Someone needs to explain to several NHL general managers the concept of not letting others set the value of your commodities. Set the price and move on. If you have a good player lock them up as soon as possible and then move on. You’ll be setting the bar for others, not the other way around.
For example, Alex Semin who has averaged 24.5 goals a year in the last two seasons just signed a one year deal, for seven million. After having his production tail off after a six million dollar deal the year before. His 21 goals this last season put him 85th in the NHL in goals scored. It did put him in the same neighborhood as Jeff Carter who only played 55 games and David Perron who played 57. Their contracts have hits of not quite four million and just a smidge over five and a quarter. But hey, they have long deals surely security is worth them being paid half or two thirds of Semin’s total next year right?
On to the RFAs:
- P.K. Subban, assuming you aren’t a Bruins fan the biggest complaint I’ve heard about him in his career is “he practices too hard”. Oh gosh, that is just horrible. Nothing can fix an attitude like that. Even if you are a Bruins or Leafs fan, he’s a top 5% among defensemen talent. Of the 297 defensemen to skate in the NHL last year, he was 14th in total ice time right behind Zdeno Chara. He’s almost certainly got the best possible combination of talent and drive of any skater on the team. The Canadiens cannot afford not to have him on their roster. Leaving aside Kaberle who plays no shorthanded time and more powerplay time, none of their other defensemen came even close to producing as many points as Subban. Weber and Gorges combined had less points.
- Michael Del Zotto while the Rangers arguably have the talent to absorb his loss, why would they want to? More than four minutes a night of powerplay time, and led all their defenseman by nine points from the man advantage, plus he was good enough to earn three times as much penalty kill time per night as Erik Karlsson under John Tortorella who may just be the only coach in the NHL who could be led to say “the trap is dangerously offensive minded”? Year over year his ice time climbed two minutes over the previous season, with his shorthanded time tripling. If that is a guy you can afford to lose or let the price get set too high, you might be doing things wrong.
- John Carlson had as many points at the All Star break as Lidstrom. He had a better claim to the All Star spot than Wideman, especially from a team marketing point of view. And yet today, with the summer half over the teams 22 year old number one defenseman sits home without a contract. There really isn’t an excuse for this. Mike Green can be made into one, but he average less TIO, has not been healthy in
his careerthree seasons, and it is not a good comparable on the ice. Carlson plays in all situations, and is improving daily. Risking him backsliding because a deal couldn’t be reached before camp is just absurd.