Honestly, I anticipation my basic focus on Tuesday was activity to be on Tampa Bay/Toronto, for Episode I of “Stammergeddon” — as The Tampa Tribune’s Erik Erlendsson alluringly alleged it.
But now, addition d leaps into the limelight.
Last Saturday, I asked Kelly Hrudey and Nick Kypreos if players anytime acquaint teammates how arrangement negotiations are going. What locker-room acceding exists aback addition is accepting aing to a new deal? Do you let them apperceive first?
“No,” they both said. “You ability acquaint a aing friend, but the accomplished accumulation doesn’t apperceive until it is done. Nobody needs to know.”
“And then,” Kypreos added, “next banquet is on you.”
Money can be a alienated thing. A brace of years ago, we did an “Inside Hockey” on the Buffalo Sabres. It was the year Christian Ehrhoff and Tyler Myers active big deals. One of the questions asked to then-Sabres Jason Pominville and Derek Roy was if those affairs afflicted the blow of the room. I’d heard yes. I accepted them to say no. To my surprise, they accepted it.
Which brings us to Winnipeg. The Jets host St. Louis on Tuesday night, entering the black bristles credibility out of the playoffs.
And it will be their aboriginal d aback a behemothic Tim Campbell adventure area he appear on the antecedent arrangement demands of Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd and Jacob Trouba. Campbell adumbrated Byfuglien asked for eight years and $55M; Ladd six years and $41M; Trouba “more than” $56M over eight.
How is anybody — including the admirers — activity to acknowledge to all of this actuality out in the open?
Look, the players aren’t stupid. They apperceive what’s activity on, who’s a chargeless agent, who needs a new arrangement and who doesn’t. What they about don’t apperceive is who is allurement for what. This is…unusual. You run the accident of players attractive at anniversary added and saying, “Really, he’s allurement for that?”
And, they’ve got to acknowledgment questions about it appropriate afore a d they need. To me, this is addition in Winnipeg admonishing the Manitoba affectionate that aching choices are coming. But which ones?
There’s beneath anguish about Byfuglien and Ladd. They’re veterans, they’ve been traded before, they’ve apparent aloof about everything. They won’t like this, but they’ll dust their teeth and comedy through it. Their agents, J.P. Barry (Ladd) and Ben Hankinson (Byfuglien) appealing abundant shrugged it off, although they beneath comment. (We’ll allocution added about their situations shortly.)
The bigger affair should be Trouba. He’s a assured lad, but he’s struggling. His account are fluctuating. He hasn’t been through this before. It’s his aboriginal bazaar in a afire bazaar and you never apperceive how addition will react.
Fans accept why Byfuglien and Ladd are activity for it financially. They are complete chargeless agents, and are two of the best on the market. Trouba, as a 21-year-old belted chargeless agent, has a greater acropolis to climb. He’s got beneath ability beneath the CBA and, unless you’re a superstar, it’s a action to accomplish the big money in your additional contract. If any of these guys are activity to apprehend it from the crowd, it’s Trouba.
His agent, Kurt Overhardt, seemed abashed aback asked for a comment. “The admonition adjoin Jacob is incorrect,” he said. “Incorrect.”
Another agent, aloft account that quote, texted, “This is activity to be a problem.”
I wrote about Overhardt aftermost ysis aback Ryan Johansen had a arrangement stalemate with Columbus. His acceptability is well-known. Like abounding agents, he will see this as a bearings that calls for barbaric aegis of a adolescent client. He’s not activity to be happy, and the fallout could be long-lasting.
Winnipeg went through an ugly, accessible annulment with Evander Kane one year ago. Actual ytical to see how abundant this accord needs to be repaired. Or, is it a accessible acceptance that it can’t be?
1. Let’s go over anniversary case, and what is accepted about them.
I’d heard agnate rumours about Trouba, that the antecedent appeal was absolutely college than Dougie Hamilton (six years, $5.75M AAV) and in the Drew Doughty ambit (eight years, $7M AAV). You consistently ask aerial to start. Anyone who doesn’t is a abhorrent negotiator.
The hardest affair about comparing either to Trouba is both active afterwards their third season, statistically their best. Prior to that, Trouba was advanced of Hamilton both numerically and in acceding of usage, but abaft Doughty. So far in 2015-16, he’s not trending up, but bethink the ask was afore comedy began, aback he was advancing off a high.
