The Flames have signed Blake Comeau to a one year deal worth $1.25 million. Wideman analysis up shortly.
Don’t forget to join me here on Sunday. Noon. Live chat. Free Agent Frenzy. Fantasy impact. Good times! What else are you gonna do on a sunny Sunday of a long weeke-…um…
Hall of Fame – every year I give my theory on this for the newbies to the site. In a nutshell – screw the stats, screw the trophies, voters need to go with their heart. Was a player, during any two-year span, a Top 8 forward, Top 5 defenseman or Top 3 goalie in the world? Then put him in the Hall. Under this criteria, probably 20% would be knocked OUT of the Hall. Mike Gartner, for one. How many 30-goal seasons in a row? Wow, that’s an amazing stat. But was he ever the best forward in the game? Top 8? At any point? Then no Hall. And while some votes may feel that maybe from 1984 to 1985 he was a Top 3 RW, so he’d get his share of votes. But that should be the process.
Instead, no we have people breaking out the Corsi charts, and the faceoff wins, and the number of Stanley Cups and making this a whole big thing. Do you think he should be in the Hall? In your heart, truly? Then vote him in. It’s not rocket science. In fact, every name you see you will instinctively have an answer for. Player X – YES. Player Y – NO. First thought that comes to mind when you hear the name, that’s how you vote.
Under my criteria – Gartner – no. Ciccarelli – no. Anderson – no. Lindros – yes. And so on…
So Mats Sundin (yes), Pavel Bure (yes), Joe Sakic (yes) and Adam Oates (yes) all get in. Very happy for those guys. Oddly enough, Bure is a player I’ve never owned in a keeper league. Oates was one of my favorite players and I owned him for two different tours of duty spanning about eight seasons – including at his peak. One of the best setup men ever.
Oates - I answered my “reflex” response. I said the name and answered immediately with my heart. I didn’t look up goals, assists, Cups, trophies…I just instinctively answered. But was he ever a Top 8 forward in the world for two years? That’s a very close call – let’s take a look. The guy had 254 points in two seasons 1992-1994. His 142 points were third in 1992-93 – behind Lafontaine and Lemieux. His 112 points were third in 1993-94 – behind Fedorov and Gretzky, plus he beat Doug Gilmour by one point. So was he a Top 8 forward during those two years? After Lemieux and Gretzky… you had to look at Fedorov, Lafontaine, Gilmour, Bure, Mogilny I felt were better than Oates at the time. So a Top 5 forward in the world? No. Top 8? Barely!
Anyway, I love this year’s entrants and I’m happy to see Oates get in. I don’t believe Shanahan was snubbed – I think he’ll get in eventually…though he’s another borderline “was he a Top 8 forward?” player. Pat Burns was definitely snubbed. Absolutely. But the Hall had its chance to do right by him while he was still living.
But I think Alexander Mogilny needs to get in. He must. Even if he didn’t have a 76-goal season and was at one point the best winger in the game. Even if he had a career mark of one goal. He gets in for how he changed the game of hockey. What he did for hockey (and fantasy hockey) by opening the doors to Russia.
Next week? That’s when CBA negotiations start? Wow. So 75 days to hammer something out when they could have sat down in February.
- Owners want a 50-50 revenue split with the players. Currently they get 43-57. Prediction: This gets settled at 47-53, meaning owners cave.
- Olympics. Owners are pretending that they won’t shut down for the Olympics in Russia. When secretly, this is just something they can pretend to cave on. “Oh alright, we’ll shutdown for the Olympics, but first you need to agree on 47-53 instead of 46-54.”
- The cap floor is too high. This needs to be a percentage of the ceiling and not a hard number below the ceiling. I’m sure the players will give in on this.
- Terms on contracts. Owners probably want this limited to five years at the most. Prediction: players agree to five years at the most for all players over 32, but seven years is the term limit for anyone younger.
- Owners will want another small salary rollback. Players will laugh. Prediction: owners will let this one go.
- Realignment. I’m sure the players will admit that the owners proposal from last year will do just fine, and teams/divisions will realign for 2013-14
- Hybrid icing. I think they will go ahead with some form of this.
- Other rule changes to promote offense. I predict three rule changes. Serve the full two minutes on a power play? Goal posts that angle inward? Stuff like that.
Steve Ott is rumored to be on the block. The Stars are doing a little retooling. Not a full-blown rebuild, but I think they’ll stockpile players like Cody Eakin – kids on the cusp of making the full-time jump.
Here is a complete list of players who were not given qualifying offers, per team releases matched up against Cap Geek’s RFA list:
Boston: (can’t find)
Edmonton: Cam Barker, Milan Kytnar
Los Angeles: Ray Kaunisto
New York: Tyler McNeely, Tony Romano, Yannick Reindeau, Yuri Alexandrov
Tampa Bay: Benoit Pouliot (will sign soon), Sebastian Piche
Toronto: Marcel Mueller, Korbinian Holzer
The other teams qualified them all.
The Panthers are trying to re-sign Jason Garrison, but are said to not be speaking with any of their other free agents (Scott Clemmensen, Marco Sturm, Krys Barch, Mikael Samuelsson, John Madden). Smart move. Should let Garrison go, too, given the probable cost. This tells me that Jacob Markstrom will be the backup this year and that at least one and perhaps two great rookies will join the roster (think Jonathan Huberdeau).
From everything that I’m reading, Adam Oates should bring some changes to the Caps, loosening things up again. I’m not about to predict 120 points for Alex Ovechkin, but I think 70 would be just as silly. I haven’t started my analysis yet of all the players, but I imagine he’ll come in the low 90s. I hate being conservative, but it’s realistic after his last two seasons. Here’s hoping Oates does that very thing.
I get the feeling that Ryan Suter is going to get over $8 million per year. It would put him fifth in the NHL in terms of cap hit. It’s going to be a crazy number that knocks us out of our chair.
Getting the call:
Top 5 assists of the week from like 15 or 20 years ago – Adam Oates is No.4: