Evander Kane And The “It” Factor

There is absolutely nothing more enjoyable than escaping the heat and humidity that accompanies mid-July in Georgia by gathering with fellow Thrashers fans inside of the Duluth Ice Forum for a little prospect development camp watching!

One of the things that really struck me right off the bat was the size of these kids out there. The organization has stocked the talent pond full of some big prospects indeed and I was very impressed with a few of the guys out there…specifically Paul Postma, Eric O’Dell and Jeremy Morin.

However, the one player that impressed me the most was the one I made the trek to Duluth to see… the 4th overall selection in last month’s draft, Evander Kane. Like you, I’ve read about his play…looked at the stats he’s put up with the WHL Vancouver Giants…seen the scouting reports. But none of that equals being able to put your eyes on the player for yourself and witness what all the hype is all about.

This kid has such a smooth skating ability and he’s got a wicked as hell wrister…a very quick release. Plus, he has no problems driving strong to the net. He certainly does have all the tools. But having the physical ability to play in the NHL is half the battle. One has to be ready to do this mentally as well…possessing the right attitude and presence.

As Don Waddell told Chris Vivlamore recently, “This will be a good week for us to spend with Evander because, I’ve always said, all of a sudden you hand these kids hundreds of thousands of dollars, is that too much for an 18-year-old player? There’s so much besides the hockey side that goes into [making an NHL roster]. We have to make sure that maturity-wise, he’s there also.”
Bogosian had this last summer. There was little doubt in the minds of those who watched him skate and play that he was ready to play up in the NHL and that placing him anywhere else was would be a disservice to him and the organization.

Kane seems to have this certain “something” as well. You can see it in his eyes as he goes about his work on the ice. It’s a confidence in his ability and a sureness in his movement.

After welcoming Evander to Atlanta and chatting with him briefly, I asked him, “Do you expect to play in Atlanta this fall”?

“Absolutely”, he responded with a smile on his face.

There was no hesitation…no hedging…no pondering. It also wasn’t a cocky or arrogant response…just a simple expression of the belief in himself, his ability and what he can do.

When discussing Kane’s presence on and off of the ice with radio voice of the Thrashers Dan Kamal simply nodded his head at me and said, “It’s what Darren Eliot calls the ‘it’ factor”.

The “it” factor… the intangible possession that sets some apart from the others. Some have it, some don’t, it’s not anything that can be schooled or coached… and it’s what can catapult a pretty good prospect into a very fine, if not great, player.

And Kane seems to possess “it”.

Almost as soon as Evander de-planed last week, he was being put in front of the Atlanta audience as he was interviewed on Fox 5’s Good Day Atlanta. He should get used to this type of activity because the Thrashers organization could…and should… use a kid like this to market their product. And he seems more than capable of such a task.

Again…that’s the “it” factor at work.

But the off-ice exposure and abilities have to be matched by the on-ice performance. He’s shown the ability to excel against his peers so far but his next big step will be in September when we get to see how he measures up to proven NHL players in training camp and the preseason. If he’s able to take full advantage of the opportunity afforded him there…and right now there is no reason for me to believe he won’t…then the next step will see how he fairs in his rookie NHL season.

And “it” will be exciting to watch.

Bloggers At The (Locker Room) Gate

Ben Wright and the Thrashers organization were kind enough to allow some of the local blogging community to join the media access session in the player’s locker room Saturday afternoon.

Personally, I just had a nice time chatting with some of these kids…many of whom are only a few month older than my oldest tax exemption. These prospects are being given the opportunity of a lifetime and how they respond and play will determine their future. Many simply commented on how the trainers and staff were working them hard and helping them in so many aspects of their game and how greatful they were for this chance to refine their skills in front of those who’s opinions mattered.

Now, because I have two teenage sons who played on the same team together…and I understand how bothers can be…I simply had to ask Vinny and Victor Saponari if, when playing against the other, they took a little more pleasure in a good, clean, open ice check against their brother.

“Oh yeah”, Victor replied, “Mostly we played together, but when we did play on opposite sides, you always want to make sure you win that battle”.