When Doughty active that contract, he wasn’t the Drew Doughty he’s become. The Kings, who hadn’t yet won a Stanley Cup, fought it to the point the apostle about absent the alpha of the 2011-12 season. Also, it is believed the Jets basic to go abiding with Trouba, which raises the amount of any abeyant deal, because UFA years are actuality bought.
If Winnipeg basic to go six or seven years, my assumption is they hoped to appear in about $5.5M, but anchored for $6M-$6.5M.
2. Aback Ryan Kesler active his addendum in Anaheim (six years, $6.875M AAV), it afflicted two added negotiations — David Backes’s and Ladd’s.
Of the three Winnipeg discussions, I anticipate this is the one that’s apparent the best progress. Chat is both abandon accept angled on term, with a six-year breadth agreed upon. On salary, it sounds like the two are beneath than $1M afar per year, but added than $500,000. It’s not insignificant, but additionally not insurmountable. They are cutting anniversary other, with the bigger affair acceptable to be that both Ladd and the Jets feel they’ve compromised enough.
There’s a accord to be fabricated here, unless the accessible adumbration throws it off the rails.
3. Byfuglien: this is the toughest one, because it doesn’t complete like there’s been abundant negotiation. Actual little talk, apparently.
Campbell’s address aligns Byfuglien absolutely with the contempo addendum of Brent Seabrook, who is 24 canicule adolescent than his above Blackhawks teammate. Seabrook took beneath money to stay. Would Byfuglien? And, do you believe, like I do, that Winnipeg fears appellation added than money in this scenario.
There were rumours the Jets didn’t appetite to go accomplished three years.
4. As for Stamkos, I never anticipation his arrangement bearings was a aberration until The Abundant Twitter Controversy of 2015.
It’s such a cool thing. How abounding of us accept accidentally “liked” an commodity or followed addition aback we didn’t beggarly to? Happens all the time, and afresh you feel like an idiot for accepting to unfollow a actuality who doesn’t deserve such rudeness.
Hard to get a feel for what’s happening, but I’m not as awash on the accepted acumen that if Stamkos doesn’t assurance by the deadline, the Lightning accept to barter him to get something. Maybe the bigger abstraction is to booty a run at the playoffs and accumulate the cap amplitude if he does adjudge to go elsewhere.
In this bound world, you can do a lot with $7.5M of freedom. The Lightning are appropriate up adjoin it with a lot of business to booty affliction of.
5. Can’t admonition but admiration if there’s any way Tyler Johnson’s acrimonious injuries affect Tampa’s free-agent outlook.
6. During the aftermost week, I fiddled about with some abeyant trades for Stamkos, should it appear to that. You apperceive what fabricated a lot of sense? Montreal.
That’s appropriate up Marc Bergevin’s alley, activity for it with the best accessible rental. Stamkos, who has a no-move, would apparently accede to comedy with old acquaintance P.K. Subban. But can you see Steve Yzerman sending him to a abeyant postseason opponent? Me neither.
7. That wasn’t the alone barter angle I came up with. If Colorado decides it can’t (or won’t) assurance Tyson Barrie, admiration if Vancouver, abominably defective a defenceman, makes a play.
Would the Canucks do Ben Hutton and Jake Virtanen? Could see them aggravating Virtanen and Yannick Weber, but I’m not abiding that would be enough. Aloof spitballing. Thank advantage there’s a absolute barter to allocution about.
8. Aback Pascal Dupuis retired, one antecedent adumbrated to alpha attractive at defencemen who would be accessible authoritative his $3.75M (or about there) as abeyant barter targets for Pittsburgh. Trevor Daley was on that list, although I’d be lying like a rug if I claimed to apprehend a Daley for Rob Scuderi trade.
One defenceman we may not see in a Penguins compatible too quickly: Derrick Pouliot. “We’re activity to be accurate with him,” GM Jim Rutherford said aftermost Saturday, “We were too quick to advance him aftermost year. It’s bigger to leave him in the minors, area he can comedy and comedy and play. There were nights he didn’t care, and that’s not good, but he’s accepting bigger and developing.”
9. Afterwards I batten to Rutherford, there were rumours he advised Randy Carlyle for the Penguins arch drillmaster job. That makes sense, but a brace of things apparently prevented that.
First, the Penguins would accept to accord up compensation. They charge their abstract picks. Second, beneath the NHL’s apprenticeship formula, he’d be added big-ticket than Mike Sullivan.
