Angus here - wrote an extensive analysis of Alexander Semin's tenure with the Capitals. Lots of interesting stuff was dug up - check it out here.

 

When the Leafs grabbed van Riemsdyk I thought – “Hey, I wonder if he’ll get a look at center?” And then I figured that sure, it would be silly to not at least try him there. After all, he was a center in college and it’s not like that was twenty years ago. But I never heard anything about it in Leafland. So I was glad to see the TSN article reporting that it is exactly what the Leafs will do. And if his faceoff win percentage is anything above 46%, then they should keep him there. Faceoffs you can work on.

 

The Leafs would have JVR, Grabovski, Bozak, Steckel, McClement, Connolly and Lombardi. I think you buy Connolly out, move Lombardi and Bozak to the wing.

 

Connolly was a good, low-risk signing that failed miserably. That’s why he was signed for low risk – because you knew he was a risk. There was upside and there was downside. The wool was over nobody’s eyes here. The Leafs didn’t get the point-per-game player that he could have been, were it not for injury after injury. They did not get the talented 60-game player who could post second-line numbers either, which is what we saw his last couple of years in Buffalo. No, he stunk. They got the ‘downside’. But he was signed for two years – his buyout would cost $2 million this year and $1.3 million next year. I say do it and move on.

 

Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have top-heavy deals. We all rightfully assume that the players get the big contracts they want and the team gets around the salary cap a little. Suter’s final two years are for $1 million each. He’ll be 38 and 39. Did he destroy the end of his career? Consider this – look at what Daniel Alfredsson is doing. He signed a similar front-loaded deal that sees him getting paid $1 million next season. So now he’s thinking about retiring. Would he think about retiring if his deal wasn’t front-loaded and he made $5.5 million next season? Of course not. But for a million bucks, to a guy who has trouble shutting his walk-in closet door because it’s stuffed to the ceiling with neatly-stacked $100 bills?

 

Now imagine Ryan Suter, who at 38 could very well still be putting up 45 points and plus-25 numbers. Factor in inflation and the salary-cap rise. In 2023, the market for him could be $12 million per year. But he still has two years left. At $1 million each. So does he retire when he’s still a productive player? And with technology and breakthroughs in training techniques, etc – players playing when they’re 40 could be pretty common. It’s not something that Suter and Parise thought about, but who could blame them – I’d still be jumping off the diving board into a swimming pool filled with bills.


Listen - I know they got their money now. So did Alfredsson early in his contract. But if the average salary more than doubles what it is today 12 years from now - Suter could be worth $12 million per year. Those last three years he's set to make $4 million. Forget all the "front pay" that he received. That's already in the bank. When he's 37, under this scenario, all he'll see is that equivalent players are making $30 to $40 million over those three years while he makes $4 million. Long-term, front-loaded contracts hurt players too. They just won't know it until it happens.


In the meantime, I can see Alfredsson negotiating an over-priced one-year extension. He knows he's worth $5 million on a one-year deal, so why should he play for $1 million? So instead, perhaps he gets extended for $6.5 million ... with the understanding that $2.5 million of that is backpay for 2012-13. Even though he already got paid for 2012-13 as part of the front-load. Selective memory, right?

 

If the Panthers get Roberto Luongo, he’ll be in the exact same situation in 2014-15. Fans and media will be pressuring the team to get rid of him in favor of his young upstart backup. Why would he want to go through that again?

 

Gary Roberts. A legend for fitness. Surely anyone who trains in his fitness camp must have had a strong year. I assumed this very thing, and went to do an analysis of it for my Fantasy Guide. You tell me. Here are the results from last year’s camp:


Strong years: Tyler Seguin, David Clarkson, Brendan Smith, Nail Yakupov (but he got hurt), Alex Galchenyuk (but he got hurt), Steven Stamkos, James Neal, Steve Downie, Cody Hodgson, Spencer Abbott, Peter Holland

 

Weak years: Mike Cammalleri, Andrew Cogliano, Matt Stajan, Nik Antropov, Jay Harrison, Wojtek Wolski, Mike Neal, Matt Beleskey

 

So-so years: PK Subban, Paul Bissonnette, Raffi Torres, Ryan Ellis, Daniel Winnik, Jeff Skinner, Stephen Weiss, Chris Tanev, John Mitchell

 

I was nice putting Galchenyuk in the “strong years” section, but what choice did I have given his draft spot – he missed most of the season. Not saying it’s the fault of this camp at all. I’m just pointing out the fact. Needless to say, I dropped the article.

 

It’s looking more and more like KHL for Alex Semin. Just my opinion, but I’m getting the feeling that there is a gap of $2- to $3 million between what an NHL team is offering (per season) and what a KHL team is offering. I don’t know which team, I’m just generalizing based on the chatter out there. He’d have to really want to play in the NHL badly to stay. And does Semin really want to do anything?