After responding much the same way his brother did, Vinny added, “We kind of push each other…prod each other along and try to get the best out of the other. It’s a good rivalry”.

Mom would be proud boys.

Some of the bloggers who were there have weighed in already with their stories and I’m happy to share them with you.

Laura of Wazzupwitchu says, Guys, quick, put on a towel“.

Here is the always educational Falconer’s chat with Ed Pasquale.

TimmyF of Thrashing About has posted the first audio clip of the mostly civil “media scrum” around Kane, Paul Postma and Zach Redmond.

Big Shooter and Mortimer Peacock of the Blueland Chronicle chime in with comments from Saturday…and it looks like Big Shooter’s big day involved more than just hockey.

Aaron runs things at Blueland Outsider and here is his chat with John Albert, Atlanta’s 6th round pick in 2007.

Rose Collette posts her interview with goalkeeper Chris Carrozzi for the Thrashers411 blog and Lisa Lewis gives us a glimps into the future.

And finally…foocow shares his thoughts on prospect camp 2009.

102 comments Add your comment

Brendan

July 12th, 2009
7:26 pm

Nice that they gave bloggers access, too. :)

Thrashers27

July 12th, 2009
7:39 pm

Anyone else get the sense that scouting is finally showing some promise and that the team is developing some good depth? Hearing about guys like Postma, Kulda, Kozek, O’Dell and Morin being impressive is making me very anxious for Septemeber to get here.

Good stuff, RH!

R. Stroz

July 12th, 2009
7:39 pm

I’m the 1st to be 2nd.

Zoomo

July 12th, 2009
7:48 pm

I do get a sense that the club is deeper now with young talent than we’ve ever been. I live close to the practice rink, so I make it over there quite a bit and I easily think this is the most impressive bunch of prospects we’ve ever had.

I liked Postma last year…love him now. I’ll be very suprised if he doesn’t make the team in the next two years.

I’m trying to not get caught up in watching Kane too much and expecting too much, but he certanly has a star quality about him. The IT factor is there. I don’t know that he’s ready for the NHL quite yet, but it will be interesting the watch his development between now and training camp.

I posted the following observations over on Viv’s blog. I went to the workout on Friday and then again today (Sunday)

===
Just back from today’s 4 on 4 prospect “game”. Postma continues to impress on D. Head up, poised, tough, big, har & low shot. Redmond and Hozapfel looked ok…Mahacheck too…but I expect more from them at this point. Klingberg had a beauty of a drive to the net and score. Seemed to have the puck a lot. Quick. Morin looked good too. O’Dell was in the mix a few times.

Jimmy Bubnick might be a steal as a 6th rounder. The kid was all over the place, two goals and an assist I think.

Leveille is a good “skills” guy…fast.

Kane is polished. Looked Ok. Best play of his for me was when he turned it over at the blueline, raced back on D and with a nice back check & stick lift to disrupt the rush. Seems to have no fear of traffic and getting in the middle of the slot on the offensive end.

Zoomo

July 12th, 2009
7:51 pm

I was also very impressed with the size of the crowd. Nice turnout on Friday, spectacular turnout today. Boy that was fun. Crowd cheering for every goal and the good plays. Nice overation for the guys after regulation and the shoot-out. The Kovalchuk Army was out in force!

Sage of Bluesland

July 13th, 2009
7:11 am

We’ve heard of the “stocked” farm system before–just think back of all of the “Legends of Blueland” in the back of the game-day program.

I sincerely hope it’s not a mere pipe-dream, this time. Until the chicks hatch in the big leagues, I’m not counting anything…and neither can anyone else with any degree of certainty…

Glovesave29

July 13th, 2009
8:19 am

The Wings and the NHL are challenging Jiri Hudler’s contract with the KHL. Seems as though his filing for salary arbitration shows his intent on playing in the NHL next year, so in the NHL’s eyes, he is under contract and remains the property of the Wings. I think the NHL is stretcing it a bit here, I can see the IIHF ruling in the KHL’s favor on this one.