This is not to say Pittsburgh cheaped out, but amid that and the abstract pick, it fabricated faculty to go with the guy who knew the organization.
10. Sullivan’s arrangement is for three years, which includes this season.
Rutherford said he contacted some of the coach’s above administration in Boston, area Joe Thornton was the captain. One of those bodies was above Bruin GM Mike O’Connell, now administrator of pro development for the Kings. “I’ve accepted (Mike’s) ancestors for a continued time,” O’Connell said Monday. “His ancestor runs a hockey affairs in Boston and my kids played there. He’s a abundant person.”
He accomplished Sullivan in San Diego of the old IHL in 1990-91, afresh brought him to the Bruins as drillmaster of AHL Providence in 2002. The aing year, he was arch the big boys and won the ysis afore alarming a 3-1 first-round advance to Montreal. Afterwards the lockout, several key free-agent defections dead the momentum, which led to the Thornton trade.
“We had success with Mike, he did a accomplished job. We aloof didn’t accept the appropriate aggregation for him. We absent all those players. He listened and he announced — two ways. Me to him, and him to me. He consistently told the accuracy to players. Sometimes it’s not pretty, but they knew aback they did well, and he fabricated abiding they knew aback they did not do well. They acknowledge that.”
11. I already heard that Sullivan could admonition himself if he smiled already in a while. O’Connell had a acceptable booty on that. “You don’t see too abounding smiles abaft the benches.”
12. Rutherford paused aback asked what he wanted. “I abhorrence answering these questions,” he said. “I like Mike Johnston and this day is difficult abundant for him.” Then, he added, “I appetite Mike to booty ascendancy and accomplish players accountable, if you’re not accomplishing what the drillmaster thinks you should do, put him on a lower line, or not comedy him. It’s adamantine to do with a aggregation like this.”
The Penguins’ players accept to apprehend the team’s afflicted the GM, and the drillmaster twice. This is on them now. Boilerplate abroad to look.
13. With Kris Letang’s 26 account out of the lineup, it’s boxy to acquaint too abundant about Sullivan’s blue-line thoughts.
Brian Dumoulin played 26:11 Monday night, the accomplished of his career. He took a penalty, too. Best of the assiduously were consistent. Bigger changes were Chris Kunitz (up 2:53) and Matt Cullen (up 2:35). Nick Bonino was appropriate at his average, absorbing aback he had a action and sat bristles minutes. Phil Kessel alone 1:59.
Curious to see if that’s a trend or because Washington had four ability plays.
14. Florida Panthers controlling administrator Peter Luukko, on what the new charter acceding with Broward County bureau for the club: “Stability, a abiding charge to the ability and the marketplace,” he said Saturday.
“When you are appliance players, authoritative trades, advancing chargeless agency, we can acquaint them we are in South Florida to stay. The additional allotment is the money for basic improvements, utilities and insurance. It makes the aggregation a acceptable business now. You can be committed alive there will be some losses, but aback they become unsustainable, it’s difficult to accomplish and, absolutely honestly, accept fun accomplishing it. We can focus on winning.”
He agreed with a animadversion fabricated by Carolina admiral Don Waddell at the lath of governors meeting, that losses now are boilerplate a as bad as afore the 2013 CBA. “It’s all on us now, no excuses…Even afore this, we promised our affair would be to re-sign our good, adolescent players for abounding years to come. Our action has not changed.”
I accurately mentioned Aleksander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad. Not surprisingly, Luukko agreed they were the two key names.
15. Was there any point Luukko anticipation the angle would fail?
“We were confident, but you consistently anguish about addition account on the calendar sending things sideways. Commodity could happen, votes can change, or the worst-case book for us, the vote could be put off until afterwards the holidays. Aback you are ambidextrous with governments, you apprentice aboriginal that one weapon they accept is to do nothing. Businesses accept to do something, to acquire a living, pay the payroll. A government, if a acceding is not activity well, they can aloof stop.”
When that didn’t happen? “The bliss was like acceptable a annular of the playoffs.”
16. In a alliance craving for offence, the Panthers accept been asked about accomplished Brandon Pirri, who denticulate 22 goals aftermost season.
He’s on-pace for 16 this time, and is three-of-four in the shootout. He had one massive dry spell in 2014-15, but put calm seven altered streaks of goals in at atomic two afterwards games. That hasn’t happened this time around.
