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3 hours ago, Gorbachav55 said:

It's not a good way to plan for the future by assuming your players will defy decades of statistical analysis by defying aging curves.  Historically, non-elite players peak between 23 and 27 and then their prime lasts two years on either side, possibly three.  After that, they go into decline.  Some players remain useful longer, and I'd say Lindholm would be a candidate for that - he's a strong skater but not a sprinter, he's a strong positional player with lots of endurance, he's not reliant on his hands to provide value.  But it's foolish to predict that a player will be an anomaly.  Lindholm will probably still be useful from ages 30 - 34, but he will probably be more of a second pairing guy.  Or he could be useful as a solid partner for Drysdale, if Drysdale turns into a stud.  Either way, the Ducks are going to need one more top pairing guy anyway, either to play alongside Fowler or to replace Fowler.

Are you talking just points, or being an all-around D-man who knows how to defend elite players at the NHL level? Because 28-32 sure seems to be the sweet spot for the all-around D-men on teams that have real Cup aspirations. For example, I thought Pietrangelo was the best D-man in the entire playoffs last season, and Petry/Weber were a huge reason Montreal made it to the finals. And I don't think it's coincidence that Hedman got his first Cup (and the Conn Smythe) in 2020 at age 29. It also seems like most seasons the teams there at the end are relying on at least one >32 player to eating 22+ mins/game and playing in critical situations, just like Vegas did with Martinez this past season. I don't see any reason why Lindholm can't be a Martinez or Weber type from ages 32-34.

btw, when Lindholm is 32 and is ready to transition to being more of a second-pair guy, Fowler will be 34 and in the last year of his contract. I would think/hope the Ducks' plan by then would be to transition away from Fowler entirely in favor of younger players, not to still be searching for a top-4 partner to play with Fowler. Same as what just happened with Yandle in Florida. I don't know if Fowler's crazy NTC terms last through the final year of his contract, but frankly I'd be looking to move on from him by then and to have Lindholm be the solid veteran presence for the last few years of his contract, ala Shea Weber, Willie Mitchell, Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano, etc.

Also, one last thing on aging curves. Where would the Ducks be if they had taken this same tact with Getzlaf and Perry? Both were pending UFAs heading into the 2012-13 season and we'd just finished 6th worst in the NHL in 2011-12, with a 2nd line comprised of a 41-year-old Selanne, a 37-year-old Saku Koivu, and a 38-year-old Jason Blake. And both guys were looking at max 8-year deals in the $8M+ range. I can't help but wonder how many people here would have traded them during the summer of 2012 to start a rebuild just because they wouldn't be worth their contracts by age 34 instead of re-signing them and building a team around them instead.   

Edited by dtsdlaw

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32 minutes ago, gotchabari said:

Or, if we get rid of Lindholm, we'll need TWO more top pairing guys.  That's my concern.

If we keep him, we'll still need two more top pairing guys in a few years.  The hope is that Drysdale is one.  Lindholm is only going to be for the next three years or so, assuming he's healthy.

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2 hours ago, perry_mvp said:

Only because his brother Rob was here. Otherwise, Scott doesn't come here.

I think mostly because Rob was here.  But the team was pretty good, too.

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2 minutes ago, dtsdlaw said:

Are you talking just points, or being an all-around D-man who knows how to defend elite players at the NHL level? Because 28-32 sure seems to be the sweet spot for the all-around D-men on teams that have real Cup aspirations. For example, I thought Pietrangelo was the best D-man in the entire playoffs last season, and Petry/Weber were a huge reason Montreal made it to the finals. And I don't think it's coincidence that Hedman got his first Cup (and the Conn Smythe) in 2020 at age 29. It also seems like most seasons the teams there at the end are relying on at least one >32 player to eating 22+ mins/game and playing in critical situations, just like Vegas did with Martinez this past season. I don't see any reason why Lindholm can't be a Martinez or Weber type from ages 32-34.

btw, when Lindholm is 32 and is ready to transition to being more of a second-pair guy, Fowler will be 34 and in the last year of his contract. I would think/hope the Ducks' plan by then would be to transition away from Fowler entirely in favor of younger players, not to still be searching for a top-4 partner to play with Fowler. Same as what just happened with Yandle in Florida. I don't know if Fowler's crazy NTC terms last through the final year of his contract, but frankly I'd be looking to move on from him by then and to have Lindholm be the solid veteran presence for the last few years of his contract, ala Shea Weber, Willie Mitchell, Jay Bouwmeester, Mark Giordano, etc.

