Friday, August 1, 2008

Preds Aiming Mark Parrish and Glen Murray

It appears the Preds have turned the page on Radulov. Since it seems he won’t honor the last year of his contract and likely play in Russia ,to fill the gap left by Radulov the Predators are going to take a shot at both UFA’s Murray and Parrish according to the Tennessean. Let’s also keep in mind that Steve Sullivan might have to stay on the sideline for another season because of a back injury.

My take: If the Preds put their hands on both these players this might be just what the doctor ordered. Look for the Preds to be playoff contenders.

McCabe to Lightning?

While in the last few weeks its been rumored that Kubina was the one on his way out of town it now seems plausible that Brian McCabe is moving on. Despite he and his agent denying that he wants to leave via trade Cliff Fletcher has made it very much known that McCabe is not longer welcome in T.O. and would like him to move on.

My sources are confirming that many teams have interest and that the Lightning are trying to package both Halpern and Jokinnen in a deal for the Dmans services. The reason being that the salaries would have to be moved in order to accommodate McCabes salary.

Brian makes 5.75 and Halpern makes 2 mill while Jokinnen gets 1.8 million so the salary swap works perfectly.

I would expect that McCabe might agree to this trade as his longtime friend Gary Roberts is there and might convince him to waive. Anyways I will be back with more as soon as I can things like I said last weekend are getting busy and the longer Sundin takes the more likely teams are to make some moves.

The Source

Ryan Clowe re-signs in San Jose

Reports are saying that the San Jose Sharks have put Ryan Clowe under contract. The terms would be $1.6 million for one year. What a discount he took.

Safe or Sorry?

Buffalo Sabres defensemen Teppo Numminen is still a free agent but after listening to GM Darcy Regier & talking to my secret source the deal is imminent. Now I love Teppo a lot as a Sabres fan but I really don't think he should be playing any more. I mean he was close to retiring during the lock - out and then just went through heart sugery so why should he go through the risk of dying. I know that he's a real good player but it'll just take one hit to throw his heart off and I know I'd feel awful if he did die on the ice.

So how do you guys think about the whole thing. I mean he could go play and maybe go un - touched but he could also get nailed and could die which would be devastating. So Darcy as a GM is maybe jut trying to do good for the team and all but he needs to think about what could happen. I may just be over-reacting but it could happen and don't you want to be safe and not sorry?

Now I do have to admit, I'd love to see Teppo back but what would we offer him contract wise. I mean the term would have to be 1 yr but what really is he worth? I'd probably say something like 2.5 mil but what do ya'll think?

So please answer my questions in the comments if you can or just email me at! Thanks ya'll and see you later!

Is the Salary Cap Working?

This is a very exciting announcement for us here at HockeyBums. We have recruited a very special blogger who is from the UK and is a very well spoken and big hockey fan indeed. He will be writing special in-depth articles for the HB team all year long. Ladies and gentlemen, Rich-Steve Williams!


It seems with all the excitement surrounding the trade merry-go round and the day by day shocks and surprises that sprung up around the free agency period, that this offseason has almost been as exciting as the on ice season that preceded it. Perhaps one of the most interested stories to emanate from the dizzying array of rumors and dollars fluttering around the hockey world in the recent months was how the Pittsburgh Penguins were going to cope with the salary cap. Built up from seasons of solid and often spectacular drafting, much of the young talent that drove the once stale Pens’ all the way to the finals were entering varying degrees of free agency including some at the end of their entry level contracts. This left many to ponder how the Pens’ would handle their roster with high end wage demands sure to follow their cup run and youth hype.

As it happens the Pens’ had little to be concerned about merely dropping out a couple of grinders in the form of Laraque and Ruutu, one young star in the shape of Ryan Malone and big money journeyman in Marian Hossa whilst finding reasonably priced replacements for all in the shape of Matt Cooke, Miroslav Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko. Sure these replacements may not be like for like, but the Penguins roster has hardly taken the bashing many thought it would considering the other big loss was Gary Roberts at 41 years old.