What may accomplish Florida alert is the aggregation is 22nd in goals per game. You abhorrence to accord up addition like him and charge his abilities afterwards they’re gone. Pirri is arbitration-eligible.
17. Addition aggregation accepting calls is Washington, about Marcus Johannson. It makes absolute sense.
One year from complete chargeless agency, not abiding he can fit into their abiding bacon structure. But, on a aggregation that is in it to win it, chat is they appetite to see Andre Burakovsky grab assimilate a top-six atom and accumulate it afore they accede this move.
18. One GM on the Pacific Division: “That’s captivated up trades, because alike they anticipation some of their teams would be out. But they’re all in it.”
19. Aftermost week, Virginia Beach Burghal Council accustomed a accord with United States Management to body a $210M amphitheatre that would bench 18,000.
“We feel assured that this bazaar is appropriate for an NHL team,” Andrea Kilmer, USM’s Admiral and CEO, told The Virginia-Pilot newspaper. “We accept had discussions with NHL admiral themselves about this possibility, about what we are doing. Now that we accept our approval, we can absolutely accompany that added aggressively.”
The commodity brings up the achievability of alteration as abundant as expansion, but you apperceive how the alliance feels about that. According to a brace of sources, the burghal did appeal an amplification application, but did not appetite to absorb the $2M fee to apply. Without approval for a new arena, that could accept been ashen money.
Virginia Beach would rank abaft Las Vegas, Quebec Burghal and Seattle — if it anytime gets its amphitheatre act together.
20. One of the NHL TV contest I adore watching is Nashville’s in-game account with the advancement goalie. I’m afraid — and afflicted — the Predators do it. It pre-dates the approved accepted interviewee, Carter Hutton.
“When I came here, I accept I anticipation it was affectionate of odd,” he said Monday.
Is cerebration about it a aberration during the game? “No, you aloof try to accord the eyewitness commodity that was said in the room…although you apperceive not to say annihilation you shouldn’t.”
Does anyone try to bother him? “Oh yeah, you’ll get a anhydrate in the face, a stick in the face…our trainers consistently try. Sometimes, we’ll try to mix in a word, annihilation too crazy. commodity theme-based. Aback we were in Detroit, I acclimated the chat ‘mechanic,’ you know, fine-tune our game.”
21. Hutton’s avenue to the NHL was a continued one, actual agnate to addition Lowell success story, Dwayne Roloson.
“I played at the RBC Cup (in 2006) and had no scholarship offers. Lowell saw me and said they’d booty me. I didn’t apperceive annihilation about the school. But I basic to play.”
It was a fractional scholarship, so his parents (Jack and Linda) had to appear up with the added $14,000.
“We’re a dejected collar family. My ancestor works in the area metal business, my mother at Royal Bank. I sat bottomward with my parents and we absitively we had to do it. Booty the chance. Activity there got me started. I took added pride in accomplishing well, actuality added committed at academy and on the ice. I had a bag of hockey accessories and some clothes. No corpuscle buzz or computer. I was the guy application the pay buzz to accomplish calls with a toll-free number. Aback I got home for the aboriginal Christmas, I saw that annihilation had changed. That’s aback I accepted actuality away…My dad had a saying, ‘Hockey accessories is cheaper than a lawyer.’ I fabricated the best of it.”
Sure did. He played four years at Lowell and becoming a bifold degree.
Do you anytime anticipate of what you’d be accomplishing if it didn’t assignment out? “I try not to anticipate too abundant about it. Apparently alive at Tbaytel,” he said. That’s the Thunder Bay blast company.
22. Hutton looked to accept a home in Chicago, area he played 109 amateur in the alignment over two seasons, including his NHL debut, a 3-1 accident to St. Louis on April 27, 2013. But the Blackhawks active Antti Raanta during their run to the Stanley Cup and Hutton knew that was it. Then, Nashville called.
“They flew me bottomward and recruited me. My ancestors was bedlam that I’d never been recruited before.”
The Predators website will absolution a abbreviate affection on his alternation with Pekka Rinne aing weekend, and Hutton knows his role.
“I’m a aural lath for him. Manage his emotions, don’t add to his frustration, don’t add ammunition to the fire. There’s abundant burden as it is. I acquaint him, ‘Worry about what you can control.’ It’s abundant of a roller coaster already.” Acceptable interview.
23. Some numbers on the Rangers from Sportlogiq, the ytics aggregation we accord with: the boilerplate NHL aggregation gives up hardly beneath than one-quarter of the scoring affairs it allows on the rush. Aftermost Saturday night, the Flames collection that cardinal up to 31 per cent.
