Feb 092009
 

The possibility certainly exists that 5 of the 6 post-lockout Stanley Cup finalists won’t make the playoffs this year.  Ottawa has all but been eliminated while Pittsburgh, Carolina, Edmonton and Anaheim all remain on the bubble.  Detroit is the only post-lockout conference winner to be securely in a playoff spot.  Is that a result of parity or mass mediocrity?

Brian Burke has a history of reacquiring players he knows well.  This is why he went after Brad May in a minor move and this is why I believe that there is a more than good chance that he’ll try to bring in the Sedin twins this summer if Vancouver fails to re-sign them.  But another player to look at is JS Giguere in Anaheim who has all but lost his job, at least in the short term, to Jonas Hiller, and the Ducks might be interested in shedding salary so they can fill in holes elsewhere in their lineup.  The only caveat is Giguere’s no trade clause but if he’ll likely waive it instead of being a backup.

Speaking of Leafs goaltending, Brian Burke and Ron Wilson put out the challenge to Vesa Toskala to improve his practice habits and in turn improve his game which has been mediocre at best this season.  How much has goaltending hurt the Leafs?  Well, they have the worst team save percentage this year at 87.5%.  If they could improve that to a measly 10th worst in the league, or 90.1%, the Leafs would have allowed 149 goals instead of 188 goals.  Combine that with their 155 goals for and they would have the same number of goals for and against as the Montreal Canadiens, who are sitting in 5th spot in the conference 15 points ahead of the Leafs.

Tampa couldn’t do it, Ottawa is failing at it, and Pittsburgh is on the verge of missing the playoffs because of it.  I am talking about spending a boat load of money on two or three mostly offensive oriented forwards.  Tampa spent a lot of money on Lecavalier, Richards and St. Louis and failed to obtain much success.  Ottawa has seen their defense decimated and goaltending faulter because they have spent too much on Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson (and to a lesser extent Fisher).  In Pittsburgh they have spent some money on defense and goaltending in addition to their big two of Crosby and Malking, but that meant that Crosby and Malkin are pretty much playing on their own.

I have said this before but it deserves mentioning again, I think Dave Tippett of the Dallas Stars is one of the most under rated coaches in the NHL.  This team not that long ago was the worst team in the NHL but post Sean Avery they have an outstanding 18-8-3 record which has propelled them into 5th spot in the western conference.

One of the most under rated defenseman in the NHL has to be Dennis Wideman who is having an outstanding season in Boston.  He ranks 6th in points and tied for 5th in goals by defensemen adn his +31 ranking is second in the league for any player.  If he continues to play like this into next season he’ll deserve some consideration for the Canadian Olympic team.

When I scan down the list of top point producers in the NHL this year I see a lot of familiar names but no on ever mentions the outstanding year that David Krejci is having with 56 points and sitting 12th in league scoring.  He is a big reason for the Bruin’s success and ability to survive injuries to Bergeron and Sturm.

Has Jason Blake played well enough to make him tradeable, or has he played so well the Leafs won’t want to trade him.  He is on pace for 30 goals, 65 points and for a guy who kills penalties as well he is more than earning his $4 million salary cap hit this year.

It is hard to be optimistic about the New York Islanders future when their leading point producers up front are Doug Weight, Bill Guerin, Trent Hunter, Richard Park and Mike Comrie.  That is not a group of players to build a future around.

  88 Responses to “NHL Odds and Ends”

  1.  

    You better get ready for Gerald’s tirade on why it makes sense for Ottawa to spend on the big 4…

    Wideman does deserve a lot of credit…but unless he can bring Chara with him, I don’t think he should be on team canada…everyone on boston has insane statistics, yet I don’t consider all of these players to be the best in the NHL – they are going to turn into the new Ottawa – all of their players have insane statistics (specifically in the +/-) category and they will have to make decisions on a “core” and cannot afford to overpay this core either. I suggest keeping Savard, Kessel, Wheeler, Lucic, Krejci as their core forwards and trading Bergeron, Ryder and Sturm as necessary to create some payroll flexibility.

    As a Canuck fan, I STRONGLY hope that Burke signs the Sedins. If, for example, they take 6 mill each (though in this market I suspect they top out at 5 mill each) and u put a 2 mill winger next to them, that is 14 mill for around 70-75 goals a year, which is too much as far as I’m concerned. This is pretty much what they have been doing since the lockout. The Leafs, Canadiens and Canucks are three of the only high payroll teams that potentially will have money to spend in 2010 when the FA market crashes…hopefully the Leafs and Canadiens both lock up some guys and leave the bounty of available players at our disposal…

    Sure they are good defensive players, but they are useless on the powerplay. Their point totals are also inflated by the fact that they are always in on a goal together – yet it does not matter if they each get an assist on a goal, it still only counts as one goal on the scoresheet. This is another reason that 2nd assists should either not be recorded or be recorded as a seperate statistic…

  2.  

    It’s definitely a result of parity. Krejci and Kessel, two of the biggest reasons for Boston’s success, are both earning well below what they should be paid. Tack on the fact that Fernandez and Thomas are both UFAs this season, the Bruins could find themselves in the same position as the Lightning, Sens, and Pens. Blake Wheeler is a RFA next year and expect him to get a hefty raise too if he continues to make strides as a NHL player. It’s an endless cycle – it seems to me that the most successful teams in the league year in and year out depend on their underpaid and developing prospects to really plug the holes.

    Even with Detroit you can see it now – Franzen or Hossa? In the salary cap era it’s impossible to ice a dominant team without the players taking significant pay cuts (not unlike the Paul Kariya one where he signed with Colorado for a meager $1.2m).

    Granted, the Pens are slumping, and I believe with Gonchar’s return they’ll be right back up top, but the Sens and Bolts don’t have the Malkin-Crosby tandem or overall talent to really pull it off.

  3.  

    It’s not the money spent at the top (asI’ve said all along, and nobody has proven otherwise, huff and puff aside), it’s the performance from the bottom. If you have prospects who perform in the first 7 years of their NHL careers, you will be a better then average team. But, if you have nothing but 1-7 yr talent, you look like the Kings and Panthers.
    If OTT had some decent 1-7 yr players, it would be a different story, but they don’t, so the shallow thinkers jump to the easiest answers. Hang the rich. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  4.  

    Gerald,

    The Penguins have been unable to land a top-flight winger for Crosby in years, except for Hossa, and it will get even harder because they have roughly $21m tied up between three guys.

    The Bolts had to deal away Brad Richards to give Dan Boyle the money he wanted and deserved. They had to deal away Boyle to make room for Meszaros, Malone, and all the other UFAs they could get their hands on.

    The Wings, barring some miracle willingness to take a paycut by either Franzen or Hossa, will lose one by the end of the summer.

    Sure, you need your prospects and RFAs to perform, or even over-perform, but that’s not the only way to build a winning team. Because the Sens don’t have any “decent 1-7 yr players,” the quickest way to replenish that pipeline is to deal away your best assets. Let’s face it – the Sens have so many holes and problems it’ll be years before they get a whiff of the finals again. And, going by your logic Gerald, the current Sens’ woes shouldn’t be attributed at all to the two players both earning over $7m each who are amongst the team worst in +/-? The blame should be placed on the Folignos, Winchesters, Lees, and Smiths who haven’t performed? Sorry, but that argument doesn’t float with me.

    Wouldn’t it be also logical to say that if maybe, just maybe, Heatley, Spezza, or Fisher didn’t earn that much Murray could have more money to flesh out the rest of the roster with more quality depth? Isn’t that part of the problem in Tampa and Pittsburgh? It’s amazing how much another $2-3m goes.

  5.  

    I’m not blaming the players at the bottom of the salary scale for not being better, I’m blaming the former management (Muckler) for not drafting better players, and doing a bad job of managing assets and draft picks, which resulted in this current skill deficiency.. There’s a big difference.
    As for blame being placed on the cap, this theory lacks credibility, because in order for it to have merit, one would have to show causality. In other words, had the Sens had more cap room, they would have signed player X, and in so doing, would be a better team. In the absence of this causality, the argument remains mired in artificiality, not fact.
    As I’ve said before, The best available player in the past off season, that could have helped this club, was not signed because their slary demands were unreasonable, in general terms, not Sens specific terms. Campbell, at 7+M for 8 years, was a bad deal, period.
    The only other player available of note was Streit, and in hindsight, maybe Murray should have signed him, and he had the cap space to do so, but 5 yrs/4.1M per is a long commitment for a 30 yr old, one dimentional defenseman, with only 3 yrs. NHL experience.
    If you want to advance the theory that the Sens current salary distribution precluded, and will continue to preclude, their ability to be competitive, by all means, do so, but at least provide a factual argument upon which to defend your theory. Simply saying it, does not make it so.
    Name the player(s) who were available, that Murray would have signed had he the cap space to do so. If you cannot do this, you, like David, and Ted, are merely advancing an entirely baseless theory.
    I suspect this roster has been underperforming to date, for a variety of reasons, including coaching, chemistry, and skills deficiencies. I also believe that this can, and will be corrected, without having to break up the core of this team, for cap reasons.

  6.  

    Gerald – where are your facts – all u do is rip all the people who rip into u on every single post (which is everyone since nobody agrees with u) – why don’t u provide some evidence the way u r asking everyone else to do:

    Why does it make sense to spend 24 million on the big 4? How is this helping the Sens escape the cellar?

    Instead of assuming that it was Brian Campbell or bust, why not consider that the Sens could have (potentially) gone after Blake, Boyle, Visnovsky, Schneider et al. Mind you, the stats of these guy on their current teams does not necessarily mean they’d do the same thing in Ottawa; I doubt Blake would have as good a year in Ottawa, but Schneider would likely be better. Also, why do u think that it would take the same commitment that the Isles gave to Streit for Bryan Murray to have landed him? Streit, Commodore and Hainsey presumably all signed with bottomfeeders because these teams were offering the most money…

    Instead of blaming the big 4 for all underperforming, why not consider that the Sens have pretty much the worst puck movement from the backend in the NHL and this is possibly why they are all performing below their norms.