Sam

July 13th, 2009
9:52 am

i still can’t belilvve we traded garnet exelby for stupid pavel kubina!!! i mean come on!!!!! ok when r they gonna deal for lehtonen???

Alan

July 13th, 2009
10:16 am

Sam, so you can’t believe we traded damaged goods for someone who could actually help? Your world is warped.

Smoothie

July 13th, 2009
10:22 am

Rawhide, as always, twas a pleasure seeing you at the rink. Kris-TEN and I enjoyed it thoroughly. And it was a nice little bonus getting to chat with Dan Kamal upstairs in the Breakaway Grill for a bit with you and Stroz. There is certainly a palpable buzz of intrigue thanks to this Evander Kane character!! Good to see Boulton and Thorburn out at the facility as well…strange to see them play on opposite sides as defensemen for their respective pick-up teams.

Good times, good times indeed!

Smoothie

July 13th, 2009
10:24 am

Stroz, a pleasure to see you again as well. Always enjoy your humorous slant on things…and you’re right, the thought of seeing Big Bo battle the Big Kazakhstanian for position in front of the net will be a lot of fun to watch when training camp rolls around in 9 weeks or so!

Smoothie

July 13th, 2009
10:26 am

And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t send a shout-out to kracker!

Good to meet you and put a face with the name! I’m sure we’ll see you out at the Ice Forum again in September. Who impressed you the most? Out of the kids you didn’t expect much from?

I miss X but,

July 13th, 2009
10:29 am

Sam, Kubina had 40 points in each of the last 2 seasons and played in the most critical times for the Leafs. Exelby doesn’t get 10 points a year, hasn’t been himself since the concussion and the only key time he is on the ice is for penalty kills which he was par at best.

I am all for trading the oft-injured Lehtonen for a big return though.

Alan

July 13th, 2009
10:44 am

We wouldn’t get a big return for a goalie, though, person who misses X. We would be extremely lucky to get a prospect and a draft pick for Lehts. We’ll get even less for an unproven goalie like Pavs Somewhere between a 4th and 6th rounder. No one will care that we drafted him in the second round, goalies just aren’t worth much right now. And if you look at the tandem of netminders who are still free agents and could find themselves playing in the SEL, DEL, or even the KHL, you can see why.

It’s obvious to me that Lehtonen won’t be traded unless he doesn’t sign a contract. He didn’t elect to go to arbitration, so he is open to receive an offer sheet. Meanwhile, we still have Pavelec for another year unless he gets traded. Considering what a petulant douche-nozzle his agent is, trading Pavelec seems like the most likely scenario.

Meanwhile, we added a couple of goalies in the AHL. It could mean that both Pavelec and Lehtonen are gone. Regardless, goalies alone won’t bring back as big a return as you might think.

I miss X but,

July 13th, 2009
10:59 am

“Regardless, goalies alone won’t bring back as big a return as you might think.”

Alan, I didn’t say that we will even get a bag of pucks for Lehtonen. I’m just saying that if the right deal comes let Lehtonen go and I won’t complain. Obviously I want some sort of big return because if it is only a bag of pucks then it makes more sense to let him play out his contract then trade him for nothing. That’s just the cost/benefit analysis. And my definition of a big return for Lehtonen is not the same definition of a big return for Kovalchuk.

kracker

July 13th, 2009
11:01 am

Stroz, I was impressed with the overall size of the group. It’s one thing to see it on paper but it’s really nice to see that the prospects are all large and mobile, just on the other side of the glass. Nobody stood out as looking like a little guy compared to the others in the groups.

I watched about half of the white & blue groups on Saturday. Kane is indeed pretty smooth yet also looks tough & determined, he seemed poised, not nervous at all. He scored but it was at the far end and I really missed it. I like him. I saw Holzapfel make a nice pass for a score…Kozek score a goal. These were in the drills, I didn’t see the 4-on-4 game on Sunday.

ChippersLoveChild

July 13th, 2009
11:08 am

Who drives that X-mobile with the pictures of X all over their car? Did his mother mistakenly think he was still a Thrashers’ prospect and show up over the weekend?

