Savard to Toronto Rumors, Niederreiter’s Sick Junior LineShareThis
Too much going on to FJM Lambert’s Links today, so I’ll do that tomorrow. Let’s dive right in:
The Islanders top pick, Nino Niederreiter, saw his entire line get drafted in the first two rounds of the 2010 NHL Draft. I’m pumped about the pick for the Isles. Still, I wanted to get down my thoughts on being part of a deadly trio like that:
Playing on a stacked line inflates your stats like whoa.
If you’re on a dominant line where all three guys are capable of creating, right off the bat you grab a disgusting amount of second assists that you can’t get if you’re Rick Nash-ing it all year. Puck possession time goes through the roof, and thus, so do chances. Your linemates can create opportunities for you where other players wouldn’t normally get them.
In reality, it’s the top guys on the line that are helping our the lesser one, and Nino is clearly one of the top dogs (Jonathan Cheechoo wasn’t driving up Joe Thornton’s assist total, Joe Thornton wasw driving up Cheechoo’s goal total).
My point is that it’s worth asking about the third linemate that got drafted – what would his VORP be? (I love the term VORP, baseball’s “value over replacement player” – as in, if you put the most average player in the league in that spot, with that ice time, etc, how much better is this kid than that average one? All that much?).
Keep in mind, I know nothing about the line, any of their names, or who the third guy picked is, I’m just saying – it’s always worth looking into where good numbers come from. Could that kid that got drafted last (still first round) carry his own line? Maybe the Isles’ Nino is a Thornton-esque star-maker.
The recent rumours, as I’m sure you’ve heard, have Marc Savard waiving his no-trade clause and heading to Toronto. Which is so f**king bizarre I don’t even know where to start.
First, the guy just took a bit of a pay cut so he could retire as a Bruin. On his long-term deal, this 80-90 point center is only a $4 million cap hit (less than Keith Ballard, apparently). Why would they trade him?
If it’s to dump salary, the story goes that they’d want a pick or two and a young prospect. As in, someone they’d have to pay at least a little bit. So maybe after they give that guy (Kulemin, Bozak?) a couple million a year, they’ve saved a mere two million to stab a guy in the back, get a worse player, bum out the fans…. and keep paying Tim Thomas $5 mill. There’s no other way to save that money?
If it’s concussion risk, it’s not really a risk to your payroll. If he gets another one, he goes on long-term IR, insurance pays him and he comes off the cap (as noted by @downgoesbrown). You can re-spend that money if that’s a bridge that needs to be crossed.
And hey – the guy took less money to play for your team. That has to be worth some level of loyalty, no?
Here’s my somewhat-relatable story: My rookie year in the ECHL, I made the all-star team and spent three months in the AHL. At the time, I made a pro-rated $45,000 when I was in the AHL, $650 a week in the ECHL.
The next season, the Isles offered me another NHL tryout, and the same contract. I figured I was worth at least a few pennies more after proving myself in year one, so I had a decision to make. I decided to sign a one-way ECHL contract for the team with the highest number of AHL call-ups, the Reading Royals, and go to whichever A team needed me the most (instead of limiting myself to four RW spots in Bridgeport, this let me have a crack at 120 around the league).
Problem was, Reading was packed with kids like me who knew they were a hotbed for call-ups. Thus, they said they really wanted me to be a part of their team, but that I’d have to accept less money because of all the talented kids they’ve signed who’re trying to move up as well. Could I work with them on that?
Of course, the goal is to move up, not get rich immediately (bllllllogging!), so I accepted $600 a week, hoping it wouldn’t be for long. They also got me an AHL tryout in Hershey.
On day two of the AHL tryout, I was protecting the puck, got hit, and my skate caught a rut – my leg planted while I moved, and my MCL tore. I went to Reading to rehab it and tried to be ready for opening night in the ECHL. I literally didn’t skate for a month, and got “cleared” (“no, it doesn’t hurt”) to get on the ice the day before the first game.
I played sparingly and poorly in that first game (hadn’t skated/run in a month). We lost. The Maple Leafs signed guys and sent others down. A trickle down happened. So Reading traded me to Idaho, one game into the season. After I signed for far, far less to be there (I had declined two $800 a week offers during the summer, as well as some decent European options).
Suddenly, after comprimising for them, I was making less than I was worth, in a city I didn’t choose, and one that rarely saw kids called up to anywhere but their AHL affiliate…. who I wasn’t under contract with.
This is Mark Savard. Compromise to play where you want to, and to help a team out, and have it backfire.
And, coincidentally, this is why you can’t be mad when players make money-first decisions - you gotta get that money. Teams don’t owe you anything; it really is a business. When I shattered my jaw in Idaho, I didn’t hear from their coach for over a month, until I showed up at the rink one day. If I couldn’t play, I was of no use to them.
So make that money when you can, man, make that money. Toronto could be the real winner here. I feel like Savard is in a “if she doesn’t realize how great a guy you are, you don’t need her anyway” relationship.
I don’t have enough time to address Kirill Kabanov, the rest of the Islanders draft, or Keith Ballard today, so here are my thoughts: Love Crazinov, NYI draft was awesome, need more details on the Ballard to Vancouver thing (as in, what else are the Canucks doing on the blueline?).
Lets have a good week team. Goooo free agency/Canada Day Thursday!