    Gerald clearly knows nothing – the fact that he is a Senators fan “seals it” – he is an apologist, nostalgic for the days when all the Sens needed was a goaltender to win the cup…enjoy the view from the bottom.

  7.  

    Gerald I don’t understand how you can be so arrogant about everyones comments. Everyone here makes very solid points about Ottawa having to much money committed on the big 4. Clearly Ottawa has some major holes starting in the crease and working it’s way out.

    Now say what u will about the big 3 guys who have performed well before this year but the money they make is a problem, it just doens’t leave enough money for the rest of the team.

    The biggest problem beyond even that is the fact that who ever gets bumped from the top line to add scoring depth ends up doing absolutely nothing with fisher or vermette. In this nhl you can’t afford to have that much into one line especially if they can’t be broken up to spread out the scoring(biggest problem with the sedins in vancouver can’t break them up).

    Lets be honest tho Ottawa will be a bottom feeder until they fix there defense, it’s terrible! Phillips and volchenkov aren’t bad guys but both play strictly defense karlsson has potential to have some offensive flare form the back end but we all know without cap room it doens’t matter how good any prospect does cause eventually he’ll want money too.

    Then Ottawa won’t have the flexiblity to sign someone like that to an extension because of how tight they are cause of the big 4. Ottawa really needs to look at buffalo and look how they handle there star players, never willing to overpay a player no matter how much they think they will miss him but hey look how good they look without briere, drury and campbell.

    The only teams i’ll give a break to when it comes to overspending on star players are bad hockey markets that need those star players to get fans in the rink. lets be honest making the playoffs is bonus for the florida’s of the nhl.

  8.  

    I think what Gerald is trying to say is this:

    Overspsending on a core of top players is no problem so long as you have a steady stream of young, cheap plug-in players and a dependable mix of veterans (guys who will sign cheap contracts to stay in town) to support them.

    Ottawa lacked the pipeline to be able to say goodbye to good-but-not-great guys like Kelly, Schaefer, etc, and instead had to give them 2-3 million dollar contracts.

    Tampa was the same way. Pittsburgh is heading that way.

    Buffalo is one team who probably could have pulled it off. It’s a shame that the owners didn’t have the cents to lock up an elite core (well, to be fair, Vanek and Miller is not a bad start). But with young guys like Stafford, MacArthur, Gerbe, Kennedy, Sekera, Weber, Ennis, Myers, etc all working their way through entry level contracts, they could have stayed competitive for years.

    Was signing the big 4 to big money the cause of all their problems? Certainly. But had they paid more attention to their pipeline, perhaps the problem wouldn’t be so large or noticable.

    Clearly, however, their singular failure to secure steady goaltending and the errosion of their once solid blueline are equally to blame.

  9.  

    Apparently, by Schaeffer I actually meant Schubert.

  10.  

    Good points Mark and mthompson – as I’ve said before Gerald, there is no doubt that the failure to draft/develop players is one of the downfalls of this team – however, Murray has been GM for a while now and even though it’s difficult to quantify how much, Murray probably deserves some blame for not developing Muckler’s prospects- but to be fair, when your team was as loaded as Ottawa’s was and when u always finish near the top of the standings, you aren’t getting any high draft picks which makes a difference for most teams (other than the elite drafting organizations like Buffalo and Detroit)…

    Another question for u Gerald, since u pay more attention to the Sens than I do – how many contracts that were on the opening day roster did Bryan Murray inherit? I’m not sure when all these guys signed their contracts, but as far as I can tell BM inherited Neil, Gerber and Alfredsson (though BM is responsible for his extension). Neil’s money is not a big deal, and BM could have traded him at any point during his deal and someone would want a player like that (unless he has a NTC). Alfie obviously signed what now looks like a very team friendly deal – Gerber is bad money, no doubt – but if those are the only 3 contracts he inherited, then he had a fairly clean slate with a couple of superstars (Heatley/Spezzza), a star (Alfie) and a bunch of decent players to choose from to build his team…

    Now obviously BM didn’t inherit much young talent, but he did inherit some superstar, star and solid players from the previous regime. Now is it more important to already have a couple of franchise players like Spezza and Heatley on the roster, or is it more important to have a team like Florida or Phoenix for example that has solid (but not spectacular) young talent and no stars or even a lot of solid players, other than Bouwmeester I suppose? As far as I am concerned, a GM is better off inheriting franchise players than prospects who could go either way. And if BM wanted to have some more young talent nobody was stopping him from moving some of the core for young players, which he should still consider doing…I look forward to your scathing reply Gerald.

  11.  

    Ok, again, lets break it down (as I’m the ONLY one who actually has, and will again defend, his argument)
    In the off season of 2007, the Senators had absolutely ZERO offensive prospect depth. At the same time, Heatley, Spezza, and Fisher were impending FA’s, and Emery a RFA with arbitration rights.
    If Murray (who did not create the situation I might add) had chosen to not resign them, he would have had to sign alternate FA’s instead, or literally ice a bad AHL group of forwards in 2008/09. That is the reality of the situation. If’s and But’s, coulda, shoulda, woulda, and pie in the sky revisionist theories not withstanding.
    Murray signed these 4 players, and at that time, each of those signings represented a discount over what their market worth could have landed them.
    Should he have trade them? Well, maybe, but I defy anyone here to tell me what was offered, or available until Oct. ’07. It’s all well and good to “assume” there was a glorious package of currently performing talent available, but that is entirely baseless in reality.
    Their signings resulted in Murray going into this season without Emery (who imploded), an albatross contract to Gerber (which he didn’t sign, and couldn’t move), but, thanks to moving Corvo (requested trade), and Eaves (great guy, always injured, failed to develop), and a fortunate buy-out scenario for Emery (did he factor this in when signing him?), he had 17.245M to spend on/or replacing;
    1. RFA Vermette
    2. UFA Kelly
    3. Back-up goalie
    4. RFA Meszaros
    5. Top 2 Dman
    6. Top 6 winger
    7. UFA Donovan
    8. Utility Dman
    9. Utility forward

    Off Season Moves

    Signed Vermette – 2.763M
    Signed Kelly – 2.125M
    Signed Donovan – 0.6M
    Signed Ruutu – 1.3M
    Signed Smith – 2.6M
    Signed Auld – 1M
    Traded Meszaros for Kuba and Picard – 3.8M
    Total – 14.188M
    Remaining – 3.057M

    Did he address all of his issues, absolutely not.
    Based upon a salary cap availability of 17.245M, could he have?
    Yes.
    Campbell – 7.14M
    Ryder – 4M
    Kelly – 2.1M
    Elliott – .942M
    Ruutu – 1.3M
    Zubov – .850M
    Total = 16.332M

    There, done, you have your top Dman, your second line forward, and a complete roster, for under the salary cap.
    Now, is the deal to Campbell worth it, nope, but even then, it could still have been done.
    So, for those saying the salary distribution is the problem, I have just shown, using concrete, undeniable FACT, that the salary cap did nor PRECLUDE Murray making different moves.
    THAT HAS BEEN THE ARGUMENT. Not if Murray made the right signings, or the wrong signings, but whether or not he could make strategic signings, due to the cap.
    If you dispute this, please feel free (as I’ve asked from the beginning), to prove otherwise, name those players Murray should have signed, that he didn’t, BECAUSE OF HIS SALARY CAP SITUATION.
    I’m waiting with bated breath, but I’m not holding my breath.

    The POTENTIAL 08/09 Line-up
    Heatley – Spezza – Alfie
    Zubov – Fisher – Ryder
    Winchester – Kelly – Neil
    Ruutu – Bass – Foligno

    Phillips – Volchy
    Campbell – Lee
    Kuba – Picard
    Schubert

    Gerber
    Auld

    I honestly have no idea why it is reasonable to put forward a theory, but not feel it requires defending, because others agree with it. Then again, the world is flat, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and God created the universe in 7 days…right?

  12.  

    Mark,
    Buffalo? The team that missed the post season last year? Wow, to think they deserve the right to be praised, after doing so, but Ottawa, deserves to be pilloried for the same now? How exactly does that work?
    As well, how close to the cap does Buffalo spend? Oh yeah, they don’t.
    How much better would they look now if they had actually signed Briere, Drury, and Campbell to the contracts they were offered by these players, but refused to consider “during the season”? Maybe instead of currently fighting for a play-off berth, they’d still be legitimate contenders…nah, D’Arcy is a God for icing a mediocre team instead, lol!
    Look, say what you will, but don’t try to BS me.

  13.  

    Gerard, I think you are missing the larger point by looking at the small details. What you seem to be missing is the fact that whatever Murray has done, has failed miserably. What the Spezza contract a bad contract? Not necessarily. Was the Heatley contract a bad contract? Not necessarily. But those two contracts on the same team along with big contracts to Alfredsson and Fisher makes them bad contracts.

    As for Fisher, his contract is a bad contract. $4.2 million for a player who has never scored 25 goals or 50 points and has consistently failed to show he can be a quality second line center is definitely a bit much. Might he have gotten the same or maybe even more elsewhere? Possibly, but that would only be a bigger mistake.

    Signing Spezza, Heatley, and Fisher was the easy thing to do because for the most part the fans demanded it. But just because the fans demand it, does not mean it is the smart or right thing to do. The good GMs will make the tough decisions, not the popular decisions, and in my mind signing all those forwards to big contracts was a mistake. I wrote about this way back when those contracts were signed.

