Monday, June 27, 2016

So We Was Talkin' And...The NHL Draft & Free Agency

In a return of our chats, George, Howie, and Craig talk a little about the recent NHL draft and the upcoming free agency period. Well, it's mostly George and Howie with Craig just along for the ride. We get a little off track once in awhile, but the main idea stays constant. What do you think is in the near future for the Buffalo Sabres?

George: Ok Howie. I don't want Stamkos on the Sabres. I would rather see that money spent on younger stars that will develop with the team. This free agency is rich with people like that.
Would you want Stamkos on the Rangers?  Or are you tired of Ranger re-treads?

Craig: Stamkos is only 26 so that doesn't really qualify as a retread.

Howie: Well...the Rangers have gone for it at the expense of future assets in the past few years.

George: He is middle-aged in hockey years and has issues with blood clots. He is a potential liability as much as he could be an asset.

Howie: And they have lots of playoff wins, but no Cup.

Craig: Rangers sacrificing the future for the now is going to haunt them at some point.

George: 1994 doesn't count anymore??

Craig: Howie wasn't born yet.

George: Ah!

Howie: Also...what people - not just you guys, but everyone - seem to forget is that we have been watching hockey in a hard cap world for almost a decade.

George: Got it.

Howie: I was too! One of best sports memories of my life!

George: I like the cap. It prevents teams like the Rangers from winning through the checkbook. But now that we have Pegula, the idea of no cap could be different here...

Howie: There is so much wrong with that statement.

George: Ok Howie. Would you want to see Stamkos in the darker blue?

Howie: If money bought championships pre-cap NYR would have won more than just 94. No. Not unless other moves are made

Craig: I see Leafs as the probable landing place for Stamkos

George: Me too. I want Okposo…

Howie: Rangers have 2-4 bad contracts that are albatross like right now that they are desperately trying to unload. Okposo played his Junior hockey in Des Moines for the Buccaneers.

George: I would LOVE to get Kopitar, but I have a feeling the Kings will keep him..

Howie: You sound like a fan, George.

George: Kopitar and Okposo together could be cheaper than Stamkos. I'm not a fan is the only status I can use..

Craig: I want the Sabres to get the best players they can but not spend to the cap. We need room to grow.

Howie: "Lets trade two of our scrubs for a stud and then lets sign all these good guys!" Craig is correct.

George: I never said we were trading anyone.. Hey! How is Craig correct when I never said stuff you said I said when I said stuff??

Howie: Its what I'd like to see NYR do too. And I was being general.

Craig: I'm always correct

George: I don't want Stamkos because I don't think he is worth what the market will pay. So, in a not so roundabout way, I am agreeing with Craig.

Howie: Every GM right now is thinking about how to get Stamkos. He's trying to find the best fit in terms of money, chance at a Cup, and length of contract.

George: We talked about this before Howie, but I really do feel bad for Lundqvist.

Howie: No argument here.

Craig: Stamkos wants at least 8 years. That's a big cap commitment.

George: Yeah..but that could also be good because you fan front load the hell out of it and make the hit less the last few years.

Howie: However, with the right moves made I can see NY keeping their window open for the duration of his remaining prime.

George: If we get Stamkos, we will pay him a lot the first two years to make sure we can afford all of these other players when their contracts come due.

Howie: Aren't they not allowed to do that so extensively anymore?

Craig: Let's not forget expansion draft next year. Who do you leave unprotected?

Howie: It’s based on AAV.

George: I would prefer that we sign Vesey and focus on other free agents. Lots of experienced D-men out there…

Howie: Average annual value.

George: If it is $12 mil the first year or two and then drops the last few years, then the AAV drops too.

Howie: The expansion draft is also huge.

George: If we cannot trade Ennis then leave him unprotected and let Las Vegas have his contract. Or Moulson, although I am more inclined to give Moulson another season to show that he can play.

Howie: I'm sure there are ways to make it work in Buffalo. For Stamkos.

George: If the Blackhawks and Kings can keep their cores together for years, then we can too…

Howie: Esp. Since some offense may go missing if charges against Kane stick. The difference there is those ar teams in Chicago and LA. Neither is Buffalo. In that regard Buffalo has to sell itself.

George: Winning sells to any player.

Howie: Although not nearly as much as it used to. Agreed.

George: Money sells too.. We have lots of that suddenly...

Craig: Proximity to Toronto helps

George: Why?

Howie: Because so many players are from Toronto area/home.

Craig: Players like being near home and how many are from Toronto and southern Ontario.

Howie: Family.

George: Got it. Yes, that makes sense. Howie and I also talked about how boring the draft was. Almost no trades to speak of. We brought in one experienced D-man, but that was it. I was expecting more moves…

Howie: Eichel v Matthews is the NHLs "Battle of the Bastards" with the winner the undisputed King of the North.
Yup. Boring draft.

Craig: The draft itself was boring, but I liked the Sabres picks a lot.

Howie: My father and brother-in-law said when Columbus made its dubois pick, Murray was immediately on the phone to Edmonton.

George: Sure. We did very well. But I am now kind of glad I did not try to buy tickets to the draft.

Howie: And almost immediately hung up the phone pissed off about something and was glaring and pointing to Edmonton table.

George: I get tired of hearing "Buffalo is talking to Edmonton about..." rumors.

Howie: They witnessed the theatrics, and Edmonton is talking with everyone….Supposedly.

George: I bet Murray has a glare...that could melt paint…

Howie: Lol.

Craig: How many 1 and 2 picks can a team have over the past 7 years and still suck?

George: Edmonton is definitely establishing the new level for suckage with talent. That is what happens when all of your first overall picks are offense. No defense or goalie means no wins.

Howie: Cam Talbot did OK for them last season.

George: He needs a defense in front of him.

Howie: But whatever. That team has a glut of non-winning forwards.

George: But I bet if you put one of those guys into a better situation, they would suddenly turn into superstars. It is sad to see how far the Edmonton franchise has fallen.

Howie: They have fallen.

George: Ok..well I don't get paid to sit around and talk to you two..
So I am out..

Craig: They are a Canadian team that is kinda in trouble. So the league will go whatever they can to keep a Canadian team in place.

Howie: Bye bye.