Alan

July 13th, 2009
11:21 am

The point I was making is that there will be no “big return.” Obviously we won’t get a bag of pucks straight up for him, but the draft pick and/or prospect we get back for him very well may amount to being a bag of pucks.

Typically, when people speak of “big return,” they’re speaking of players, prospects, and picks coming back. Sorry for lumping you in with most people in regards to that.

Alan

July 13th, 2009
11:31 am

As an aside, Dale Tallon has signed yet another player in Mark Cullen.

M-O-O-N. That spells Mark Cullen.

I’m guessing Tallon thinks he is exempt from the salary cap.

Alan

July 13th, 2009
12:45 pm

Remember all those times you swore at Sutton, Holik, Exelby, and a host of others when they made really stupid plays? Research suggests it was just a mechanism to make the pain more bearable. Who’da thunk it?

I miss X but,

July 13th, 2009
12:51 pm

Tomato, to-mah-to Alan but I know what you mean. If we could’ve gotten that kid Van Reimsdyk from Philly straight up for Kari, I would’ve taken that and called it a big return.

kracker

July 13th, 2009
1:22 pm

Yeah, I know that one, Alan. Stephan King, “The Stand”, a quote by Tom Cullen.

dwayne

July 13th, 2009
1:30 pm

KL in goal for Thrashers equals playoffs.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 13th, 2009
1:36 pm

Based on that research stendec must be in A LOT of pain…

Alan

July 13th, 2009
2:02 pm

I think his pain is terminal, ranallo. ;)

Buzilla in CT

July 13th, 2009
2:30 pm

Terry Frei of ESPN ranked all the teams thus far for the Eastern Conference….we were 14th out of 14…

15. Atlanta Thrashers

Poor Ilya Kovalchuk, who continues to be electric in relative obscurity. If the enigmatic Nik Antropov ever lives up to his potential, much less to that four-year, $16 million contract the Thrashers gave him, that at least will help.

I hope the Thrashers give him a big sh*tburger to eat this year. He doesn’t mention Bogo, Kulda, Little, etc. I admit we have a uphill climb but I see us making the playoffs at least

Alan

July 13th, 2009
2:40 pm

Terry Frei is just angry that his Avs sucked worse than Atlanta last year.

Viking

July 13th, 2009
2:43 pm

How would trading Kari for a non goalie (and it better be a good one) help the team? We would be left with a non proven and as good as a rookie as #1 and a soon retired #2 goalie! Are you serious?

The goalie position is probably the most important of all. Trading Kari (who has never enjoyed an OK defense) would turn my somewhat optimistic view on next season into another hope for a good position for the draft lottery. And do you think really your idea of having Pavelec/Hedberg tandem as the utmost defense will help to convince Mr. Kovalchuk sign a new contract?

I miss X but,

July 13th, 2009
3:01 pm

Viking when Lehtonen goes down again guess what we will have? A non proven and as good as a rookie as #1 and a soon retired #2 goalie! Yes, I’m serious. I don’t doubt his ability but the guy can’t stay healthy for a full season so I would rather look at plan b and pick up a young stud to boot.

Glovesave29

July 13th, 2009
3:20 pm

Lemaire just signed on to coach the Devils again.

Alan

July 13th, 2009
3:38 pm

Glovesave, I think Admiral Ackbar predicted something like this.

Alan

July 13th, 2009
3:40 pm

Minor signings alert: Atlanta has signed Anthony Stewart and Noah Welch.

Glovesave29

July 13th, 2009
3:49 pm

The NHL needs to put a salary cap on the league office…Bettmans salary is now $7.1M!

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 13th, 2009
4:41 pm

He’s getting paid about $100k more than Gretzky in Phoenix…which of them has the job that is more deserving of the pay?

Brendan

July 13th, 2009
4:59 pm

Bettman makes $7.1 million? For real?

Tom

July 13th, 2009
5:00 pm

So all the cool kids were at the rink yesterday and I missed them… boohoo… Next time I am going to see where you all are when I make an infrequent run up to the northside. I was watching on the glass in the corner just when you entered the door. Had 2 tax exemptions fighting in front of me and my lovely wife at my side. Even had John Anderson next to us watching the practice for a bit.