    Would this team have been better off trading one of Spezza or Heatley and bringing in a quality young defenseman and a quality young forward instead? What if they had traded Spezza to LA for Cammalleri and Visnovsky? (no idea if that trade could be done, just using it as an example of what you might have been able to get in return) Would the Senators be better off now? Probably.

    I guess what I am saying is this: The Senators would be better off with a $7 million defenseman and a $3 million center than Spezza and Kuba.

  14.  

    Gerald, I believe he said ‘could have done it’ not did do it. Buffalo had the opportunity to sign Drury and Briere at much lower contracts than they signed in New York and Philadelphia the summer before they became UFAs but chose not to. That was a mistake.

  15.  

    David, that was not what you were saying, this is;
    “Ottawa has seen their defense decimated and goaltending faulter because they have spent too much on Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson (and to a lesser extent Fisher).”
    I’ve shown where this is not true, and now, instead of defending your original theory, it has become;
    “The Senators would be better off with a $7 million defenseman and a $3 million center than Spezza and Kuba.”
    First off, name the 7M defenseman? Campbell? Because apart from Redden, that’s the only one that was available. As I’ve shown, they could have signed him. You would have?
    Name the 3M centre?
    Everything you are saying is utter conjecture. It doesn’t even enter into reasonable debate, as it is pure pie in the sky, hindsight, fantasy GM’ing.
    The fact you, as a Blueview blogger (and I’m a Redvies blogger to be fair), dismissed the deals, is hardly earth shattering. Did you back track when they were off to their glorious start in ’07, or have you waited until now to point to your prediction. What will you say if the tides turn in the future?
    How much of the current issues is related to those contracts, and or players, vs coaching, and roster depth? We don’t know.
    But I do know, their salaries are not the problem, and I’ve shown why.

  16.  

    David, he said;
    “…look at buffalo and look how they handle there star players, never willing to overpay a player no matter how much they think they will miss him but hey look how good they look without briere, drury and campbell.”
    aS we’ve already agreed, they decided to not pay them, it was other clubs who over paid them.
    BTW, how good are they doing again? 11th over-all, hardly much to brag about.

  17.  

    Umm, Gerald, I wrote “Tampa couldn’t do it, Ottawa is failing at it, and Pittsburgh is on the verge of missing the playoffs because of it. I am talking about spending a boat load of money on two or three mostly offensive oriented forwards.” When did I ever say that the Heatley or Spezza contracts were bad contracts, it is just mis-spent money because teams generally don’t succeed spending big dollars on two or three star forwards.

    There were a number of offensive defensemen that were available that the Senators could have obtained. Boyle, Campbell, Hainsey, Blake, Streit, McCabe, and Visnovsky all changed teams this past summer, some could have been had for far less than $7 million. Plus guys like Rozsival was also on the open market before re-signing in New York.

    Again, you are getting hung up on the $7 million and $3 million details and missing the main point that Murray put too many dollars into his first line and not enough into his top pairing defense. Please, read that last sentence 100 times. Study it, understand it, memorize it. That is the point I am trying to make. Forget the silly details and focus on how the team has been built overall.

  18.  

    Most people believe Buffalo made a mistake not resigning at least one of those players. Briere was offering to sign an extension not much more than $5 million one year before he became a UFA. Buffalo should have made that deal.

    Oh, and check your standings again. Buffalo is in 7th spot, 3 points out of 4th spot, and on the rise and they have a payroll not much over $50 million.

  19.  

    David, I’m getting hung up on the argument, that being that the Sens current slary distribution has precluded them from making the strategic moves necessary to improve their club.
    Honestly, I surprised to read you are now backing away from this argument, but instead attempting to revise it to one centered around what does he should have made. That is not what you wrote in either this, or your previous post.
    So, am I to then assume that you agree that the contracts to Heatley, Spezza, and Fisher did not keep Murray from fixing the defense?
    The fact you consider the details as “silly” only proves you can only defend your statement by instead focusing on speculation, and theory.
    You said “because they have spent too much on Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson (and to a lesser extent Fisher)”
    Come on man, trying to pass of the feebleness of your own words by instead attempting to obfuscate the reality by chastising me for focusing on the facts?
    Define this big picture you’re presenting.
    Show where I’m wrong, show where the salaries stopped Murray from fixing the team.
    You can’t.

  20.  

    Buffalo is 11th over-all in the NHL, just as I said.
    They are closer to the P% of the teams at the bottom of the league, then at the top.

  21.  

    So, am I to then assume that you agree that the contracts to Heatley, Spezza, and Fisher did not keep Murray from fixing the defense?

    Either those players and those contracts DID keep Murray from fixing the defense, or Murray did not think the defense needed fixing. To some extent I believe the latter because he has more often has said he wants to add another top six forward rather than a top defenseman.

    The fact you consider the details as “silly” only proves you can only defend your statement by instead focusing on speculation, and theory.

    What am I speculating on? The Senators are 13th in the eastern conference, they don’t have a #1 or #2 defenseman and they don’t have a #1 goalie. That isn’t speculation, that is fact. It is also fact that Murray chose to build this team in this manner. Where is the speculation?

    You said “because they have spent too much on Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson (and to a lesser extent Fisher)”

    And by that I did not mean those players are making too much money, but rather that they are spending too much of their team budget on a small number of forwards. It is bad budget distribution and has proven to fail over and over again.

    So to be clear, here is the big picture:

    1. Teams that spend too high of a percentage of the salary cap on a very small number of forwards have shown that success is not likely to follow.

    2. Bryan Murray has chosen to build his team in this manner.

    Forget about whether Spezza is worth $7 million, or Heatley $7.5 million or Fisher $4.2 million or Alfredsson $5.4 million and focus on the fact that it is a mistake to spend close to 45% of a teams budget on 4 forwards regardless of who those forwards are.

  22.  

    He has admitted the defense was a problem since July 1st/08, this is a non starter.
    So, instead of focusing on pie in the sky fantasy trades, lets focus on the reality (or AKA, the details).
    ALL available FA defenseman signed could have been accomodated within the salary cap scenario Murray was facing.
    This precludes the REALITY of salary cap being the issue. This is not debatable, if you intend on focusing on REALITY.
    So, the contracts to Fisher, Spezza and Heatley aren’t bad, per se, and they didn’t keep Murray from addressing the defense, but, they’re the problem? Seriously, that is the logic train you’re trying to defend? Wow.
    You entirely dismiss coaching in all of this. The other teams you point to (TBL) have different salary constraints.
    What happened was (as I’ve said already, and feel free to dispute), the team had 0 prospects. This left them at the mercy of what was available via FA signings. Those available via FA signings were either signed to bad deals, or Murray (rightly, or wrongly, chose to pass on, if they were even available to Ottawa, IF). The system this team employed did not leverage the offensive talent on the roster, and instead attempted to force elite offensive talent to play shut down defense.
    There’s no disputing the placement of this team, or their poor play, but there is also no debating that the salary distribution precluded Murray addressing the defense.
    To assume removing an elite talent from the roster, and replacing it with a different elite player (available or not), would have a direct corrolation to improved team performance, is a HUGE leap of logic. The variables at play are immense, and that is why arguing it is silly. Instead, I’ve focused on the reality of the situation (AKA small details), and shown where Murray had sufficient salary cap space to make the necessary moves, was but chose not to based upon dislike for terms of deals, or prognosticated player value.
    I believe you have been entirely disingenuous in the defense of your statement David, and have, instead of defending them, attempted to realign your argument in such a way as to avoid having to defend your views with fact, vs speculation.

  23.  

    David…now I don’t know quite the number that Drury was offered, but Briere was reportedly willing to sign for 5/25 with buffalo – why would that represent a good deal now? Sure, it would be better than some other ridiculous contracts that are signed, but Briere and his fragile body and pathetic defence probably are not worth 5 mill a yr going forward.

    Now Gerald, you fail to answer my questions -since u play attention to the Sens, which contracts that were on the opening day roster did Murray inherit? Was it just Neil, Gerber and Alfie or am I missing people? Also, if Murray inherited a loaded farm system, superstar players, no big-time albatross contracts, great depth from a team that had just been to the finals he’d be the luckiest new GM in the league; the fact that he inherited all of those things excluding the young talent still put him in a more desirable position than going in to be the GM of the Sens RIGHT NOW, even if the farm system is improving…

  24.  

    Ok, you have me completely confused now.

    ALL available FA defenseman signed could have been accomodated within the salary cap scenario Murray was facing.

    What???

    This precludes the REALITY of salary cap being the issue. This is not debatable, if you intend on focusing on REALITY.

    Double What??

    On one hand you state that all the FA defenseman could have been accomodated and on the other hand only if you preclude reality??

    So, the contracts to Fisher, Spezza and Heatley aren’t bad, per se, and they didn’t keep Murray from addressing the defense, but, they’re the problem?

    But they are. How do you not understand that Murray can’t add a top defenseman and can’t add depth scoring and can’t add a proven goalie because he has spent 45% of his budget on 4 forwards.

    What happened was (as I’ve said already, and feel free to dispute), the team had 0 prospects.

    I agree, but he didn’t help matters by trading away Eaves and Corvo for a pair of UFA’s. If you don’t have depth, don’t let the few players you have walk for nothing.

    This left them at the mercy of what was available via FA signings.

    Or trades.

    Gerald, you seem to assume that there were no options available to Murray. Options were available, but he chose to stick with what he had. He decided he was better off with this current 13th place eastern conference team than whatever other options were available to him.

    Just because I can’t state exactly what those options are, doesn’t mean they weren’t available to Murray. Murray just decided he was better off not pursuing those options. Better off with a 13th place team.

    I believe you have been entirely disingenuous in the defense of your statement David, and have, instead of defending them, attempted to realign your argument in such a way as to avoid having to defend your views with fact, vs speculation.

