

Patrick Roy shows up as the career leader in Goaltending Rating thanks to a long period of consistent excellence. Roy led the NHL in GR 3 times earlier in his career and was near the top in many other seasons.

Martin Brodeur? Nowhere to be found on the leaderboards. If you look at Brodeur’s career, you would find that he is never at the top of his class in any season. Brodeur does not deserve the tag of a ‘franchise’ player like Hasek and Roy did.

Brodeur: a good goalie, but not a great one. Brodeur is certainly not worth more than the mighty $5.4mil salary he is going to earn next season.

Step 5: (Don’t you know that the time has arrived) Jason “Spaceman” Kirk writes:
So, Jes, what do you think about Kariya coming to Nashville? He says he's healthier than he's been in years...
I once thought Paul Kariya would be the best player in the NHL for many years. He just hasn’t been the same since Gary Suter acted like a sore loser and cross-checked Kariya on the head. Kariya still gets his piles of shots, but he, like Eric Lindros, spends too much time hanging out on the periphery.

Given his injury problems and rapid decline, giving $4.5mil a year to Paul Kariya is a major risk. Why couldn’t they sign Pálffy or Demitra for the same cash?

I believe that this is a good risk for Nashville, given their team’s position on the develop curve. GM Poile was waiting for the right time to invest money in the roster, and now that the Preds are on the verge of making a leap into contendership, he realizes that this is the perfect time to spend money on outside help to improve the roster.

Kariya is also the type of player that Nashville needs; a proven top-flight offensive producer. Kariya will fit in perfectly with Nashville’s speedy and aggressive style. I also believe that Kariya (and perhaps Jagr) will benefit the most if the NHL truly opens up.

Still, the Predators really need to get a big, gritty Steve Rucchin type center if Kariya is to be as effective as he should/could be. Rucchin did all of the dirty work defensively and in the trenches. The Predators just don’t have that type of player anywhere in their system…unless they can combine Libor Pivko (size and defense) with Denis Arkhipov (playmaking and size) into a new creation I shall dub “Arkhipivko”.

If the rumours of the Flyers having to dump Michal Handzus are true, then Poile should be fighting tooth and nail to get the big Slovak. Handzus would be the perfect fit for the Preds and Kariya, and he may be available just as cheap as JR was for LA. The Predators are stocked with picks and prospects, so they have the assets to make such a deal.

Dude, did you HAVE to quote the New Kids ont eh Block?!?!?!? I've been trying to forget about them for 15 years! Now I have a sudden relapse of "Hanging Tough" and "Funky Funky Christmas" in my head! Ugh!

As for Brodeur - thanks for answering the question... I geuss it's perception on my part - havign the media glorify Martin year in and out.... He has been playing behind strong teams as you so note...
D00d, how can you forget talent like the New Kids? :0

I don't know how the US media covers Brodeur, but the guy can do no wrong to the Canadian media. I appreciate his coolness under pressure and the fact he can win the big game, but he's not infallible and he's not going to carry a team.

If I could choose a goalie to plunk behind an already great team, I'd probably pick him right behind Hasek/Roy, but if I was building a team from scratch, Brodeur would be behind a few other names...especially Luongo, who is the one goalie that really has the potential to be a dominator.
Unfortunately for Columbus, Nash had a LOT of leverage..big contract offers from Swiss, Swedish and Russian teams. And he will be worth every penny. If the season he had in Europe is any indication, Nash will be the best player in the league this year and for the forseeable future.
Welcome to the world of the new CBA. The money that used to go to Guerin & Holiks is now going to go to Nash, Heatly and Kovalchuk, etc.

I wonder how long Atlanta will be able to hang onto both their horses - I'd be suprised if it's past this season.
i like nashs' contract, its 4 years at 20 million with a backload/buyout. nash is the only jersey i've bought in last two years, glad to see he stays put!

no contract will produces points per dollar over the next 4 years like this one will.

list the 3-4 million dollar forwards and the ones you would RATHER have. heck list the 5 million dollar kids and pick one you want!
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