 

Here’s some camp observations for the Dallas Stars. Of note, a quote on Scott Glennie: nothing but good things were said about Scott Glennie. I talked to several people with the Stars organization who all said he's come a long way since last summer, both physically and mentally, and it's clear the Stars are going to be ready to give him a shot at the NHL -- possibly as soon as training camp.

 

An update on Brett MacLean, who is recovering well.

 

Alexander Semin highlights:

 

 

 


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jimywho1 said:

jimywho1
... on hte topic of front loaded contracts, its all a time value of money thing. a ollar now is likely to be worth more than in 10 years due to typical inflation, along with that you can invest a dollar now and have say 2 dollars in 10 years vs. that same one dollar of pay 10 years from now.
July 09, 2012
Votes: +0

pattywins said:

pattywins
... As hard as it maybe to believe, those players might need to make money during those years. I know its silly but taxes, agent fees, divorces .... how many athletes get ripped off by their financial advisers? They might be on dr phils couch like terrel owens but locked into a low paying contract when they need to take advantage of being able to make big money to retire and pay their bills.
July 09, 2012
Votes: +0

ChicagoChief said:

ChicagoChief
something to consider with regard to Connolly Tim Connolly started off the season injured. When he came back to the lineup, he was able to step into a Top 6 role due to injuries to Grabovski and later Bozak. He played roughly 30 games with a Top 6 role before seeing his role decrease in early January. In that time, he scored 22 points, a 60 point pace.

The fact is that Connolly slightly outperformed Bozak when he got the chance to play with scoring line players. Once everyone was healthy, they had to choose a guy to demote and they picked Connolly. He proceeded to put up 14 points in the next 40 games playing on the 3rd line.

I don't think Connolly was a failure, he was simply not used in a situation where he could be successful for half of the season and it took a toll on his scoring totals.

That being said, I don't think there's a point to buying out Connolly, he's an injury away from being an effective top 6 player for them, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he gets a fair shot at one of those top 6 centre roles, as well.

Remember that Bozak is also a UFA next year. I assume they intend to upgrade the top line centre, so Connolly and Bozak are in the same boat. There is no reason to favour either guy since both are unlikely to be longterm solutions on this team.

July 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Mark Moosier said:

Mark Moosier
Long-Term Contracts and Cap Hit Dobber, you've presumably seen Elliote Friedman's article from yesterday about keeping L/T contracts in order to prevent teams from continually paying max value for players through short 3 yr contracts (he uses the Lebron James example). Any thoughts? I am more inclined to the opposite approach: better to have those shorter deals and have players paid their true value at the time. However, many of Friedman's commenters complained about players switching teams too aften, and L/T contracts address that to some degree.
July 09, 2012
Votes: +0

JHM said:

JHM
Connolly If the report above is correct, that the Leafs would have to eat $3.3M in cap space to buy out Connolly, then they might as well pay him his $4.0M and keep him. Many players struggle when arriving in a new environment. A bounce back is not completely out of the question. Some teams have a fair bit of CAP to fill. A Connolly may look reasonably attractive, with the contract ending in 2013. Thus, they might in fact, be able to secure a low round draft pick.
July 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
?! That's some silly thinking about the contracts.
Money now = much better.

I think you've got Jay Harrison under the wrong group.
Carolina played him 20min/game last season... up from 15min/game the previous year.
Improved scoring too. He actually led the Canes D in SOG.
"Strong group" please.

July 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Rad64 said:

Rad64
... Front-loaded contracts are a wise choice for a player. Take the money while you are healthy and invest it early. Returns on investments could easily offset the difference in paycheck you are referring too.
Risk is very low to the player in this case. Injury and general decline in play with age is reflected in a decline in salary, as well (although most vets are overpaid for their performance).

July 09, 2012
Votes: +1

Dobber said:

Dobber
... jer - yes, of course. My point is that will all be forgotten 11 years from now when he's used to paycheck X and starts getting paycheck Y...which is the smallest paycheck on the team. Hell, the NHL minimum may be $2.5 million in 11 years and he'll be under it!

eyemiss - there is a second buyout period related to arbitration, and with a new CBA hopefully late September, I'm sure a new buyout window opens up as well.
July 09, 2012
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
@jer33 Damn rights - the power of compound interest.
July 09, 2012
Votes: +0

eyemissgilmour said:

eyemissgilmour
... Isn't the buyout period over? Leafs already bought out Armstrong during it.
July 09, 2012
Votes: +0

jer_33 said:

jer_33
... Front-loaded deals are the norm, because money in hand is always better than "future earnings". You're always better off taking the money now - as the future is far too unpredictable.

July 08, 2012
Votes: +1
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