    Gerald, my statement all along has been that it is wrong to build a team with a small number of high priced forwards. I first made this statement nearly a year and a half ago (see the article I linked) and I reiterated it above in this post. I think it is a mistake to spend nearly 45% of your budget on 4 forwards and I am sticking to that and I think doing so will only result in failure.

  25.  

    Define inherit. As GM, or as coach?
    When, his first season, or to date?

  26.  

    I actually didn’t think it was that confusing, but ok, if you must;
    Every defenseman signed in the past off-season, could have been accommodated within the cap restraints facing Murray.
    If this is so, then how could the cap have been the root cause of him not signing one of those D?
    He had over 17M available, this is enough to sign a top 7M Dman, and a 4M second line player, and still have enough left to round out the roster. I’ve already shown how.
    What goaltender was available? They should have traded for one? Who?
    Answer – The only goaltenders available via FA were Theodore and Huet, would you have signed them, and paid Gerber 3.7M? That’s the reality of the situation, vs the fantasy world hindsight theories you advance. We are talking real world right?
    I never once, not once denied he had options, why say I did? I REPEATEDLY wrote he had options, and, FOR OTHER THEN CAP REASONS, chose not to excercise them.
    This is what baffles me. I’ve requested you defend your argument, you don’t, instead you change it. Then, you ignore my argument, and instead make claims about my statement, which I never made.
    I’m the only one who has actually shown how Murray could have signed a better defense, and a top six forward, yet somehow, now I’m the one who denies he had options?
    Again, show how the cap situation created by signing Spezza, Heatley and Fisher precluded Murray from adressing his needs at defense and forward.
    YOU CAN’T!

  27.  

    As well David, you do realize (or should), that by saying Murray had options, you basically agreed with my entire point.
    In the end, you accused me of forwarding your argument (that the cap situation precluded him from improving the club), by accusing me of denying he had options.
    I guess you forgot this supposed lack of options was the premise of YOUR argument, not mine.

  28.  

    Ok, I guess I understand your argument now. Your argument is that the following:

    The POTENTIAL 08/09 Line-up
    Heatley – Spezza – Alfie
    Zubov – Fisher – Ryder
    Winchester – Kelly – Neil
    Ruutu – Bass – Foligno

    Phillips – Volchy
    Campbell – Lee
    Kuba – Picard
    Schubert

    Gerber
    Auld

    would be a Stanley Cup contender with the forward crew of Heatley-Spezza-Alfredsson. They may be better than this current squad, but I’d hardly call them a cup contender. You have Zubov on your second line, and he can’t even make this current team and Picard, Lee, Winchester and Bass would struggle to make any of Boston, Detroit, San Jose or several other teams.

    My argument is, you cannot make this team a contender so long as you have 45% of your budget to 4 forwards and nothing you have said has shown me otherwise, either hypothetically or factually.

  29.  

    “I’m not blaming the players at the bottom of the salary scale for not being better, I’m blaming the former management (Muckler) for not drafting better players, and doing a bad job of managing assets and draft picks, which resulted in this current skill deficiency.. There’s a big difference.”

    And I’m saying the fastest way to replace that skill deficiency is to deal one of the Big Three in exchange for picks and prospects….

    “As for blame being placed on the cap, this theory lacks credibility, because in order for it to have merit, one would have to show causality. In other words, had the Sens had more cap room, they would have signed player X, and in so doing, would be a better team. In the absence of this causality, the argument remains mired in artificiality, not fact.”

    That entire causality argument you’re using is entirely based on speculation. “Would have” is not a water-tight argument. I just showed Tampa and Pittsburgh and potentially Detroit as perfect examples of causality. Too much money tied up to the team’s top 3-4 = lack of quality depth. To be honest the whole Murray “had options” doesn’t hold any water because none of us knows what was offered or who was targeted. You’ve completely failed to admit it is a FACT that the Sens are having cap troubles and along with their underperforming players they’re having a disappointing year.

  30.  

    Oh, now it’s a Stanley Cup contender, well, that’s a new twist, how convenient, but not surprising, considering your argument has been a moving target from the beginning.
    If you keep changing your argument, and set the bar higher an higher, then eventually, yes, guaranteeing a contender quickly falls into the “fantasy” world.
    Look at the roster of either Boston or SJ, and tell me every player is “contender” status. Cheechoo? Show how every player, from top to bottom, came into the season as “difference makers”. You can’t. You can’t reasonably claim Josef Plihal is “contender” quality, but Bass is not. Frankly, to even attempt to do so, smacks of desperation.
    Look, arguing that you are right, until someoene proves the unproveable may make you feel validated, but it seems pretty lame to me.
    What was this killer second line the Sens had in the Cup run btw? Comrie (6 pts, -1), Fisher (10 pts, -2) and Schaefer (6 pts, +1)? Yeah, it was all that second line, lol!
    Come on, you advanced an argument, I refuted it with fact, and now, instead of defending yours with fact, you again obfuscate your lack of evidence, by what, claiming Bass, a 4th line centre, precludes the “potential” roster from being a contender. Do you know how many variables you need to account for in claiming a roster as having “contender status”? Pulling out Zubov and Bass as evidence they would not be contenders is just weak.
    This started as being a result of the Fisher, Spezza, Heatley signings, which (apparently) kept them from signing a top D and second line forward. I show where it didn’t, but now, when they have the top D, and a second line centre, it’s because of Zubov and Bass? Fine, you win, obviously irrefutable evidence, lol!

  31.  

    Jason, as it stands, the depth is improving, thanks to Murray. Ellott is stepping up, Lee is improving, as is Foligno.
    Trading one of the core makes a hole bigger then the one you’re trying to fill.
    Let’s say they trade Spezza for 2 high end prospects, who plays centre? Fisher? You’re not going to trade him for another #1 centre, and prospects. As a ‘Nucks fan, you know all too well how hard it is to rebuild via trades.

    so let me get this straight, I point to signed contracts, for the types of players you claim this team needs, abd show how they fit into the Sens cap situation, but this is “would have”?
    You point to different teams, claim they have the same problem, provide no evidence to support this, or the evidence to support existence of this mutual “problem”, but you’re dealing in fact?
    Come on already, that’s just sad.
    I’ve asked several times, if you are right, just name the player(s) Murray should have signed, that he didn’t, because of the cap.
    How can this be any more simple?
    If you can’t do this, YOU HAVE NO FACTS, just an unsupported theory.
    You (nor anyone else) will answer this question, because, they can’t, instead the argument changes, or becomes entirely bizarre (like yours).
    Just show me who these missed players are.

  32.  

    Ok, if you want to settle for ‘in the playoff hunt’ year in and year out, then fine, stick with your team. But personally, i want a team that can seriously content for the Cup. Isn’t that the end goal that we all strive for?

    Look at the roster of either Boston or SJ, and tell me every player is “contender” status. Cheechoo? Show how every player, from top to bottom, came into the season as “difference makers”.

    Cheechoo is a former 56 goal guy. Yes, he has faded away a bit but he is light years ahead of Zubov, Winchester, Bass, etc.

    You can’t. You can’t reasonably claim Josef Plihal is “contender” quality, but Bass is not.

    Fine, you can have Bass on your fourth line pretender team

    What was this killer second line the Sens had in the Cup run btw? Comrie (6 pts, -1), Fisher (10 pts, -2) and Schaefer (6 pts, +1)? Yeah, it was all that second line, lol!

    Look at that teams defense. Redden 10 points, Corvo 9 points, Preissing 7 points, Meszaros 7 points.

    Do you know how many variables you need to account for in claiming a roster as having “contender status”? Pulling out Zubov and Bass as evidence they would not be contenders is just weak.

    You are right. That is why I also pointed out that your AHLer Zubov is on the second line, and pointed out Winchester, Lee, and Picard. Oh, and I forgot to mention the average goaltending.

    This started as being a result of the Fisher, Spezza, Heatley signings, which (apparently) kept them from signing a top D and second line forward.

    It isn’t just about a top D and second line forward because your theoretical team has 2 players on it that are currently playing in the AHL, two weak defensemen in Picard and Lee and questionable goaltending. Your theoretical team still has holes in it so you have proven squat.

  33.  

    Gerald how am i so called bsing you about buffalo , considering the market they run there team in there are a model franchise. They could have signed briere, drury and campbell if they wanted to. Now ask yourself y did they pass on them.

    1 Not one of those 3 guys is worthy of a big time contract. Briere is a smallish center in a big mans league sure small players flourish but every team wants the big strong guys come playoff time otherwise they’ll look like montreal this year. SOFT

    Drury got all around talent and a good game on both sides of the rink (sounds alot like fisher doens’t he just more offense) Were taking about a guy who is a second liner always has been unless being paired with forsberg in colorado and isn’t worth over 5 nevermind over 7

    Campbell has alot of game and it’s developed really late in his career he dind’t start like that. thats for sure. Whenever u have a player liek that a late developer the risk is always that much higher then an instinst stud now he was suppose to be willing to sign for around 6 mill in buffalo instead of the 7 plus he got but guess what for about a 1 and a half of good play is he worth that huge of a risk in IMO NOOOO only a deserate gm would make that move late bloomers need to prove beyond a doubt before getting long term big money like that plus he’s not in the league of the prongers of the game

    So now we have 3 players all good guys who were the core of buffalo Now if they sign these 3 sure they technically in the short term would have been a playoff team etc etc who knows how good they could have been but this was all before vanek’s monster 7 mill contract thanks to kevin lowe so u would of had 4 guys for roughly what 23 to 25 million

    So vanek would have been forced to become edmonton property cause of lack of money,Who by the way is a true NHL big time player with hands of gold around the net

    plus forget about pominville resigning cause of money issue plus forget about roys solid contract being sign for yet again money issues

    SO GERALD YET ME SAY THIS FOR THE MILLION TIME

    SOMETIMES TAKING A STEP BACK MEANS ADVANCING LEAPS AND BOUNDS FORWARD a lesson u need to drill thru your thick skull

    Now buffalo can hopefully be competitive for years thanks to passing on solid nhl and picking the far superior guys in vanek.