No, the Penguins have been the benefactors of a spiraling wage cap and league wide financial ethic that is showing worrying similarities to the seasons running up to the infamous labour disputes that brought about the season long lockout. In fact heading into just the fourth season of post-lockout hockey, the NHL salary cap roof has reached $56.7 million with the floor now pitched at $40.7 million. Put into perspective, the cap floor is now higher than the cap ceiling of 2005-‘06. The result is simple, bigger market franchises still posses the clout to buy into success with such an astronomic cap whilst small market teams struggle to stay in the black with such a high minimum floor. Subsequently fans can expect to see increasing ticket costs whilst small market teams have to juggle their prospects and stars with financial security.

What we now have is increased levels of disparity running its effects throughout the entire league structure with niche market teams feeling the pinch in much the same way as the slew of near bankrupt teams did in 2004. This of course can be traced back to the inception of the CBA, the child that spawned the euphemistic “New NHL.” With negotiations stalling on the concept of salary cap, the NHLPA wanted no such thing whilst the NHL wanted a hard salary cap unbound to league wide revenue, the natural convergence was on a salary cap tied to league revenues. The idea was that franchises not turning over profit would be supported by the high earners, the likes of Detroit, New York Rangers and Toronto. However with the strengthening of the Canadian dollar and the increase in ticket costs and league revenues as a whole, the NHL was able to announce profits in excess of $2.6 billion for 2007-’08. Subsequently players were entitled to 56.3%, up from 55.5% owing to the $2.5 billion excess bracket. Adding on the NHLPA sweetening 5% inflation bump and we reach a salary cap limit that will see average player wages reach $2 million for 2008-‘09, $200K more than before the league breaking lockout.

This would not be a problem if there was not such vast differences in the kinds of numbers the thirty organizations were pulling in, but to look at it from a microcosmic standpoint, the bottom fifteen teams featured in a leaked NHL league table regarding ticket revenues constituted just 35% of the leagues ticket returns, whilst the six Canadian franchises who make up 20% of the league, total 31% of all ticket receipts. Taking in the unchartered variables that surround NHL organizations such as local media deals, arena management and parking costs and the success of the traditional hockey franchises has seen hockey related revenues exceed 11% growth. In a nutshell, the success of the bigger teams has pushed the salary floor above the means of many small market franchises, allowing bigger money deals for the big clubs and the likelihood of continued HRR increases in the upcoming seasons. The revenue linked salary cap merely makes compensation to reach the salary floor and only in seasons where the player’s escrows, an overflow related to payroll midpoint, is available; in short, financial support is scant for small town franchises.

This naturally affects the NHL for the fan, aside from the mere inconvenience of overpriced tickets. With increased disparity, the league will slip into the cycles of predictable big franchise success we saw throughout the decade leading to lockout and in turn this will affect the marketability of the game in the US, where its more popular big “3” are less influenced competitively by fiscal mismanagement. This will mean a sport with comparatively minor support, coverage and sponsorship will be looking at a wage bracket over that of the NFL, the very same situation that brought the games biggest league to its knees less than half a decade ago.

So where do we go from here? With Hockey Related Revenues expected to continue rising for the foreseeable future and the NHLPA having the option to re-open contractual negotiations at the end of the upcoming season, the CBA could come under question very soon. For the majority of owners, 2008-‘09 will see them break even on the losses incurred by the lockout with all subsequent revenue becoming net gain. Although it’s unlikely that the NHLPA will exercise the right to re-negotiate, the latest the current CBA can be re-assessed is 2011-12 by which point, assuming HRR remains at a steady 11%, the cap floor will be $58 million, $1.3 million more than the upcoming seasons cap roof. However just three seasons down the road, most of the small town hockey franchises could be facing bankruptcy whilst the high rollers are free to sign in the highest cost talent. The league will be more lopsided than it ever has been.

This will make for some interesting discussions whenever the CBA is next reviewed. The squabbles surrounding the lockout in 2004 was that player’s wages were taking such a significant cut from the organizations turnover that the financial structure had to be rearranged. At the time players were earning around 75%, according to the leagues dicey Levitt Report, or more likely 66% as apportioned by Forbes magazines own investigation of total league revenues. In the aftermath of the new CBA, players saw their portion reduced to 56% in years when profit exceeded the $2.5 billion bumper. However with the continuous rise of hockey related revenues, the players 56% cut is all-but-equal to the financial sum of 66% in pre-lockout money. In the meantime the 34% of the owners share has increased to 44% which sees them making a clear $260 million profit over the terms they found themselves in prior to the new CBA.