Waffleboy

July 13th, 2009
5:33 pm

Is anyone else surprised we haven’t seen more RFA’s signed to offer sheets this off-season? With several teams under pressure ffrom the cap I would have figured some maverick GM’s would put the screws to them and force them to make choose between proven but expensive veterans or young and cheap prospects.

One example is Phil Kessel in Boston. The Bruins are 5 million and change below the cap right now and have no chance of signing him and another defenseman, plus Axelsson and Yelle. Why not make Kessel an offer and force Boston to sign him or cut bait. Under this scenario you might not have to over-pay to get and RFA.

I’m not saying we should go out and make Kessel an offer, I’m just wondering why this hasn’t been happening this year.

Thrashy Thrashy

July 13th, 2009
6:15 pm

Terry Frei’s about as smart as a f***ing bag of mentally crippled hammers.

The Isles were 15 points worse than the Thrashers last season.

Again, that’s 15 points!

Am I to believe that Antropov and Kubina will be so terrible that the 2009-10 Thrashers club will be startingly less able than its predecessor to tell its collective head from its collective a**?

Give me a damn break. Frei should be fired for that garbage. Waddell has sucked enough for two or three (or four…or five) general managers’ lifetimes, but this team is not even close to as bad as Frei has it pegged. Go to hell, Frei.

Tom

July 13th, 2009
6:48 pm

Thrashy

This was easy for him to do. He never comes near ATL anyway so throw us under the bus. If we do well this season he can constantly say, they are a surprise team but let us see how long it lasts. Now the true test of the man is how he rates the Avalache. That team is going south in a hurry but I bet he will have the team just missing the playoffs. who wants to hear that at the local coffee shop…

Brendan

July 13th, 2009
9:28 pm

Waffleboy, I suspect the lack of RFA offersheets has something to do with not wanting to part with those 1st and 3rd round picks until the trade deadline, no? That’s when some bubble teams gamble, with pro-rated salaries. If I were a contending team, I’d hang on to the picks, for now. And if I’m thinking I’m about a 10th place in the Conference team, and things don’t go well, I’ve just surrendered my Top 10 draft pick. Maybe even lottery draft pick. Yikes. If that’s the case, the RFA had better be worth it, down the road, in the next coupla of seasons.

Plus, RFA offersheets make every GM’s head perk up, “Who did WHAT now, to whom?” Teams are thinking about the prospect of a smaller cap next year. We haven’t seen that happen yet. This year was the closest thing we’ve seen to stabilization. $56.7 million to $56.8 million. This is Year Five of the CBA, Waffleboy. Next year will be the last year, unless the CBA is renewed again. Actually, when do they vote on that? That’s gotta be fairly soon, no? I, personally, think it will be renewed. We basically saw the floor of the cap surpass the ceiling from the 1st year of the CBA. (2005-06 Cap was $39.0 million. The 2008-09 floor was $40.7 million.) So, how can the players complain about that? Especially when they can hit UFA status at 25 years old, instead of 31? And really, the RFA contract becomes something of six to twelve year deal. And Commissioner Bettman earns his $7.1 million by declaring 26 of 30 teams are basically “healthy.” Plus, the inflated Cap allowed the bigger market teams like Detroit, New York, Boston, Chicago, Montreal, to flourish. And out of the other corner of his mouth, he can claim the salary cap has propelled smaller market teams like Carolina (2006 & 2009), Anaheim (2006-2007) and Buffalo (2006-2007) to two Conference Finals berths. Plus, the Penguins (2008-2009), with league Icons Malkin and Crosby, have been to two Conference Finals. From the “What about Canada file?” file shows Edmonton got to a CF, as did Ottawa. Both went to the Stanley Cup Finals, but lost. Montreal managed to be a #1 seed in 2008. Calgary made the playoffs all four years under the CBA, with a division title in 2006. Vancouver won two Northwest Division titles (2007 & 2009) and two playoff series. But they never did reach that elusive CF berth, that cost GM Dave Nonis his job. Though, it certainly looked good this year. But the Chicago Blackhawks would not relent. Now, Toronto is another matter. They’ve been shutout during the current CBA. They came very, very close in 2007, with 91-points, but on “Black Saturday,” Toronto and Montreal played each other in a game that ELIMINATED BOTH TEAMS, ultimately allowing Wade Dublowitz (Sp?) to prevail for the Islanders in a shootout game that propelled the Ted Nolan-Coached Islanders into the 8th and final playoff spot … in the waning seconds of the season. The Isles lost, 4-1, to Buffalo, in case you’re the curious sort, who just HAD to know what the Isles made of their “miracle” playoff run. The other two Conference Finalists under the CBA are Philadelphia, from the 6th spot in 2008, in what will probably be the MOST AMAZING single season TURN-AROUND during the current CBA, and Dallas, who made the CF from the #5 seed in 2008.