    Now if ottawa applied a similar formula there no guarentees of where they would be right now, but it’s hard to imagine them in a worse spot , sometimes hard decisions need to be made and there a reason a gm’s in place to make these hard decision for whats best for the future stability of a franchise not to please john doe in row 5 at scotia bank place or please the great GERALD ottawa blogger
    so drop the attitude and debate with some facts of your own instead of kicking your kicks in life arguing people who clearly make better points then you

    PS i dont’ wanna hear u comment on how i lack the fact to make any of these arguments cause we all know i’m right the players are proving it this year

  34.  

    Gerald…I’ll read all the comments in a bit – when I say “inherit” I mean when BM became GM, not coach – which contracts on the opening day roster did he inherit other than Neil, Gerber and Alfie – you obviously know the Sens and when BM took over etc – so you might as well tell me instead of me looking it up…

  35.  

    I don’t know how I can make this any clearer Gerald, the Pens, Wings, and Bolts are all suffering from headaches because of cap troubles. And how did they get there? By tying up too much money to too few players. There is your proof. The Pens can’t land a top flight winger even if they wanted to because they don’t have the cap space, the Bolts dealt away Richards then Boyle for the same reason, and the Wings will very likely lose either Hossa or Franzen, both key players. Either you refuse to, or can’t, see it. I really don’t know which is worse.

    And Vancouver was absolutely re-built through trades. We re-acquired Linden, got Morrison, and traded away our pick to land both Sedins. Who did we lose? Mogilny and Bure, two of the most valuable and talented players during the 90s for the Canucks, and maybe even all-time. Sure, Bure’s departure was under different circumstances and it was not during a cap era, but it goes to show that trading away your most valuable players can be a route taken to really re-build the team. Is Ottawa in re-build mode? Maybe. Should they be in re-build mode? Looks like it.

    And I’m not arguing who Murray “should have” signed. You’re not understanding my argument. It’s a baseless argument either way, much like how predictions really carry no weight. It’s easy to say, “well, I guess Murray did the best he could, after all, he did get all his RFA’s re-signed” but can you really PROVE that it was the best he could do? Maybe he went after Campbell (and in my mind he really should’ve), maybe he didn’t, but either way the team needs a shakeup, either upstairs or on the ice. Enough of the coaching carousel.

  36.  

    David, I’m writing in this forum, in response to your blog. The fact you change your “argument” second by second, is not my problem, it is yours.
    Instead of endless hyperbole, obfuscation, and duplicity, how about you actually answer my one and only question.
    Instead of debating Cheechoo, or Bass, or Zubov, instead of Pretender teams” based on nothing but biased opinion and blind speculation, instead of moving target arguments (now it’s back to the defense, which I thought we already addressed, remember, then you switched to Zubov and Bass?).
    Either just admit, it’s your story, and your sticking to it, with or without a shred of data to support it, or defend it, and identify these players Murray should have signed, that he didn’t, because of the salary commitments to Spezza, Heatley, and Fisher?
    The longer you refuse to do this, the more obvious your inability to do so becomes.

  37.  

    Mark,
    If you think Buffalo has taken a step forward, you need to work on your hockey sense even more then you need to work on your english.
    Good luck with that.

  38.  

    Jason, saying it doesn’t make it proof. Come on, I’m supposed to read a statement like yours, then just say “oh well, if Jason says so, well then, there’s my proof!”
    You have no argument, you have a theory, a concept, an idea, THAT’S IT!
    You won’t answer my question BECAUSE YOU CAN’T!
    I know it, and you know it, but your ego won’t let you admit it.
    Whatever.

  39.  

    Gerald – answer my question – which contracts on the opening day roster of the 2008-09 did Bryan Murray inherit from the previous regime(s)? I have it as Alfie, Neil and Gerber – am I missing anyone?

  40.  

    Gerald yet again you prove your ignorance, can i read over my post to involve it’s english sure. Were on a hockey blog site who cares about if i have a run on sentence does it really make an argument lose it’s foundation? NO and based on the standings buffalo missed the playoffs 1 year and look on the inside track to make it or barely miss it compared to ottawa who in shape to miss it this year, probably next year and depending on how long they sit on this dead weight team we could be well beyond 2010.

    I can post all the numbers on drury briere and campbell but everone knows the facts, so posting them just takes me away from wathcing the canucks lose to the blues( sigh y must we always lose to bottom dwellers ) but u wanna question my hockey sense lol now that it funny at this point i beliere everyone here is questioning yours. So good luck with that

    Quick question for you tho, Has brian murray hired you as his publistist yet cause it’s really hard to tell where he ends and you begin?

  41.  

    Ted,
    I’m still not sure what you’re asking, opening day this season, or when he of the season following his taking over?
    From the Cup run roster, Murray resigned;
    Emery,
    Heatley,
    Spezza,
    Fisher,
    Vermette,
    Kelly,
    MacAmmond.
    He traded, or let go;
    Corvo,
    Preissing,
    Eaves,
    Comrie,
    Redden,

  42.  

    Gerald opps i’m sorry i guess i should revise that last post for it’s spelling and grammer errors damn my bad

  43.  

    Gerald I’m asking who was on the opening day roster of THIS season that was signed by Muckler or anyone other than Bryan Murray – is it just Neil, Gerber and Alfie or am I missing people?

  44.  

    mark, the Sabres went from being multi year contenders, to missing the post season, and now battling to make the post season. If this is taking a step forward by addition by subtraction, then hells, what can I say, you certainly have an interesting way of evaluating progress.
    As for Murray, I could care less if he was fired tomorrow, seriously. What I do dislike, is baseless knee jerk theories being advanced as though they have some sort of inherent validity.
    I actually prefer discussion based on well founded facts, not hyperbole.
    You? Well, to be frank, I have no what you base your ideas on…certainly not reality.

  45.  

    Ted,
    Neil, Gerber, Phillips, Volchenkov, Lee, Zubov, Foligno, and Alfie.
    Nice take away by Sundin BTW!

  46.  

    gerald how about you pointing out sundin being a bad signing after 10 games that seems liek a knee jerk theory to me. hey maybe he saw it cause he’s done nothing but dominate the scoresheet since.

  47.  

    Ted, scratch Lee, he signed his ELC at the very beginning of Murray’s tenure (July 03/07).
    Oy, what a brutal play by Bieksa to leave his check (Oshie) who set up the goal.

  48.  

    Mark,
    Time will tell, but 8+M for a 37 yr old has been…take off the rose coloured glassed Canucklehead

  49.  

    funny how everyone screams overpayed when it comes to sundin but nobody seems to care that we had the money to burn we still ahve enough to bring it a high priced player and if we didn’t spend this money on sundin it would have gone straight to league revenue sharing, plus the fact it doens’t hurt us next season i any way seems like alot of positives to me rose glasses or not tell me one negitive about it

  50.  

    Ok, so at this point, considering the price of defensive defenceman and all – id call phillips and volchenkov fair contracts (though they may be below market value); neil is fine, alfie was a good deal and gerber was a bad deal…

    Basically, though, Bryan Murray inherited a team full of talent and chose who he felt like extending with some influence from Melnyk I am sure. The prospect cupboard was bare, but he had 2 franchise players in Heatley and Spezza who were both around their mid-twenties when signing their extensions. Every year the team has gotten thinner while keeping a select core of 4 players, but never really improving via trade and free agency. In fact, the entire opening day roster is pretty much homegrown excluding their cheaper players (under 2 mill) and Kuba, Smith and Gerber. TELL ME IF U DISAGREE WITH ANY OF THESE FACTS, because I do not follow Ottawa too closely and I may be wrong about something here…

    Now Bryan Murray can go to a team like Edmonton and inherit a bunch of decent young players/prospects, but no franchise prospects and a bunch of money already tied up – is that a better situation than the one he stepped into in Ottawa? I don’t think so, but that is my opinion and you may disagree; the point, though, is that this was the most talented team in the NHL (or damn near it) when Murray took over – that is why all of these players leave Ottawa and get overpaid by their next team – there is no good reason for a GM to walk into a fairly plum situation and think that he can simply keep a select “core” of players and not do a whole lot else to improve the sitation, all the while allowing the talent to get depleted without trading it for prospects/draft pick etc – now this entire paragraph is my opinion, but the fact is that the Sens are one of the 5 teams in the NHL (all in the weak eastern conference) that have no shot at the playoffs and they are pretty much spending to the cap – a minor tweak here or there probably won’t do much, but we’ll see – I believe a tweak can get the team into playoff contention (which in the east means little other than being a top 26 team in the nhl), but not into cup contention…

  51.  

    “Time will tell, but 8+M for a 37 yr old has been…take off the rose coloured glassed Canucklehead”

    Is the 8 mill+ spent on Alfie next year going to help the Sens even make the playoffs, let alone do something positive if they make the playoffs?

    I don’t understand this – the Canucks don’t win the last 3 games without Sundin – what does it matter if he costs a prorated 8 mill or 5 mill or 11 mill when the Canucks, like Ottawa, can spend to the cap each year – better to overpay on a short-term contract when cap room is available than overpay on a long-term contract and handcuff oneself from signing young players or improving if the team sucks…

  52.  

    And lets get one other thing clear Gerald – Bryan Murray TRIED to get into the Sundin sweepstakes – he told the media as much as I’m sure u remember – but he didnt have the money to do it and improve because most of the money was spent on homegrown Senators…

  53.  