With so much of the disproportionate wealth being manufactured by the games elite franchises, there is the very real possibility that when the leagues various bodies come to reassess the CBA within the next three years, the discussions that had been so widely seen as player versus owner in 2004 will become owner versus owner. In the likelihood of many of the NHL’s less profitable organizations facing such desperate financial uncertainty, the bottom end of the microcosmic NHL ticket revenues league table may start squeezing the high turnover franchises for greater financial support. Subsequently the next battle may well be linked to the terms of the revenue sharing policy rather than player wage entitlement.

In the meantime the current CBA is beginning to feel like the dinosaur of the previous iteration. It’s obvious that well maintained franchises such as the Detroit Red Wings will remain successful no matter the financial state of the league, but for the majority it’s becoming the same old game we saw a decade ago, slowly slipping into absurd deals made by careless owners looking to push the big buck whilst smaller franchises fail to create bottom dollar turnover. Is the salary cap working? All signs point to no.

Bouwmeester Traded Before Season?

Bouwmeester's not long for Florida
By: Allan Muir
Sports Illustrated Article.

I'll never forget the first time I heard a scout gushing about a 14-year-old named Jay Bouwmeester. "I swore I'd never compare anyone to Bobby Orr," he gushed. "But that's exactly who this kid looks like."That scout wasn't the only one who dared invoke the name of the game's greatest defenseman -- and in my book, its greatest player -- when describing the potential of the young blueliner. It was his smooth skating, the effortless way he had of carrying the puck, his ability to make a game-changing play anywhere on the ice. This was a player who had a chance to be special.And while no one truly expected Bouwmeester to live up to Orr's unmatchable legacy, the hype dogged him through his final two seasons of junior, and through the early years of his NHL career.

In fact, it took him until this past season before he truly looked capable of handling the role of franchise blueliner for the Florida Panthers.His play hinted at an athlete who had finally grown comfortable in his own skin, someone ready to join the ranks of the game's elite defenders.But if he ever fulfills his potential, you can count on this: it won't happen while he's wearing a Panthers sweater.When Bouwmeester chose to forego arbitration and sign a one-year deal on Monday that is worth slightly less than $4.9 million, the signal was clear. He'll be the next in a heartbreaking line of Florida stars to desert that rudderless ship.Sure, the words coming out of the Bouwmeester camp in the wake of the agreement suggest that he would stay if only he could be swayed to believe the team is on the right track. Easy for him to say, because he already knows how this story is going to end.Who can blame him for seeking his emancipation?

The Panthers haven't been to the postseason in eight years, and in a tightly packed Eastern Conference where arguably only one playoff team, the New York Rangers, has slipped back, the chances of his club making the cut for the first time in Bouwmeester's pro career are slim. And despite years of high picks, there's little reason to believe that's going to change any time soon.Surely the parade of changing faces has been equally draining. Watching the team fail to keep Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen was painful enough, but add in the minimal return and it's a brutal reminder of an entrenched culture of mismanagement. So too is the fact that incoming coach Pete DeBoer is the fifth bench boss to guide the Cats since Bouwmeester joined the squad in 2002.Despite the inevitable divorce that lies ahead, this deal is a good one for both sides. Worse comes to worst -- i.e. he spends the entire season in Florida -- Bouwmeester sets himself up to be an unrestricted free agent who can choose his own fate next summer.

At the same time, his cap hit is manageable for almost every team, as long as a little salary comes back in the deal. That allows Florida GM Jacques Martin to entice the maximum number of suitors and maybe, finally, realize a reasonable return on the team's investment.So the only questions now are when Bouwmeester leaves, and for what?Conventional wisdom suggests that Martin keep his powder dry until the trade deadline, but that ain't gonna happen. Neither will he hold out until Jan. 1, 2009, the first point at which he can approach Bouwmeester about an extension.

The intentions of Bouwmeester are clear, so the time to pounce is early, perhaps during training camp. Not just because of the constant distraction that the situation will create, or the fear of an injury curtailing his value, although those factors certainly play into the equation. And not just because every game the Panthers lose further weakens Martin's bargaining power.No, they have to move Bouwmeeter asap in order to get the franchise moving in some direction -- hopefully forward -- rather than simply treading water.Who might be in the market? Who wouldn't be?The 6-4, 212 Bouwmeester is a package that any team would love to add.