Wanna hear something curious about the Conference Finalists? Of the 16 over four years of the CBA, five have come from the 5th seed or higher, including three (3) sixth seeds!! (2006 Ducks, 2008 Flyers, and 2009 Hurricanes.) One 8th seed made it, the 2006 Edmonton Oilers. Only three (3) 1st overall seeds, of the eight, managed to reach the Conference Finals. Buffalo did it in 2007, the only Eastern Conference team to do so. Detroit, not surprisingly, did it twice, in 2007 & 2008. You’ll recall that San Jose was the #1 seed in 2009, but was eliminated in the opening round by Anaheim. Ouch.

The President’s Trophy winners, under the current CBA, are Detroit in 2006 & 2008, Buffalo in 2007, and San Jose, in 2009.

Sara

July 13th, 2009
10:19 pm

re: RFA offer sheets (or lack thereof) – everyone suspects/knows there’s a gentleman’s agreement among the GMs to not do that. Only one GM in recent times has done it – Kevin Lowe in Edmonton. Besides which, given the existence of the cap (and it’s real potential to decrease), lots of teams could find themselves in positions of vulnerability with RFAs. You don’t want to lob the first stone, then have someone chuck it back at you in another season or two. As in, we chase after Kessel this season. Two seasons from now, maybe Boston tosses out an offer sheet to Bogosian. Bad ju-ju for everyone. From a business standpoint, RFA offer sheets seem like a viable tool. But as a fan, I’d be p.o.’d beyond belief if some team tried to swipe Bogosian or Little or Kane from us.

I’d like to see the league, under the next CBA, take more steps to help teams retain their own talent. I had seen someone on some blog make the suggestion that homegrown players should be allowed to count less against the cap – like only 80% of their salary counts against a team’s cap. I like that idea a lot personally. It rewards teams for drafting and developing their talent. It also gives teams a competitive edge in the marketplace. A team could offer more than a competing club for their own player and still come up with the same or slightly smaller cap hit. That still allows the market to set the price for players while protecting clubs (and by default their fans).

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 13th, 2009
10:53 pm

“Only one GM in recent times has done it – Kevin Lowe in Edmonton.”

That’s not true…Vancouver extended an RFA offer to Boyes and in response (though not officially) St. Louis extended an RFA offer to Bernier. Also, the first team to start the RFA claims in the new CBA was Philadelphia, when Bob Clarke tabled an offer to Ryan Kesler of Vancouver.

In each instance the rights holding team matched the offer and retained their player. Lowe is the only GM to be SUCCESSFUL with his RFA offer, but he most certainly is not the only GM to make an offer.

As for offer sheets…if any team made the mistake of sending offer sheets to Bogosian or Little, I would expect the GM to match the offer and make room on the roster for their salary. Room can be made, especially with this club’s self imposed budget. The salary might be prematurely and “artificially” inflated, but in most instances the player is a known commodity.

As a fan I have no concern over the RFA section of the CBA. As an armchair GM I see it as one more tool to help fill out your roster, but a tool that should be used very wisely.