    Because paying a guy 8.6M, at 37, when he is nowhere near elite, raises the salary for every player. It’s stupid money, and just because the team has the cap room, doesn’t mean the deal is reasonable.
    See how this deal haunts them when they try to sign their FA’s…I know I’d expect similar money if my numbers were as good.
    Tried and failed, or tried and walked away? Discretion is the better part of valour my friend.
    As for the Sens, time will tell how it all shakes out, and I suspect things will change, then suddenly, the trash talk will suddenly dry up.
    But, I’m still waiting for so much as a shred of evidence to support this whole cap theory.

  54.  

    Gerald, the cap theory is the argument David put forward which I did mention in the last post – however, did this not all start in regards to whether or not BM should be fired instead of Hartsburg? There was more than one argument being put forward – you are not showing a shred of evidence as to why the Sens will be better next year or why this is not Murray’s fault – I have given u facts to dispute regarding Murray’s tenure as GM – u simply respond to the comments u feel like and ignore others – if, for example, the Sens can dump Fisher and move Heatley (I doubt Alfie is going anywhere) for something like Dustin Brown, then I agree that they can be a very good team quickly – however, the core 4 needs to change, if for no other reason than to change the culture of a group that simply gets worse every year and does not deserve another chance to stay together…

  55.  

    gerald

    raises the salary for every player.

    thats an opinion gerald not a fact

  56.  

    So Gerald, if Brian Campbell gets 7.14 mill a year for 8 years at the age of 29, doesn’t this mean that Keith should be getting the same and Kane and Toews should be getting even more? They are all better players than Campbell. Just like paying a never-has-been-elite feeder like Alfie over 8 mill next year and giving a checking centre like Fisher a 5 year contract for over 4 mill – contracts do raise the market, no doubt, but it typically affects other teams, not the one who signs the player in question – and in a world where drury, gomez, redden all make near 7 mill for 5+ year contracts (man Sather is an idiot) offering a short-term, high average salary to a player who has never been a feeder and is still damn good is a whole lot smarter…your “overpaying” theory is just hyperbole, a baseless theory -conjecture – it obfuscates the fact that u have not proven anything…

  57.  

    Mark, no, it’s a statement of fact, supported by a millenia of economic date…sheesh!

  58.  

    Ted, what?
    This tread is about how OTT, like other teams, is hamstrung by spending too much salary on forwards.
    I’ve shown where this is not true.
    Nobody has shown anything to support this theory, at all whatsoever.
    Why will the Sens be better?
    Coaching, improved goaltending, improved roster.
    So, raising salaries effect the other teams, not the one signing the contract, that is your theory? Good luck with that.
    Alfie is averaging 5.4M, and you seem to consider this bad, but Sundin at 8.6M is not? Seriously? How do you come up with this stuff? I don’t make you say it, but I’m sure as hell not going to swallow it.
    “Feeder”, what the hell is that anyhow, a passer? Now you’re just bashing players to take out your frustrations, like I give a crap.

  59.  

    Ted, Mark, you are honestly saying Mats is worth 8.6M?
    More then;
    Zets,
    Luongo,
    Thornton,
    Lecalvelier,
    and equal to Crosby and Malkin?
    Get real. If you weren’t Canuck fans you’d think it was a stupid deal too.

  60.  

    Seriously Gerald, why do u only look at the average annual salary and not the term – u act like the term is meaningless – Alfredson is only a very good player when playing with Spezza and Heatley – why is it that these 3 forwards can’t even comprise TWO quality scoring lines? Alfredson is on pace for around 25 goals this year, while Sundin is on pace for 40 over a full season – and if it doesn’t work out, we’re done with him at the end of the year – let’s see how u like Alfredson at age 38 or 39 with a shrinking cap…let’s see if the Sens can improve without dumping him…

  61.  

    And Gerald – I’m pretty sure the Sens would rather have Sundin and a pylon over Alfie and Fisher – at least he has shown that he can consistently produce with mediocre players – it is merely your opinion that Sundin is not elite…it is merely your opinion that Sundin for a prorated 8.6 mill for half a year and the playoffs is worse than alfie for 22 over the next 4…this is a baseless theory, pure conjecture – it obfuscates the fact that everyone here knows u are an idiot – the first to insult everyone when u prove nothing – i hope u enjoy the BJ bryan murray gives u tonight – i hope it’s worth defending your pathetic team that spends to the cap to secure a lottery pick…

  62.  

    lol

  63.  

    Proof:
    The Pens need a winger but can’t get one.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/hockey/fhl/story?page=shots081030

    Trading Boyle was cap-space related.

    http://blogs.tampabay.com/lightning/2008/06/agent-boyle-inc.html

    Beyond that I don’t know what else I can say. Your refusal to believe that the Sens’ season is lost and that the defense needs an overhaul is really blinding you. Take off those glasses, buddy.

  64.  

    This tread is about how OTT, like other teams, is hamstrung by spending too much salary on forwards.
    I’ve shown where this is not true.

    No you haven’t. All you have done is put together a hypothetical lineup that included Brian Campbell while having an AHLer on the second line. There is no evidence that this lineup could contend.

    The real evidence is what has happened in Tampa, Ottawa and now Pittsburgh.

  65.  

    Jason,
    Show where, the Sens current cap situation precluded Murray from adressing his roster needs (top 6 forward, top 2 d-man).
    Enough with other teams, I could careless, and as I’ve said, they have different situations, just answer the question already.
    Ted, if yu really believe Murrau would rather Sundin then Alfie, you have absolutely no grasp on reality, plain and simple. Bash away, but, I’ve yet to actually read an argument.
    David, fine, here then;
    Heatley – Spezza – Alfie
    Vermette – Fisher – Ryder
    Foligno – Winchester – Neil
    Schubert – Bass – Donnovan

    Campbell – Kuba
    Phillips – Volchenkov
    Picard – Lee

    Gerber
    Auld

  66.  

    Look, nobody will defend the argument.
    1. Ted wants to bash players to pump up his belief that Sundin, at 37, is worth being paid at as the 4th best player in the NHL. Frankly, that’s stupid.
    2. Mark seems to believe that Buffalo is doing better now then in 05/06 and 06/07. That’s stupid. He also believes it’s speculation that paying inflated salaries causes salary inflation. That’s stupid.
    3. Jason, refuses to actually answer a very direct and simple question. That’s convenient.
    4. David looks like a politician, he wont answer a direct question, and in the face of concrete opposing facts, he twists and tangles his argument to avoid admitting he has no argument.
    Hey, all you have to do is answer the question, but none of you will. You think I’m confused, or wrong, fine, point out how, but you wont. As such, enjoy your baseless group think, and if things turn around, I’m sure I won’t read you saying you were wrong. Why? Because you’ve refused to actually debate, so why would I expect actual integrity then?

  67.  

    Ottawa has 3.42m in cap space. If they had kept Meszaros that number would be lower. Brian Campbell’s cap hit is 7.14. By re-signing Fisher, Kelly, and Vermette Murray put himself out of contention for Campbell (assuming that he did go after him). He let Chara and Redden go and replaced neither.

    Your refusal to look at other teams just shows your ignorance.

    “Enough with other teams, I could careless, and as I’ve said, they have different situations, just answer the question already.”

    There’s a saying for that: “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

  68.  

    Gerald said: Show where, the Sens current cap situation precluded Murray from adressing his roster needs (top 6 forward, top 2 d-man). Jason, refuses to actually answer a very direct and simple question.

    It may be a ‘simple question’ to state, but it’s quite difficult to construct an answer to your level of satisfaction. In fact, I’d say it verges on the impossible since you believe that IT CAN’T BE DONE.

    I for one think Jason provided two compelling arguments by citing two other organizations that are having problems addressing their needs (Pittsburg’s inability to sign a top line winger for Crosby, TBay having to deal away Danny Boyle) because of how their cap pie is sliced. Both of these cases support the argument that loading up your top line with huge contracts prevents you from filling other ‘roster needs’ on your team, and hence achieving success.

    Since you’ve asked explicitly, here’s how I think you’re confused/wrong: if you ask for an answer, you need to be prepared to genuinely entertain arguments that cite similar problems experienced by teams other than the Sens.

    This tread is about how OTT, like other teams, is hamstrung by spending too much salary on forwards.
    I’ve shown where this is not true.

    I have to agree with DJ. Posting a roster that includes Brian Campbell and Michael Ryder doesn’t *prove* they would make Ottawa contenders. At best, it shows that in another world the Sens have this lineup. Yeah, I’ll agree that they would be better, but probably not even top 4 in the conference. Although, I’d check your arithmetic again because I think that at their current salaries that lineup is over the cap.

  69.  

    This tread is about how OTT, like other teams, is hamstrung by spending too much salary on forwards.
    I’ve shown where this is not true.

    What would be more convincing than hypothetical lineups would be arguments for how it isn’t true for those other teams Jason mentions (Tampa Bay and Pittsburg), not just Ottawa.

  70.  

    Jason, do you even read my posts?
    Murray had over 17M to spend going into the ’08 off season.
    Do some bloody research, and base your statements on fact.
    I’m not refusing to look at other teams, I’m refusing to make the absurd leap that because other teams may or may not have such salary issues (which you’ve never proven, let alone tied to Ottawa), it default applies to Ottawa.
    Again, just answer the damn question, or let it go and admit you can’t, is it really so hard to do? Are you so obsesses with appearing right that you feel beyond actually defending your point of view, but instead blindly attack mine?
    I’ve posted a roster Murray could have signed, including Campbell, yet still, you say he couldn’t have? Based on what, prove that claim.
    Did you know that Vermette, Smith, Ruutu, Donovan, and Bell were ALL signed AFTER Campbell…probably not, or, once again, you wouldn’t be making stuff up, instead of just answering the simple question.