Non-elite is an important qualifier in the sentence you highlighted.  Elite, Hall of Fame (or close to Hall of Fame) level players retain their skills for a long time.  That's part of what makes them freaks.  Pietrangelo and Hedman obviously fit that mold.  Petry had a fine season, but there are, of course, outliers every season. Alec Martinez has actually declined fairly steadily in his actual offensive and defensive value, but moving from a team going down the toilet to one of the best teams in the NHL has propped up his production, even though his play doesn't support it.

The data show (and we're talking both offensive and defensive contributions) that defensemen decline in both areas after peaking in their mid-20's.  It's not as steep or as smooth as forwards, but it's a real phenomenon.  Offensive production is a far steeper decline for d-men, so you can look at that as it pertains to Lindholm in two ways.  One is that he's barely going to be helping out on offense at all once he hits 30, even less than he is now.  Two, he gets a larger portion of his value from his defense, so he's losing a lower percentage of his overall value as he ages, which is good. 

Personally, I think it means he's still going to be overpaid, and if he's asking for more than $7 million, it's probably a good idea to trade him.  He's probably already a second pairing guy on a good team, but because he's on the Ducks, he's a first pairing guy.  If Drysdale becomes an excellent offensive, mobile d-man, I could see Lindholm hanging on as a defensive partner.  But he'll be overpaid for what he brings and it will mean we need to make up that deficit elsewhere in the lineup.

Of all the veteran players currently on the roster, Lindholm is the one I'd want to keep the most.  He's proven as a shot-suppressor, and he's a bigger, yet mobile guy on a backend that doesn't have many of those types of players.  That said, he'll be overpaid by someone on his next contract, unless he accepts $7 million over three years.  And if he does, he should fire his agent immediately.  Some team is going to give him $8 or close to it and give him 5 or 6 years at least (assuming he's healthy this season, of course).  I don't think he'll be so good that the Ducks have to keep him at all costs.  I'm fine trading him for assets at the deadline that can be used to draft or trade for the next Lindholm.  

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It’s so weird for people to want to keep Lindholm because they want to keep good defensemen, then on the same breathe want to move Fowler. His contract isn’t moveable right now, but even then Fowler has been significantly better for the Ducks than Lindholm this last few seasons. 

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Ugh still feel like all our D is soft. No snarl. Don’t even care about numbers when we are so easy to play against.  

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Lindholm has gotten a little fragile.  and, i've never seen him discussed as a solid locker room or bench leader.

Fowler has been less fragile, even accounting for his flinching away from the Giordano's of the league.  Cam has been discussed as if he might be a leader... but it's never materialized.

they're both worth what they're getting paid now.  they might get more with another team, but they're both finishing touches on a team that's already on the way to the cup, not foundational inspirationalists.

take a second and opine on Theodore.  he's not a flashy leader, and maybe he's actually just not operating as a leader on a team with Pietrangelo and Martinez on it, but do you, like me, feel like he's sort of a currently low-key but supportive leader on the Knights?  that's my feeling, anyway, and i don't have the same feeling with either Cam or Hampus.  they each seem to have trouble leading their own D-line. let alone an entire D-core or the bottom 3 or 6 forwards as well.  Manson does exude leadership (probably why he's had the A), but he's just been too fragile for it to matter in the regular season standings.

point being, if we trade away Hampus or Cam, I don't think we're trading away assets that are impossible to replace.  it would suck to lose either one, and there would be some pain in finding replacements, but it would happen.  and, i think most of the other teams recognize that, and i don't think they'd overbid on them with something like an 8x8 contract.  well.... unless they need Hampus for a finishing touch on a cup run team at the trade deadline, and that overhang of a contract is what's required to get Hampus to jump.  like if Toronto loses Jake Muzzin after a relatively successful regular season (again) and can swing the LTIR on a few next-season UFAs to squeeze him in (or ship a forward our way - better not include Nick Ritchie).

summary: meh.