He's developed into the league's premier workhorse, leading the NHL in both total time on ice and average TOI per game last season. He hasn't taken a night off in three years.The silky skating continues to be his primary asset, and his physical game is rounding nicely into shape. And while his point totals have dropped in each of the last two seasons (46 to 42 to 37), his goals have risen from five to 12 to 15, a sure sign of his increasing comfort with the puck and his improving ability to sniff out scoring chances. And Bouwmeester, the third overall pick in 2002, will have just turned 25 when the season begins in October.

The Anaheim Ducks, already over the cap for this season, might seem like an unlikely candidate, but they'd have to be the leader in the clubhouse.They have just one blueliner, Chris Pronger, under contract past this season and his deal extends only through 2009-10. The Dallas Stars, who could lose both Sergei Zubov and Philippe Boucher after this season, also should be in the running. The Senators and Devils also have the needs and the assets to get involved in the bidding.That particular process won't be for the meek. The package likely will be more than the one Atlanta won from Pittsburgh in the Marian Hossa deal (Colby Armstrong, Eric Christensen, top prospect Angelo Esposito and a 2008 first-round draft pick). Look for it to involve two high-end prospects with some NHL experience, a top junior-aged prospect and a first-rounder.That's steep, but for a special player like Bouwmeester, it's worth the risk.


Kings Looking for Defence

A source in the Kings front office has told me the Kings are looking to sign a left shot defenceman. A few names that are being discussed are Bryan Berard, Marek Malik and Bret Hedican. The Ducks have also been in contact with Dean Lombardi about possible acquiring Mathieu Schneider. I think Schneider would make the most sense. The Ducks are desperate to trade him, he was once a King and he owns a home in Los Angeles.

Coming Along.......

Ok, I'm going to start a new blog topic called "Coming Along". So each day I'll feature one Rampage player and basically tell you as much as I can about him. Today our featured prospect is Dylan Reese, a defensemen for S.A. You can also email me a 'Yotes prospect that you'd like to learn more about and I'll feature him in my next blog! So here it is folks:

Coming Along w/ Dylan Reese

Position: D
Shoots: Right
Height: 5'11''
Weight: 195 lbs
Age: 24
From: Pittsburgh
Dylan is a very fiesty, young and quick defensemen with tons of hockey smarts and quite the offensive upside. It also helps that Reese was playing on one of the best defensive corps in Crimson and was leading the pack for a while as well. So he's got all the skills to be a great offensive defensemen and could end up turning into a Nicklas Lidstrom. Another thing to value is his sound & smooth defensive style, I mean he barely makes mistakes on ice. Just to let ya'll know Reese is also quite the fighter and I've actually got one of his best off YouTube:

Like he may have got owned a little bit there but he landed some solid punches and stayed in their for a while so it just shows that he can do everything. Play defensive, offensive and can play gritty.

In my opinion, in my opinion his style is very close to Derek Morris the size is the only big difference. Man, think about a pair of Reese & Morris!

So their you go folks, my 1st installment of "Coming Along" .

Peace Out,

PS, are you ya'll waiting for Sundin to make his darn decision? As I'm starting to run out of nails to chew!


Newsday reports that former Colorado Avalanche head coach Joel Quenneville will not take any coaching position for at least a year, a stance which was held even more firmly when the New Yokr Islanders came calling looking for a bench boss most recently. The report suggests that Quenneville had a change of heart on coaching in the National Hockey league this upcoming season aftyer interviews with San Jose and Toronto. Meetings with the Islanders and Quenneville were not very convincing, and the two sides agreed that it would not be the right place or time for the 11 year veteran.

As for the Islanders ongoing search , they have interviewed AHL coach of the year Scott Gordon, and he says the interview went "extremeley well". Names that have popped up into the discussion are Paul Maurice, Bob Hartley, Mike Sullivan and Gerard Gallant. One name definitley not apprearing any time soon behind the Isles bench is John Tortorella. Sources told HB's Scotty that meetings did not so go well for him and GM Garth Snow.






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