  71.  

    BTW Jason, he did not let Chara go, another entirely false claim.
    Nor did he let Redden go, Redden had an NMC, and refused to waive it. Muckler gave him the NMC.
    You obviously just don’t know what you’re talking about.

  72.  

    Bob, so, if I can prove where Ottawa was not hamstrung by salary (which, BTW, was very simple to do, and, if I were wrong, David would have said so, vs switching it to contender, which was just lame), why would I then also have to prove that these other teams could as well? Honestly, what does the issues of one team have to do with the other? Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to have Jason actually demonstrate how it does apply to Ottawa? Why, after proving it doesn’t, would this entirely obsequious responsibility fall to me, and even more ridiculously, preclude my direct empirical argument from being considered?
    Honestly, your post is absurd from a logic point of view, and either you can see it, and don’t care (because you WANT me to be wrong), or worse, you actually think it made sense.

  73.  

    Gerald u are carrying over the argument that we had in the last post – in fact, the premise of this post is based on EXACTLY what I said in the last post about how the nhl is cyclical and that winning teams haven’t really picked the right players to keep or spend too much on a “core” and keep diluting their talent and depth -the examples of tbay, carolina, pittsburgh are the ones I gave before so this is just a carry-over of what I was saying earlier- as everyone here can see, you are impossible to convince and you also refuse to answer our questions – u just put forward baseless theories, pure hyperbole which further obfuscates the fact that you understand next to nothing about cap management. You believe signing Campbell (and thereby further diluting the depth and ability to sign prospects etc) would make the Sens significantly better?

    And acting as though Ryder would be playing this well in Ottawa is a bit of a stretch. Ryder is simply a piece in a team that is loaded with depth – in Ottawa who knows if he’d even be a top 6 forward.

    And why not answer my question about the term of Alfredson’s contract? Why not put forward a reason as to why Alfie will help the Sens over the next 4 years at that price and why Sundin is not helping the Canucks on his one year deal? Please explain this – you keep saying “37 year old” as though that is evidence for your argument as opposed to the fact that he is actually scoring at a high clip and now that he is back in game shape looks like he could carry this team into the playoffs, possibly to a division title and possibly winning a round or two. That is a lot of playoff revenue generated, fan intrest generated for money that would have simply gone into revenue sharing for a high payroll team…Alfredson’s age 36-39 years at 22 mill will accomplish what exactly? Many players should be able to play with Spezza and ALfredson and produce, and up to this point that is the only time Alfredson ever produces…

    Why not answer many of my questions or anyone else’s? I hope Bryan Murray’s juice tastes good, otherwise you are looking like a stubborn idiot on a hockey blog for no good reason.

  74.  

    *I meant Spezza and Heatley (obviously) in my last post…commenting at work precludes having the time to edit properly…

  75.  

    As for this entirely BS “contender” cop out, here is the ACTUAL context;
    “The possibility certainly exists that 5 of the 6 post-lockout Stanley Cup finalists won’t make the playoffs this year.”
    Note – “playoffs”, not Stanley Cup contenders [whatever that entirely subjective term even means].

  76.  

    Ted, I’ve only ever asked one question, nobody has answered it, nobody.
    How has the Sens cap situation kept them from adressing their roster needs (top D man, top 6 forward?)
    Just answer it.
    As for Alfie, I’m not even sure what question you’re talking about, as, if you haven’t noticed, 4 seperate posters are bombarding me with posts, so I apologize if I missed some new entirely off topic question you raise, instead of answering my one simple question.
    Alfie, he’smaking 5.4M. Do I think he’ll earn that for the next 4 years…probably not, but he will for 3 of them, and contribute in the 4th. But, how am I to predict this, nor can you.
    Sundin, at 37, maikng the 4th highest cap salary in the league is stupidity, and it was done by a new GM to try to “make a spash”. Will it work, maybe, but I doubt it, but only time will tell. But what it will do, is raise the salary expectation of every FA in the market, and that is bad for everyone, even the moron GM who over-paid to begin with. Vancouver won’t be immune, in fact, they are the first victim, and will be victimized for being victimized, by their own stupidity.
    BTW, Alfie was being paid far below market value for years, and I don’t begrudge him a dime of his contract.
    Happy now? How about showing me how the Sens salary situation kept them from signing a top 2 Dman and a second line centre (btw, Ryder is a generic second line centre, his 4M salary is the point, not him specifically, I thought that would be obvious, but I guess not, or maybe it was, but instead of answering my question, you went off on another diversionary tack).

  77.  

    Gerald, you are grasping at straws now. That comment was in a completely different part of the article and referencing a completely different issue. The paragraph in question reads:


    Tampa couldn’t do it, Ottawa is failing at it, and Pittsburgh is on the verge of missing the playoffs because of it. I am talking about spending a boat load of money on two or three mostly offensive oriented forwards. Tampa spent a lot of money on Lecavalier, Richards and St. Louis and failed to obtain much success. Ottawa has seen their defense decimated and goaltending faulter because they have spent too much on Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson (and to a lesser extent Fisher). In Pittsburgh they have spent some money on defense and goaltending in addition to their big two of Crosby and Malking, but that meant that Crosby and Malkin are pretty much playing on their own.

    In that paragraph I talk about Tampa, who did make the playoffs with the big three in 2005-06 and 2006-07, but failed to be a real contending team. No one would consider those Tampa teams to have any kind of a shot at making it deep into the playoffs. I never once drew the line at making the playoffs.

    In case you are uncertain as to the point that I am trying to make: I do not believe that if you spend a significant portion of your salary budget on forwards, can you adequately build enough of a quality team around those forwards.

    Again, the evidence is Tampa, Ottawa and Pittsburgh have failed to build a top quality team around their high priced star forwards. The additional evidence is that you cannot point out another team that has done so.

    You main counter argument seems to be that the Senators could have signed this player or that player and then you postulate that if they did they would be a much better team. That’s a fine hypothetical argument and we can debate whether that hypothetical team can be considered contenders, but instead you seem hellbent on nitpicking semantics and details and ignoring the major evidence of what we have seen in reality in Tampa, Pittsburgh and Ottawa.

  78.  

    David, and it said “contender” where?
    I’m sory if I mistook your meaning from the opening paragraph of your blog, then also misunderstood the implied “contender” status in the ;ater paragraph, bith of which, I might add, refrenced Ottawa, in the exact same context, failing to make the post season.
    David, you’re refusing to accept responsibility for defending your own argument, and the feable “details” and “grasping at straws” BS should be reserved for an argument with a 5th grader. The meaning, context, and direct statements of your blog are plainly obvious, your willingness to accept responsibility for them notwithstanding.
    David, you have proposed a theory (slary constraints precluded teams x,y,z, from being competitive). Great. Now, if you will be so kind, instead of simply asking me to assue you are right, because you say so, indicate to me what players these teams should have signed, but their cap situation precluded them from doing so. You have isolated one variable (cap space/distribution) and assigned to it the bulk of the reason for teams failure to make the post season (you never said contend). Please, feel free to provide examples which excludes all other variables, and highlights how the one you have theorized upon, has done so.
    I have shown how the Sens, with 17M in cap space, had the money available to spend on quality players (they;re names are irrelevant, the salary is).
    Just defend your statements, and quit changing/denying/justifying them instead, is that really so unreasonable to ask of you?

  79.  

    Ted, I’ve only ever asked one question, nobody has answered it, nobody.
    How has the Sens cap situation kept them from adressing their roster needs (top D man, top 6 forward?)
    Just answer it.
    As for Alfie, I’m not even sure what question you’re talking about, as, if you haven’t noticed, 4 seperate posters are bombarding me with posts, so I apologize if I missed some new entirely off topic question you raise, instead of answering my one simple question.
    Alfie, he’smaking 5.4M. Do I think he’ll earn that for the next 4 years…probably not, but he will for 3 of them, and contribute in the 4th. But, how am I to predict this, nor can you.
    Sundin, at 37, maikng the 4th highest cap salary in the league is stupidity, and it was done by a new GM to try to “make a spash”. Will it work, maybe, but I doubt it, but only time will tell. But what it will do, is raise the salary expectation of every FA in the market, and that is bad for everyone, even the moron GM who over-paid to begin with. Vancouver won’t be immune, in fact, they are the first victim, and will be victimized for being victimized, by their own stupidity.
    BTW, Alfie was being paid far below market value for years, and I don’t begrudge him a dime of his contract.
    Happy now? How about showing me how the Sens salary situation kept them from signing a top 2 Dman and a second line centre (btw, Ryder is a generic second line centre, his 4M salary is the point, not him specifically, I thought that would be obvious, but I guess not, or maybe it was, but instead of answering my question, you went off on another diversionary tack).
    I’m amazed that so many are determined to be right, because they want to be, but at the same time, refuse to provide a basis for their argument, it’s laughable.

  80.  

    It’s painfully obvious nobody on this thread is actually willing (or more accurately) able to defend their opinion with fact, other then me. As such, have at it, enjoy your “truthiness”, lol!

  81.  

    Bob, so, if I can prove where Ottawa was not hamstrung by salary (which, BTW, was very simple to do,

    Really? No one else seems convinced of your very simple explanation. Honestly Gerald, I think you might have some arguments in there, I just think you don’t know how to debate without getting angry and making lots of ad hominem remarks.

    Honestly, what does the issues of one team have to do with the other?

    The issues of one team have to do with others because Jason and David are arguing that *any* NHL team with 3-4 forwards signed to long term contracts at ~50% of their salary cap allowance run into problems addressing the needs of the rest of their roster, and that this is a poor way to manage a successful franchise under this CBA. So to support this argument, they have cited examples.