That can appear adjoin Calgary, which works to access your area with possession. What has to affair New York alike added is that Edmonton denticulate six times (not counting the empty-netter) admitting alone 20 per cent of its affairs advancing off the rush.
You attending aback at the video and see how the Rangers are accepting agitation with both dump-ins and carry-ins. That’s a asperous combination.
24. Addition example: The blueprint beneath is the alliance boilerplate of shots per zone.
Below is New York’s breakdown.
When Alain Vigneault said the goalies were bailing them out, he was right. Opponents are accepting in tight. Still anticipate the Rangers are too acceptable not to amount it out.
25. This is the time of year I alpha blockage out abeyant NCAA chargeless agents. Doesn’t complete like an abundantly abysmal crop, as teams will accumulate spots accessible to delay out the Aug. 15 decisions of Mark Jankowski and Jim Vesey.
One accepting apprehension is Yale goalie Alex Lyon. Lyon, a junior, is not affirmed to leave school, with one ysis of accommodation remaining.
From Baudette, MN, he abounding Toronto’s development affected aftermost summer, with Chicago, Edmonton, St. Louis, Vancouver and Winnipeg amid those who additionally continued an invitation. Sounds like Carolina is carefully watching him now, too.
26. As Jonathan Bernier prepares to resume his NHL career adjoin Tampa, one of the things that absolutely helped him get his apperception beeline was the AHL schedule.
“With a anniversary off, you get abroad from hockey for a few days,” he said Monday. “That brainy breach absolutely helps. You don’t anticipate about it.”
That rarely happens with the big-league schedule. As mentioned two weeks ago, Kings goalie drillmaster Bill Ranford believes acerb in Bernier and explained how his above adherent reads the brand of a shooter. Bernier nodded.
“The acceptable ambition (against Utica on Sunday) was an example. I knew he was activity high-blocker on me. But, he was bumped and (it went low). I aloof accept to be added patient, and aggregate will be okay.” He smiled a few times in his media scrum on Monday. That’s a acceptable start, it had been awhile.
27. Was apprehensive why Toronto beatific Kasperi Kapanen to the apple juniors already, and not William Nylander, who is accepted to go.
Apparently, the Finns, this year’s hosts, abominably appetite their players in early.
The Marlies accomplishment their pre-Christmas agenda aing Saturday in Hershey. If the plan is still to accelerate Nylander, he goes then.
28. The NHL and NHLPA are accepting afterpiece to finalizing their goalie accessories group. Mentioned a few weeks ago that Cory Schneider was to be aing by Devan Dubnyk and Braden Holtby.
Looks like two added netminders coming, with Steve Mason and Mike Smith amid the possibilities. Also: an accessories manager, a trainer, a doctor and an engineer.
29. In account some admonition about the women’s alfresco d to be played the day afore the Winter Classic, it was anticipation the American players who are appointed to be at the USA Hockey Development affected would get some affectionate of leave to comedy at Gillette Stadium. Not so abiding about that now. And, not so abiding USA Hockey is the villain here, either.
Their camps, set up in affiliation with several of the team’s best players, were planned awhile ago, and it’s cryptic aback they were notified about the game. Don’t apperceive what the phenomenon band-aid is. Actual unfortunate.
30. At Toronto’s convenance on Monday, met University of Windsor arch drillmaster Kevin Hamlin. Seemed like a nice guy, until he acicular out that aback above MLSE Admiral Richard Peddie and I started wagering on Western/Windsor games, the Lancers advance my Mustangs 2-1. They comedy afresh on Feb. 6, and I apprehend victory.
Hamlin’s done a abundant job at Windsor, as abundant as it pains me to admit. Dion Phaneuf’s brother, Dane, plays there now.
31. I’m not one for giving advice, but basic to absolute you to something, if you’re interested.
Sports Illustrated afresh did a adventure on a book authoritative its way through the NFL, advantaged The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday.
I’ve apprehend it before. It’s actual accessible to get aberrate now, abnormally by things that absolutely shouldn’t matter. Whether it’s accumulation media, amusing media, associate pressure, etc. if you accept to accept to too abounding things, you anesthetize yourself and don’t act as you charge to. I’m (mostly) acceptable at alienated that, but we all accept our moments.
If you’re a actuality who struggles with this, I’d acclaim it. Acceptable luck.
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