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5 hours ago, gotchabari said:

Or, if we get rid of Lindholm, we'll need TWO more top pairing guys.  That's my concern.

Doing that requires to use the T-Word......TRADE!.

DuckPride 4ever

MooseDuck

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40 minutes ago, Sexlaf15 said:

It’s so weird for people to want to keep Lindholm because they want to keep good defensemen, then on the same breathe want to move Fowler. His contract isn’t moveable right now, but even then Fowler has been significantly better for the Ducks than Lindholm this last few seasons. 

The Ducks should keep them both and add pieces around them. More than anything, they should find a better/different RHD than Manson to play with Fowler, because Fowler-Manson has been an abomination as a 2nd pair every single time they've tried it. If they go back to that pair again in 2021-22, I may stop watching Ducks hockey for a while. It would be the definition of insanity.

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2 hours ago, Pazonator said:

Ugh still feel like all our D is soft. No snarl. Don’t even care about numbers when we are so easy to play against.  

The biggest issue isn’t physicality it’s the fact that the Ducks cannot exit their defensive zone with control. 2 straight years are weak flips that end up as turn overs and extending zone time that leads to goals. 

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2 hours ago, Sexlaf15 said:

The biggest issue isn’t physicality it’s the fact that the Ducks cannot exit their defensive zone with control. 2 straight years are weak flips that end up as turn overs and extending zone time that leads to goals. 

I’m still holding onto the opinion that the blame for this falls not on the D-men, but on the coaching staff and the forwards, in particular the weak center play.

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9 hours ago, tommer-1 said:

I think mostly because Rob was here.  But the team was pretty good, too.

Scotty came over after the team finished 22nd in the league....and Perry and Getz hadn't played a single game and Selanne was some old washed up veteran who just had knee surgery. Although I think Federov was still on the team...and Ozolinsh. It's actually kinda amazing how quickly this team turned it around between 03/04 to 05/06...but even most of that season we weren't dominating...it wasn't until the last half of the season and the deep playoff run. But I can't imagine Scotty thought it would be THAT quick (if at all).

This is sort of why I was secretly kinda hoping we'd draft Luke Hughes..... :P

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42 minutes ago, dtsdlaw said:

I’m still holding onto the opinion that the blame for this falls not on the D-men, but on the coaching staff and the forwards, in particular the weak center play.

same 100% same!!! completely. spot on. Manson goes from an incredible season and actual got votes for Norris trophy....to being absolutely terrible with a terrible team. The only change....new D coach. ....really hoping these new assistants help!

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9 hours ago, Jasoaks said:

This is sort of why I was secretly kinda hoping we'd draft Luke Hughes..... :P

That's exactly why I was hoping to draft him. Jack will be a UFA at some point, right?😄 Also with the defensive depth being much weaker than the forward depth, I think it would have made more sense to draft Hughes.

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13 hours ago, Sexlaf15 said:

The biggest issue isn’t physicality it’s the fact that the Ducks cannot exit their defensive zone with control. 2 straight years are weak flips that end up as turn overs and extending zone time that leads to goals. 

I agree just seemed like there was no strat/system to exit.  I felt like teams where just having to much fun down low on us since they knew no one would touch them. 

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I think they should keep both Lindholm and Fowler. Get rid of Shattenkirk, Silf and Henrique when you need the cap space. 