A few questions about the prospect discount…what if a team is at the cap floor but filled with homegrown players? Does the team get a 100% cap hit so that they qualify for revenue sharing? I would imagine that some owners would not appreciate artificial inflation to a salary simply because the player was drafted by their team. Why wouldn’t a player and agent demand more money to compensate for the “savings” of re-signing with their home team? Why wouldn’t they use that discount to shop their services elsewhere?

Brendan

July 13th, 2009
10:54 pm

I like Sara’s idea about helping teams retain their own talent (draft picks). Sadly, I can only come up with one idea. And it won’t fly with the NHLPA. Push the age of UFA status to 28 for coveted players, irrespective of NHL tenure. This would have kept Bouwmeester in Flordia a while longer, and maybe Kovalchuk here, if he doesn’t re-sign. He’d be OBLIGATED to play for a few more years. Etc. Of course, all those “special category” provisions should still exist, like the player is an AHL-NHL ‘Tweener’ 3rd or 4th line guy, with a certain level of NHL experience, so he qualifies for one of those several exceptions, designed to allow less desireable, non-tendered players reach UFA status. I also support the provision of the CBA that says … if a player fulfills all four years of college … ANNNND graduates … that he enters the league/draft as an unrestricted free agent.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 13th, 2009
11:11 pm

Bouwmeester and Kovalchuk aren’t skipping town (or potentially) over money. What makes you think a 20% cap relief will entice players to stay on a club that they don’t feel is going in the right direction? This idea (which I believe Glovesave originally floated), would mainly assist with the mid range contracts. In my opinion most superstars are not changing teams solely because of money, but because of the opportunity to match money with the best team for their desires. I say most because I think some players like Gaborik made it abundantly obvious that they have a priority on the dollar amount before they are worried about the team (though in Gaborik’s defense, New York progressed farther than Minnesota did this past season).

But thinking about it, such a clause would assist historically tightfisted GMs like Lombardi in LA. There’d be less rumors about Jack Johnson being dealt (or he could still be in Carolina) if this discount existed.

Brendan

July 13th, 2009
11:25 pm

I don’t know anything about a 20% cap relief; my idea is only about an age restriction, to help teams retain players longer. Some 18 year old is drafted, makes the NHL right away, he’d still be “stuck” with the team that drafted him until he was 28. Then he’s FREEEEEE, like the wind. My thinking here, is that it helps the team retain the player longer. As it is now, players can be unresticted in their mid-20’s, if they make the NHL straight away. I don’t think the NHLPA would ever go for it. They won that clause in the lockout. Why would they give it up? (They probably wouldn’t.) It was just a “nice thought” I had to help a market keep a player longer.

ranallo10 (in AT)

July 13th, 2009
11:35 pm

I’d argue that the player is more deserving of picking his own market than the market is of keeping a player.

And I agree, the NHLPA would not go for such a threshold for UFA status. That would be two steps back for the NHLPA.

Brendan

July 14th, 2009
12:10 am

Well, I definitely think a market should do something to persuade the player to stay, rather than to “trap him against his will.” But I’m out of ideas on how to help markets like Edmonton attract and keep players, even draft picks. For the record, I think they bungled that Ryan Smyth deal. Losing a player over $100,000!! That’s ridiculous. I’m not too sure either side won. Smyth got moved to the NY Islanders, then wound up in Colorado. Now he’s in L.A., and maybe will be the difference there? Edmonton hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006, when they reached the Finals.

Glovesave29

July 14th, 2009
7:44 am

Dale Tallon is out as GM in Chicago, and has been replaced by Stan Bowman.

GaVaHokie

July 14th, 2009
8:14 am

Dale Tallon is out as GM in Chicago, and has been replaced by Stan Bowman.

Yep, not official yet, but definitely sheds some light on Dudley coming to Atlanta… I had a feeling the Stan and Scottie Bowman “cloud” was getting big in Chicago.

Stroz… how’s my dollar doing? Are you keeping it warm for me? ;)

Russian

July 14th, 2009
9:10 am

Yes. Dudly made a best move. He will be unemployemt for now.