FUNHL News and Notes II

- The Highlander crash in the standings is attributable largely to a decision to ride the plus minus train. Sadly, it ran him over. It's not the attempt that I think was faulty (it at least makes sense in theory) but in this case, it's the execution. Minnesota? Really?

- At the beginning of the year, I would have bet money that one of the best sophomores would be Thomas Hertl of the Sharks. Not so much. The team ahead of him is stacked, and the Sharks seem content to have him develop further down the roster.

- Remember how we used to wish that Scott Niedermayer were on another team, any other team really, so that we could be treated to his offensive powers without the shackles of a trap first coach intent on killing all the fun in the universe? I feel that way about Drew Doughty.

- With all the hell raining down on the Kings lately, what with the Voynov garbage, the Richards' contract, theplummetting playoff fotunes, injuries to uber-prospects Pearson and Toffoli, and Quick losing his mojo, it makes me wonder if someone in management asked for their soul back.

- Here's a thought to give you the heebie jeebies, the Kings miss the playoffs - and then win the McDavid lottery.

- I have to say I am not a fan of how the Canadiens have built their team. The defense is good to great, with Subban being an All-World defender, but the best forwards are all on the wing, and Plecanek is just not my idea of a #1 C. Galchenyuk was being groomed for the #1C job, but has been vocal about preferring life on LW. That all said, Carey Price is the kind of goalie who can cover up just about any structural weakness.

- You can extend that comparison further to Boston, with the biggest difference being that while Kreijci is a fair approximation of Plecanek, there simply is no Montreal equivalent for the two-way force at center that is Patrice Bergeron.

- One player I am very glad I didn't get when my list said I should is Jason Spezza. He just isn't in the same galaxy offensively compared to where he was 5 years ago, and that lack of production is one reason why the Ramapithicines aren't closer to the top.

- I will be surprised if Jamie Benn isn't among the top candidates to be a new FP. That guy is a total beast when he gets rolling.

- I work with a recovering Leafs fan, and if he is to be believed Phaneuf is Satan. Expensive, underperforming, and signed long-term, we often discuss who T.O. might be able to trade him for (his  intitial suggestion that Edm would part with their 2015 1st rnd pick for him was met with resounding laughter). So far, we haven't come up with a good answer. The one team that has the cap space to absorb that contract, cheap young assets they could send back, and a hole on the 2nd pairing that Phaneuf might adequately fill...is Calgary, and I just don't see the Flames wanting 'Neon-Dion' back.

- Which illustrates what a disaster the Leafs roster is as constructed by Dave Nonis. Nonis extended Phaneuf his $7Mx7years deal that is now a tungsten handcuff on management. Nonis was the one who went whale hunting and signed Clarckson to his obscene contract, and so on. Clarckson's is in particular terrifically evil. Not only does it run for another 6 years, not only is it for just under $6M, but the agent for Clarckson made it all but buyout bullet-proof. When you buy out a contract you have to pay 2/3rds of the value of the total contract to the player (not including bonusses which must be paid in full), and then take a cap-hit for half the annual value for double the length of the deal. But Clarckson's agent earned his pay day, as the majority of money owed to Clarckson is actually designated as 'bonus money' which means that the team has to pay those $s in full, and he would be getting much closer to the full ticket on the buy out. Worse, the cap hit would be close to $3M a year, for another DECADE, just to make him go away.

- Another guy who I think will get serious consideration as an FP is Johanssen of the Blue Jackets. Power pivots like him don't come along very often, and his youth and high ceiling are very attractive. That said, his team, and history of antagonistic contract negotiations isn't.

1 comment:

Bladerunner said...

Nice reads Cam. Hey, I don't have any Minnesota players so am I safe to go with the +/- gambit?

Johansen definitely a potential FP along w. Benn. I had such high hopes for Hall this season especially w. first overall pick...but ya, he's had a hellish year. Hall's year and the Bladerunners was nicely summed up by Dan who told me he wasn't interested in Hall in our blockbuster deal. It's both funny and sad at the same time.