 

The lightning had a handful of vets that were overpaid but despite that they still contributed to the depth of the team. I'm not saying pay Lindholm some crazy 9 million dollar contract but 7-8M a season for 4-5 years wouldn't be too bad considering the Ducks never sign anyone anyway. 

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59 minutes ago, Pazonator said:

I agree just seemed like there was no strat/system to exit.  I felt like teams where just having to much fun down low on us since they knew no one would touch them. 

That is missing the Strategy that is lacking in Anaheim Ducks in past few years....Something that can affective and gameplan can bring the best out of our Team in Longrun.

DuckPride 4ever

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13 hours ago, Jasoaks said:

Scotty came over after the team finished 22nd in the league....and Perry and Getz hadn't played a single game and Selanne was some old washed up veteran who just had knee surgery. Although I think Federov was still on the team...and Ozolinsh. It's actually kinda amazing how quickly this team turned it around between 03/04 to 05/06...but even most of that season we weren't dominating...it wasn't until the last half of the season and the deep playoff run. But I can't imagine Scotty thought it would be THAT quick (if at all).

This is sort of why I was secretly kinda hoping we'd draft Luke Hughes..... :P

They didn't win a single game the season before Scott joined them.  Neither did the Devils. Or any other NHL team.

They started out the 2005-2006 season with Giguere, Bryzgalov, Selanne, Fedorov, McDonald, Kunitz, Lupul, R. Niedermayer, Sykora, Getzlaf, Perry, Pahlsson, Moen, Salei, Carney, Ozolinsh, Vishnevskiy. Not too shabby.  And they had drafted Smid at #9 overall in 2004 and Ryan at #2 overall in 2005.

That wasn't the roster at the end of the season, but it was when Scott signed up.

 

Bolded guys were 2003 Cup finalists.  Giguere was the Conn Smythe winner.

 

Scott came mostly to play with Rob, but more importantly, to try to win a Cup with Rob.

Edited by tommer-1
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Gusev (29) had 44 points a year ago. I wouldn't mind seeing the Ducks give him a shot. 

Ryan Donato is only 25 and had more points than most of the Ducks forwards. 

Both of these players would be good additions to the team and should be considered. I have no idea why the team with the worst power play in league history wants to bring the exact same forward core back. Sign SOMEONE! 

Is Bob just a fool or did he fall asleep after signing the RFA's? 

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47 minutes ago, CharlieConway said:

Gusev (29) had 44 points a year ago. I wouldn't mind seeing the Ducks give him a shot. 

Ryan Donato is only 25 and had more points than most of the Ducks forwards. 

Both of these players would be good additions to the team and should be considered. I have no idea why the team with the worst power play in league history wants to bring the exact same forward core back. Sign SOMEONE! 

Is Bob just a fool or did he fall asleep after signing the RFA's? 

It's flipping crazy that we still have the same roster that just finished last in the West, but I'm still just holding out hope that the Eichel situation is what's holding up Bob. Whether it's getting Eichel directly, or perhaps a secondary move like one of the Stromes or Dvorak, it just feels like there are still a handful of significant moves still to be made around the league and Eichel is the first domino that needs to fall. I mean, Tarasenko is still on the Blues roster and Lamoriello is still hiding the contracts for Palmieri, Parise, and Cizikas in his desk drawer, so they all can't be done, can they?!?!?

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31 minutes ago, dtsdlaw said:

It's flipping crazy that we still have the same roster that just finished last in the West, but I'm still just holding out hope that the Eichel situation is what's holding up Bob. Whether it's getting Eichel directly, or perhaps a secondary move like one of the Stromes or Dvorak, it just feels like there are still a handful of significant moves still to be made around the league and Eichel is the first domino that needs to fall. I mean, Tarasenko is still on the Blues roster and Lamoriello is still hiding the contracts for Palmieri, Parise, and Cizikas in his desk drawer, so they all can't be done, can they?!?!?

