I have written a lot about the Phoenix Coyote situation the past several weeks so let me get back to addressing some hockey issues.
Wow, this guy is getting lambasted here in Ottawa for asking for a trade. Two years ago at this time he was a hero in Ottawa coming off back to back 50 goal seasons and a run to the Stanley Cup finals but now he is being compared to Alexei Yashin. If I were a Sens fan I might actually consider this trade request a good thing as it will give GM Bryan Murray an opportunity to change a top heavy team with no real second line and an average defence into a more balanced team. But he has to make the right deal which may or may not be out there, and certainly may not be available prior to Heatley getting a $4 million bonus on July 1st. There are two routes that I could see Bryan Murray going. The first, which is probably the better route to go in my opinion, is to trade Heatley for prospects and draft picks and then use the freed up salary cap space to sign 2-3 useful free agents to plug holes on the current roster. The second route would be to trade Heatley for current NHL players. It was speculated that the Edmonton Oilers might be willing to trade defenseman Tom Gilbert and forward Patrick O’Sullivan but if that is the best you can get in return I’d definitely suggest Murray go the prospect and draft pick route. While Gilbert is a pretty good defenseman and would fill a need for the Senators, O’Sullivan hasn’t impressed me much at all early in his career and it would makes Ottawa’s offense even shallower than last year. Plus the salaries of those two players wouldn’t add much extra salary cap space to sign a quality offensive forward as a free agent. It’ll be interesting how this pans out but.
The Sedin Twins
We learned yesterday that the Sedin Twins have each asked for a 12 year, $63 million contract which works out to a $5.25 million salary cap hit per year. There seems to be a general negativity towards the Sedins asking for this much for this long but is it deserved? Henrik Zetterberg recently signed a 12 year contract with the Red Wings at $6.08 million and Johan Franzen signed an 11 year contract at just under $4 million per season. A couple years ago the Philadelphia Flyers signed Mike Richards to a 12 year contract at a $5.75 million cap hit. Here are each players 2-year averages:
Zetterberg: 76gp, 37g, 82.5pts
Franzen: 71.5gp, 30.5g, 48.5pts
Richards: 75gp, 29g, 77.5pts
D. Sedin: 82gp, 30g, 78pts
H. Sedin: 82gp, 18.5g, 78pts
In terms of point goal and point production, Daniel Sedin is almost identical to Mike Richards despite Richards playing on a more offensive oriented team. The Sedin’s have been remarkably consistent over the past 4 seasons (post lockout) as well. Henrik has had 75, 81, 76 and 82 point seasons and Daniel has had 71, 84, 74 and 82 point seasons and combined they have missed just one game (Daniel in 2006-07). Additionally, both players have been + players ever year of their careers except their rookie seasons. Considering all of this, I honestly don’t think that the Sedin’s request is all that out of line. Steve has more on the Sedin’s request while Jason seems a little outraged.
I didn’t watch the awards and am not going to comment on them other than to say I think they should be handed out in a location where at least a small percentage of the citizens know who Zdeno Chara is let alone know what the Norris Trophy is for.
Steve Simmons on Balsillie
Ok, so I can’t completely ignore the Coyotes situation in this but consider this more of a Steve Simmons bash than a Coyotes discussion. In today’s article Simmons wrote:
In the online letter to Bettman, that Canadian fans were asked to click on and send, it read: “It is clear Hamilton remains the best location for the Coyotes versus letting it wither in the desert.”
This may well be true, but it’s no way of conducting business.
You just have to love Steve Simmons, the often nonsensical and seemingly always bitter hockey journalist, handing out business advice to the multi-billionaire businessman who built one of the most successful telecom companies in the world.