New CBA Impact on off season
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun writes how a new CBA could effect the remainder of the off season.
"Several league sources have told the Sun in the last five days they fully expect that once commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr get a new CBA in place, there could be a wealth of players available."
This is because they expect that the salary cap may be significantly reduced and teams at or close to the ceiling will have to scramble to get cap compliant. teams at or near the floor will be well positioned to poach players away!
"My guess is you’re either going to see a lot of players bought out or moved,” said a league executive. “There are going to be teams that have spent to the cap who will have to scramble to get below it. Said one league executive.
“I would anticipate we’re going to see a lot of players who are on the move. Not sure we’re going to see a lot of trades before then, but the teams that are sitting at — or below — the floor are in a good situation.”
With players like Shane Doan reportedly being offered a four year $24 million contract from Pittsburgh, and the Buffalo Sabres offering up Drew Stafford, Luke Adam, Andrej Sekera, and a first round pick for Anaheim's Bobby Ryan, perhaps the prudent move is for teams to sit tight until the new CBA is completed.
The ten highest payroll teams currently are Boston $69,922, Minnesota $68.848, Vancouver $67,768, Calgary $66,668, Philadelphia $66,643, San Jose $64, 629, Montreal $63,897, Tampa Bay $63,246, Edmonton $62,933, and Chicago $62,445.
Some potential names who would be a target among those teams to achieve cap compliance either via trade, buy out or long term injury reserve are; Tim Thomas, Marc Savard, Roberto Luongo, Chris Pronger, Scott Gomez. No surprise names in this group of course, but if the speculation about a new CBA is correct, it will force teams to move players
Unresolved off season issues
Kevin Allen of USA Today gives us a list of 10 unresolved off season issues that could influence the balance of power.
1. Shane Doan looking like he will leave Phoenix. As the biggest impact UFA remaining he could have a huge influence on a roster such as Detroit, Philadelphia, or Pittsburgh.
2. Roberto Luongo still awaiting a trade. Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs are both waiting for the price to drop.
3. Bobby Ryan also still awaiting a trade. The Philadelphia Flyers would like to acquire Ryan in a similar trade as the one which saw the Rangers acquire Rick Nash. The Buffalo Sabres have offered Stafford, Adam, Sekera and a first already. Anaheim will only move Ryan if they are wowed by an offer.
4. Lubomir Visnovsky files a grievance. Not happy with being traded to the Islanders as he has a not trade clause, but he had waived it in 2009 when he was traded to Anaheim. Not sure if his NTC still applies.
5. The Best of the rest of the UFA's includes Jason Arnott, Carlo Colaiacovo, Pavel Kubina, Peter Sykora, Brett Clark, Andrei Kostitsyn, Daymond Langkow
6. Coyotes ownership lack of resolution also makes filling out his roster difficult for GM Don Maloney.
7. The 2013 free agent class (Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Jarome Iginla, Nathan Horton, and Derek Roy etc) may be feeling pressure from CBA talks rumors to sign a contract before the new CBA is resolved. The ability to sign the kind of contract Shea Weber, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter received may be significantly more limited under the new CBA.
8. Nashville seeking a replacement for Suter. While there are internal candidates to fill his shoes such as Ryan Ellis, Jonathon Blum, and Roman Josi, the Preds are seeking a veteran such as Jay Bouwmeester.
9. Detroit Red Wings are also looking for defense to help replace Niklas Lidstrom who retired. The Wings also have in house candidates such as Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl but would love a veteran to bridge the gap until they are more NHL seasoned.
10. Toronto management is stating they are not done making moves. The leafs made a big trade to acquire James Van Riemsdyk for Luke Schenn. The trade helped the Leafs with size up front and balance their defensive depth better. But more moves are expected as the Leafs still want to acquire a veteran goalie, and that ever elusive first line center.
Two players who may be headed to play in Europe next season are Florida's Michael Repik and goalie Chet Pickard.
George Richards @GeorgeRichards
europe I believe “@Hockeycoordinat: Any idea if Repik will be with the Panthers organization this year or if he's opted to play in Europe?”
Corey Pronman @coreypronman
Former #Preds first rounder Chet Pickard is in talks with an SEL team. http://bit.ly/QVjQcO
Tim Thomas No Longer an Option for Leafs
Perhaps the Bruins never would have traded star goalie Tim Thomas to a division rival such as the Toronto Maple Leafs. No question his abilities would have made him a perfect fit for the Leafs. But after his latest political statement on facebook supporting Chick-fil-A’s view against gay marriage by writing, “I stand with Chick-fil-A.” the Leafs will have closed the door on any Tim Thomas dreams.
Such a blatant homophobic statement would not sit well with the Leafs president and general Manager Brian Burke who's son was openly gay and tragically passed away in a car accident. In his memory, his brother Patrick Burke has launched an awareness campaign called If you can play. Brian Burke has also been supportive of his sons memory by annually marching in the gay pride parade in Toronto.
There is no question that Thomas making homophobic statements has made him unwelcome in Toronto, but a bigger concern for Thomas is that Brian Burke was also the GM of the American Olympic team in 2010 and may be again in 2014.
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By Peter Harling
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