If this is BM's last season as GM then maybe it's really his plan to do nothing. Give Solomon or whoever the next GM is a team with plenty of cap space for the 22-23 season. Also, maybe he's banking on the assistant coaching change to help with the power play. You're right about the Eichel situation holding things. It's weird off season to say the least and the worst team in the NHL is holding everyone up. I guess maybe September 1st is when teams stop playing chicken and start making moves because training camp is right around the corner.

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If he's waiting for Eichel, he might just keep waiting.  Buffalo doesn't have to do anything.  Eichel is still under contract and if they don't get an offer they like, they could show Jack that they're willing to play hardball by just hanging onto him.

But yes, one way or the other, tanking or trying to compete, having the same roster is asinine.

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1 hour ago, Gorbachav55 said:

If he's waiting for Eichel, he might just keep waiting.  Buffalo doesn't have to do anything.  Eichel is still under contract and if they don't get an offer they like, they could show Jack that they're willing to play hardball by just hanging onto him.

But yes, one way or the other, tanking or trying to compete, having the same roster is asinine.

I don't think that's the case though. Sure, they have his contract rights and they could sit him until he's a free agent technically. But in reality they have to trade him before the season starts. Everyone and their grandma knows to have Eichel be a part of their team is crazy. It's going to be a circus come training camp. If henrique was waived it seemed like we needed to part ways with him and the situation was irreparable then the Eichel situation is 100x worse. He's openly critiqued the sabers organization and he's openly demanding a trade I don't see how they could hold onto him.

Who was it, Dubois? Who clearly was not trying on the ice when he was with the jackets. Assuming Eichel even plays, he's probably going to score on his own team lol. 

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10 hours ago, perry_mvp said:

If this is BM's last season as GM then maybe it's really his plan to do nothing. Give Solomon or whoever the next GM is a team with plenty of cap space for the 22-23 season. Also, maybe he's banking on the assistant coaching change to help with the power play. You're right about the Eichel situation holding things. It's weird off season to say the least and the worst team in the NHL is holding everyone up. I guess maybe September 1st is when teams stop playing chicken and start making moves because training camp is right around the corner.

If that's the case they should fire him to the moon. He might as well hand over the reins now. We're already sitting on a lot of capspace and there's deals to be made. Eichel, Dvorak, Domi, Drouin, Donato,... I'm not a fan of most but as stated above we still have the exact same roster. That's unforgivable. 

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8 hours ago, g20topdogg said:

I don't think that's the case though. Sure, they have his contract rights and they could sit him until he's a free agent technically. But in reality they have to trade him before the season starts. Everyone and their grandma knows to have Eichel be a part of their team is crazy. It's going to be a circus come training camp. If henrique was waived it seemed like we needed to part ways with him and the situation was irreparable then the Eichel situation is 100x worse. He's openly critiqued the sabers organization and he's openly demanding a trade I don't see how they could hold onto him.

Who was it, Dubois? Who clearly was not trying on the ice when he was with the jackets. Assuming Eichel even plays, he's probably going to score on his own team lol. 

I think Dubois is a fairly rare case that had a lot to do with Tortorella - most guys have too much pride and care about their teammates too much to do something like that.  Obviously it's in Buffalo's best interest to trade him, but there are ebbs and flows to these things.  Any team that gets Eichel wants him sooner rather than later, both for any potential surgery he might need and to get him into the lineup as quickly as possible.  As we get later in the summer and even to the beginning of the season, that might increase the offers somewhat.

It's also the only bargaining chip the Sabres have, and I don't think it's a terrible idea to play it.  They have nothing to lose.  They're going to be terrible with Eichel or without him.  Circus or not, they need to show their fans that they're not going to be bullied into giving away a valuable asset for a terrible return.

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1 hour ago, Gorbachav55 said:

I think Dubois is a fairly rare case that had a lot to do with Tortorella - most guys have too much pride and care about their teammates too much to do something like that.  Obviously it's in Buffalo's best interest to trade him, but there are ebbs and flows to these things.  Any team that gets Eichel wants him sooner rather than later, both for any potential surgery he might need and to get him into the lineup as quickly as possible.  As we get later in the summer and even to the beginning of the season, that might increase the offers somewhat.