    Here’s what DJ posted:

    Tampa couldn’t do it, Ottawa is failing at it, and Pittsburgh is on the verge of missing the playoffs because of it. I am talking about spending a boat load of money on two or three mostly offensive oriented forwards. Tampa spent a lot of money on Lecavalier, Richards and St. Louis and failed to obtain much success. Ottawa has seen their defense decimated and goaltending faulter because they have spent too much on Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson (and to a lesser extent Fisher). In Pittsburgh they have spent some money on defense and goaltending in addition to their big two of Crosby and Malking, but that meant that Crosby and Malkin are pretty much playing on their own.

    Honestly, what does the issues of one team have to do with the other? Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to have Jason actually demonstrate how it does apply to Ottawa?

    I, for one, think he already has. He and DJ argue that teams who dish out large contracts to 3-4 offensively oriented players make it difficult to succeed in filling holes in the rest of your lineup. They cite Pittsburg (struggling this year, unable to find a winger for Crosby), Tampa (struggling this year, unable to hang onto Boyle, secondary scorers), and Ottawa (struggling this year, unable to bolster their defense). All those teams are struggling this year. This supports their theory.

    Why, after proving it doesn’t, would this entirely obsequious responsibility fall to me, and even more ridiculously, preclude my direct empirical argument from being considered?

    Because a hypothetical lineup doesn’t have a record of success that you can use to support your argument. Who knows how that lineup (which I maintain is over the cap at current salaries, which supports their point) would perform? Against what opposition? See, it’s purely speculative and so isn’t convincing. It’s not an empirical argument because it’s a hypothetical (not actual) lineup with no record to support your claim that they would be successful. What you could do is point out one or more franchises that spend ~50% of their cap on 3-4 offensively oriented forwards, and are achieving success. Even better is if you could provide such samples while showing that they’ve been able to address pressing needs on their rosters as they come up.

  82.  

    David, you have proposed a theory (slary constraints precluded teams x,y,z, from being competitive). Great. Now, if you will be so kind, instead of simply asking me to assue you are right, because you say so, indicate to me what players these teams should have signed, but their cap situation precluded them from doing so.

    I am not asking you to assume I am right, I am just asking you to consider the evidence. Tampa couldn’t fill a roster around their big three. Pittsburgh has failed to give their big two centers (Crosby in particular) adequate wingers. Ottawa is struggling mightily and the General Manager constantly states his desire to add a top 6 forward and an puck moving defenseman but can’t do one, let alone both, with $3 million in cap space. And he isn’t even talking about the questionable goaltending.

    Maybe it can be done Gerald. Maybe a team can seriously content for a Stanley Cup with $20 million allocated to 3 forwards. But so far every team that has tried has failed miserably. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in Washington when Semin and Backstrom and Green all want big time contracts to go along with Ovechkin’s.

  83.  

    Are YOU reading my arguments right, Gerald? This is the last time I’ll ever say this because frankly this is just ridiculous. It’s like talking to a brick wall.

    1 – Murray’s made mistakes, whether from the wrong action or just plain inaction. Either way, he has yet to fix any of the team’s problems.

    2 – the Sens cannot flesh out the rest of their roster with quality players so long as they have so much money tied up on their top line (and an underachieving Fisher). Pittsburgh and Tampa suffered from the same problems, I don’t know how else I can make this any clearer. The dots are there – you just can’t seem to connect them.

    3 – the trade rumours surrounding Heatley and Spezza are not only because they’ve struggled or play poor defense, but because it could potentially land the Sens a top flight prospect and some picks as well as giving them valuable cap space to spend over the summer on a Campbell-like player because that is their one glaring hole right now. I’ve already shown that trading valuable assets (Bure, Mogilny) is a viable solution to turn a franchise around and/or re-build.

    Your HYPOTHETICAL roster is an erroneous argument because it’s based on speculation, not fact. I’m not saying the Sens COULDN’T have signed Campbell, I’m saying that the word “COULD” shouldn’t be anywhere near an argument that is, apparently, rooted in fact. The fact that Murray even TRIED to plug the holes with Ruutu, Smith, Donovan (bottom feeders) shows how inadequately he’s solved the team’s problems.

  84.  

    Jason and everyone else – what is the point of arguing cap management with Gerald – in another post, he suggested spending around 6 to 6.5 million on Bouwmeester – I challenged him and said that this would further make the Sens “top heavy” without dumping one or two of the “big 4″ but he believes spending 30 million on 5 players is the way to go…this is why he keeps bringing up his hypothetical Campbell signing to show how the big 4 do not preclude spending on a bigtime dman – well, of course, he also expects Elliot to be a saviour – when he is more likely to be another Alex Auld (looks good at points but probably a weak starter/strong backup) – let’s even say Elliot does become a solid starter – that will cost 4-6 million – let’s say Lee hits his stride and costs 3-4 million and Foligno is another 2 million – HOW THE HELL IS THIS TEAM GONNA FUNCTION AND PAY THEIR YOUNG TALENT WHEN 5 PLAYERS COST 30 MILLION?

    On a side note in regards to Sundin – why is it that Gerald suddenly don’t seem as confident in his assessment about Sundin being a poor signing – is it because the sample size has increased from 10 games to 12 games? Is it because Sundin looks like he’ll transform a non-playoff team into at least a playoff team if not more? His “raising the market for others” is simply a theory with ZERO basis – he has no proof of this – he assumes it will hinder Vancouver in the future based on zero evidence – when, in fact, numerous contracts raise the market and have been doing so for years…it is never simply one contract – and another question for Gerald…other teams were willing to give Sundin 7 million – how does us giving him a prorated 8.6 (or even 10 mill for that matter) MAKE HIS CONTRIBUTION ANY LESS SIGNIFICANT TO OUR TEAM? You assume that paying Alfredson 9 million next year and then tacking on another 13.5 mill over 3 years to lower the cap number does more to improve the Sens?

    As I’ve said from the beginning, locking up a line at such a high cost is the WORST cap management move a team can make in the new NHL – u notice how around the league their aren’t “lines” per se anymore – what teams are doing is either having a centrepiece of a line (i.e. Crosby) or a pair (i.e. Kane and Toews) and then adding a complimentary, hopefully cheap, piece such as a Versteeg – now Chicago and Washington and Boston and others will likely all get into the same problem that Ottawa is in…of course, this is all just speculation, pure hyperbole – I’m sure Washington will excel when they spend 9.5 mill on Ovechkin, 5.25 on Green and, for example, 12 million on Backstrom and Semin combined – 27 million on 4 players (though at least one of them is a defenseman) with a maybe 50 million dollar cap probably will not work…of course this is just a theory…a trend that is developing in the nhl and seems to be true, but their are no facts.

    Gerald, it seems like your only argument is that the Sens had the money to sign a bigtime dman and second line winger (of course, if these were Ottawa’s only problems they likely wouldn’t suck this much). Apparently a quick analysis of the salary commitments makes u an expert – all u have done is show what everyone else here knows already – the reason your argument seems so rock solid is because it is extremely simple – u are not offering a way to make the sens better other than to become more top heavy – and based on the other teams in the nhl just like I have said in previous threads and everyone else agrees with, it does not work – so good luck drafting high this year – i hope u get tavares and that 4th year of alfredson’s contract means that he’ll be forced to retire or be exiled to the AHL because they have no money to sign tavares to an extension…the cycle of Ottawa sucking and building through high first round picks continues!

  85.  

    i believe we need to start a gerald free blog. then we can atleast have some real debates.Gerald your exactly like my father, u will never back down from an argument no matter how much it makes u look like an idiot. You continuely say everyone here is guilty of not answer your 1 simple question prove the big 4 cripple ottawa . The only fact you should need gerald is season ottawa is having on the ice there giving u more facts then anybody ever can.

    but really were debating a topic here and u can’t debate a topic that is simply black and white the question really is can u win with 4 forwards being paid so much? yes you can… BUT and i say with a big but it’s extremely difficult to begin with cause it requires getting major secondary efforts in net or defense, where ever the team needs it and there only 1 way in this nhl where u get cheap players that can perform to a much superior value and thats entry level contracts.

    Now gerald u mentioned they could have sign campbell and a player like ryder( i really don’t feel like look at all the numbers on this) but gerald plus answer these 2 questions? how would ottawa be able to either afford a real nhl goalie or afford elliot if he proves to be one ? and second outside of your big guys( heatley spezza fisher alfy campbell ryder) (as in your example) how could u afford to pay anybody else more then league minimum which is impossible since u still got phillips volchenkov etc?

    this team sounds liek a 70 million cap team not a 50 ish mill team

  86.  

    Wow how did I miss out on 86 straight comments?

    Where to begin, where to begin…

    Ok I can’t say I read all 86 comments because I didn’t. But here’s what I have to say about the Sens over spending on the big 3… and their decision making over the past few seasons.

    The Sens decided to let Chara walk rather than sign both him and Redden. Mistake.

    They then decided to re-sign Heatley and Spezza rather than hold on to Redden. Mistake.

    They also declined to trade any of their impending UFA’s rather than lose them for absolutely nothing. Mistake.

    These are mistakes repeated by other clubs such as Buffalo.

    It also works against the franchise in a number of ways. Most obviously, the players that do stay tend to have an improved position at the bargaining table because they ARE willing to stick around. The fan base also becomes concerned the team will lose more free agents so the team has greater impetus to get things dealt with.

    Trading Chara and Redden would have netted the Senators a lot of those “young” talented prospects that they seem to lack at this point in time.

    Dealing Mesazaros was probably the right thing to do, whether or not they got fair return is irrelevant. They couldn’t afford to over pay him, so they didn’t. They probably needed to come to these realizations with OTHER players in their past.

  87.  

    Three men make a Tiger.

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