It's also the only bargaining chip the Sabres have, and I don't think it's a terrible idea to play it.  They have nothing to lose.  They're going to be terrible with Eichel or without him.  Circus or not, they need to show their fans that they're not going to be bullied into giving away a valuable asset for a terrible return.

Buffalo may be hemmed in by their own cap situation if they hold onto him for too long though. They're currently $7.3M below the cap floor with just Dahlin, Mittelstadt, and Jokiharju as RFAs that they still have to sign. But that also includes Eichel's $10M cap hit. If they wait until the season starts, they could be in a really tough spot regarding the cap floor. Take for example the Vegas trade idea suggested in the other thread (1st + Krebs + Smith + Stephenson). That's only about $8.5M going back to Buffalo, and they get even further away from the floor if they want to then flip Reilly Smith for assets. And Vegas doesn't really have another bad contract they can send them in that trade to make up the difference. So if that's the trade Buffalo wants, they'd be better off figuring it out out before the season starts so that they can sign more UFAs or find another bad contract to acquire to get them cap compliant. Because if they're desperate for $$ coming back just to stay cap compliant, that's just further leverage that other teams will have against them.

Buffalo's situation with the cap floor is one of the reasons why I think the Ducks should be a front runner for Eichel (if they're still interested, which who even knows anymore with this GM). Specifically because of Kesler's contract. Kesler's $6.875M cap hit is for only one more season and something like 75-80% of the $6.675 salary should be covered by insurance, so it would be a minimal cost for Buffalo to take on and would go a long way towards helping them stay cap compliant. It would also give them a ton of flexibility if they want to flip other players in trades (both players included in the Eichel trade or later in-season trades). There aren't a lot of contracts like Kesler's around the league, where it's just one year left and costs only a small fraction of its actual value. Most of the worst contracts league-wide have multiple years remaining, which I'm sure Buffalo would not want since they already have Skinner and Okposo. And of the ones that don't, Arizona has already gobbled up most of those to reach their cap floor. Aside from Kesler, Buffalo can maybe look at Boychuk or Frans Nielsen (who, unlike Kesler or Boychuk, would take away a roster spot from one of their developing kids) to help get them cap compliant, but if they wait until after the season starts to figure that out, then Lou and Stevie Y are going to hold Buffalo over a barrel and ask for assets from Adams to take on those contracts. So I think Buffalo is going to have to figure out their cap situation with Eichel before training camp. Because the closer they get to October 12th without having a clear picture of their cap post-Eichel, the more they are going to get squeezed by other GMs.

Edited by dtsdlaw

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1 hour ago, Gorbachav55 said:

I think Dubois is a fairly rare case that had a lot to do with Tortorella - most guys have too much pride and care about their teammates too much to do something like that.  Obviously it's in Buffalo's best interest to trade him, but there are ebbs and flows to these things.  Any team that gets Eichel wants him sooner rather than later, both for any potential surgery he might need and to get him into the lineup as quickly as possible.  As we get later in the summer and even to the beginning of the season, that might increase the offers somewhat.

It's also the only bargaining chip the Sabres have, and I don't think it's a terrible idea to play it.  They have nothing to lose.  They're going to be terrible with Eichel or without him.  Circus or not, they need to show their fans that they're not going to be bullied into giving away a valuable asset for a terrible return.

The Sabres are showing their fans how inept they are at handling the situation right now. If the Sabres are willing to give up Reinhart for a 1st round pick and an AHL player from the Cats then they are showing other GM's that it's only going to take a little more to get Eichel. The longer this goes on, the worse the offers will get even if there are more especially if there is a potential deal with a playoff team. A playoff team wants him before training camp. A team like Anaheim realistically needs him ready for the 2022-2023 season. The Sabres are acting like they are expecting the return from an offer sheet.

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2 hours ago, perry_mvp said:

The Sabres are showing their fans how inept they are at handling the situation right now. If the Sabres are willing to give up Reinhart for a 1st round pick and an AHL player from the Cats then they are showing other GM's that it's only going to take a little more to get Eichel. The longer this goes on, the worse the offers will get even if there are more especially if there is a potential deal with a playoff team. A playoff team wants him before training camp. A team like Anaheim realistically needs him ready for the 2022-2023 season. The Sabres are acting like they are expecting the return from an offer sheet.

Buffalo is out of touch no wonder many teams including our Ducks who were interested in Jack are in Holding Pattern.

DuckPride 4ever

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2 hours ago, dtsdlaw said:

Buffalo may be hemmed in by their own cap situation if they hold onto him for too long though. They're currently $7.3M below the cap floor with just Dahlin, Mittelstadt, and Jokiharju as RFAs that they still have to sign. But that also includes Eichel's $10M cap hit. If they wait until the season starts, they could be in a really tough spot regarding the cap floor. Take for example the Vegas trade idea suggested in the other thread (1st + Krebs + Smith + Stephenson). That's only about $8.5M going back to Buffalo, and they get even further away from the floor if they want to then flip Reilly Smith for assets. And Vegas doesn't really have another bad contract they can send them in that trade to make up the difference. So if that's the trade Buffalo wants, they'd be better off figuring it out out before the season starts so that they can sign more UFAs or find another bad contract to acquire to get them cap compliant. Because if they're desperate for $$ coming back just to stay cap compliant, that's just further leverage that other teams will have against them.

Buffalo's situation with the cap floor is one of the reasons why I think the Ducks should be a front runner for Eichel (if they're still interested, which who even knows anymore with this GM). Specifically because of Kesler's contract. Kesler's $6.875M cap hit is for only one more season and something like 75-80% of the $6.675 salary should be covered by insurance, so it would be a minimal cost for Buffalo to take on and would go a long way towards helping them stay cap compliant. It would also give them a ton of flexibility if they want to flip other players in trades (both players included in the Eichel trade or later in-season trades). There aren't a lot of contracts like Kesler's around the league, where it's just one year left and costs only a small fraction of its actual value. Most of the worst contracts league-wide have multiple years remaining, which I'm sure Buffalo would not want since they already have Skinner and Okposo. And of the ones that don't, Arizona has already gobbled up most of those to reach their cap floor. Aside from Kesler, Buffalo can maybe look at Boychuk or Frans Nielsen (who, unlike Kesler or Boychuk, would take away a roster spot from one of their developing kids) to help get them cap compliant, but if they wait until after the season starts to figure that out, then Lou and Stevie Y are going to hold Buffalo over a barrel and ask for assets from Adams to take on those contracts. So I think Buffalo is going to have to figure out their cap situation with Eichel before training camp. Because the closer they get to October 12th without having a clear picture of their cap post-Eichel, the more they are going to get squeezed by other GMs.

These are all good points in that Buffalo needs to be concerned with this stuff, but I don't think it changes much.  Whether they trade Eichel or not, they still have to reach the salary floor, so they're still going to have to pick up more contracts.  They can start that process now before he's traded if they want, since they'll have to cover $17.3 million in space if he's traded.  They're not going to get that back in any trade for Eichel.  You're right that the Ducks make the most sense there because of Kesler's contract, but even with Kesler included in a deal, the Ducks will need to dump someone like Henrique or Silf to make a dent in Buffalo's salary floor deficit.  And those guys both have term, which means Buffalo is going to want an additional asset to take them from the Ducks.  

It's tricky, for sure, but I think Buffalo would be wise to pick up a contract or two now to get them to the floor so they can go into the season with Eichel if they want to hold firm to that threat.  As I've continue to say, though, it's obviously much better for Buffalo to get this done sooner rather than later.  I just don't think it's a complete bluff that they are willing to hold onto Eichel until the beginning of the season.

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