The NHL won the case and Kovalchuk’s contract was wiped out. Which is awesome, because seriously, that contract was ridiculous.
Now, however, the NHL is going to town investigating all those other ridiculous contracts that have been signed but haven’t kicked in yet (Luongo, Pronger, Savard). And while I a) think the teams should be forced to keep them instead of getting the cap relief that would come with voiding them because it’s their own faults for signing such stupid deals in the first place and b) sincerely hope this doesn’t actually lead to another lockout, I have to admit something: if you take a step back and look at this from afar, it’s hilarious. One victory and the NHL is going crazy investigating suspect contracts and trying to void them all. It’s funny. Go to town, boys!
(And I do realize this might just be a scare tactic. Doesn’t make it any less funny.)
(I don’t have anything to say about Tim Kennedy getting bought out because the whole thing is just too weird and I don’t get it at all.)
Shortly before free agency began, I had a sneaking suspicion that the Sabres would go after Shaone Morrisonn. I knew that he was most likely done with Washington and I knew that the chances of the Sabres keeping Lydman and Tallinder were slim. I was never a huge Mo fan but I never disliked him. He wasn’t phenomenal but he wasn’t complete crap; he was just there. Which made me think he would be perfect for Buffalo.
In retrospect I should have written this idea of mine down, because today darling Mo (Mo I after Mo II came to town) signed a two year deal with the Sabres. Reading Twitter immediately following this deal was somewhat amusing because half of my feed was “Goodbye, Mo” and the other half was “How the eff do we spell his name?” Mo was one of those players who I really didn’t mind. I didn’t fawn over him or drool over his play, but I tolerated him. I don’t think he’ll be a standout but I think if the Sabres needed to add another body to the blueline, they could have done worse. He’s not super flashy although that might have just been because he was stuck with Mike Green. I feel like if Fat Mike is your defensive partner, you really can’t risk trying to move the puck into the offensive zone yourself. I really haven’t given any thought to any potential Sabres lines or defensive pairings this year (other than to think about the Sabres defense and shudder) so it will be interesting to see where Lindy ends up putting him. This is all going from memory, but he could handle a fair amount of minutes. One time I particularly warmed to him was against the Rangers in the playoffs last year. I can’t for the life of me remember why, I just remember that he really endeared himself for me.
As for off the ice, two things come to mind as really important. He and Brooks Laich were roommates on the road and whenever the subject of road trips or roommates or hotels came up, the two would wax poetic about their system. I’m sure I’ve written about it on here too. They had this ridiculous system set up that they followed completely on road trips. It always kind of reinforced for me that Brooksie is completely OCD.
The other thing is that Mo must have been pretty desperate if he agreed to play in Buffalo, because let me tell you something: Buffalo is not his favorite place. While my memory was slightly foggy in regards to this video and it’s actually Schultzie who names a Buffalo restaurant and not Mo, I’m 99.9% positive Mo also lists Buffalo since all the guys say Buffalo.
Regardless, I’m just glad that for once I was right. Welcome to Buffalo, Mo! I’m afraid the arena here isn’t always quite as loud as the Verizon Center, but hey, at least I’ll be there a few times!
Yesterday Ilya Kovalchuk finally agreed to a new deal with New Jersey, one that is supposedly going to be 17 years long. And I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something about that just doesn’t sit well with me.
I want to say it’s the part where he’ll make $11.5 million, but if a team wants to overpay a guy, that’s their prerogative. (But still. $11.5 million? For a guy that has won exactly ONE playoff game and hasn’t figured out what the equivalent of “defense” is in Russia?) People are whipping themselves into frenzies over the cap circumvention and the fact that it utilizes that loophole to keep the cap hit manageable isn’t what bothers me. I think the part of the deal that bothers me is the way in which it uses the term of the deal to keep the cap hit low.
I actually usually like long-term deals. Nicky Backstrom signed a ten year extension in Washington? Heck yes, keep that guy around. Ryan Miller got himself a five year deal? He’s a goalie, he actually wants to be in Buffalo, I support it 100%. And when Tyler Myers signs his twenty year extension* next summer I’ll wear my Myers shirt around town with pride. But these are all deals that (God willing) will be played out. In ten years Backstrom will be 32, Miller will be in his mid-thirties, and I’d like to think Tyler has twenty years* in him (all with Buffalo, of course). Kovalchuk is already 27. Even if he plays until he’s 40, that’s only thirteen years. What I don’t like about this deal is that by making it long enough to keep the cap hit reasonable, it got up to 17 years. For a guy who’s 27. Even if he was a 21 year old signing his first contract after the rookie one it would be different.
It’s not even the fact that the deal is front-loaded. If you want to give the guy the cash up front, fine. But giving him the money up front in a way that makes it easy for you to buy out his last few years, years he’s most likely not going to play, seems to be taking cap evasion a little too far.
I don’t know what the solution to this problem is when they start renegotiating the CBA and I don’t pretend to know. I don’t mind long term deals for players who are bigger names (because regardless of whether or not he can win, I personally consider Kovy to be a big name). For the fans, it gives them security that players they like and players they want to root for and keep in town will stay there. For the team, it gives them a way to pay the player money he wants while not completely screwing over their team for years to come. I just feel like something should be done to prevent deals that no one expects to end with the player still playing. There’s a reason Kovalchuk’s money goes down in the end and I feel like that reason just might rhyme with “shmyout.”
I don’t know. Maybe I’m being completely unreasonable and probably maybe this post doesn’t even make any sense. I just don’t like that guy signed a contract he’ll never play the duration of.
Whether or not the Devils actually win now is an entirely different story and I’m not going to even get into that. (Hint: I don’t see it happening.)
And props to the Kings for not caving in and throwing at him what he wants. You guys showed him not going above 15 years. I think you made the smart choice.
*I’m exaggerating here. A little.
I really don’t have much of anything to say because there’s really not much of anything going on. Kovalchuk still hasn’t signed anywhere and I honestly have no idea if this means he’s more or less likely to end up in LA or the KHL or who knows where. Personally, I want him to end up back in Atlanta for less than the original contract they offered him. But that’s just me.
Chicago continues to have HILARIOUS cap issues. Like, I’m happy for their fans that they won and all, but I certainly wouldn’t want a team I cheer for to go through this. However, if they want to send Patrick Sharp to Buffalo or even Washington (SECOND LINE CENTER) I’m sure the fans would be happy to adopt him and love as one of their own.
Is it just me, or is this offseason more dead than usual?
I already had a semi-rant about LeBron last night and I don’t want to say anything else. But my heart broke for Cleveland fans last night. Those poor people. Can you imagine if Ryan Miller had never signed his contract extension and instead went on TSN or Versus to tell the world that he wasn’t signing with Buffalo and instead was bolting for somewhere else? I would probably be borderline suicidal. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Twilight vs. Harry Potter update: Eclipse sucked balls but I stood up and cheered after the Deathly Hallows tailer (OH MY GOD THE VERY FIRST THING THEY SHOWED WAS HARRY GOING TO DIE AAAHHHH CAN’T HANDLE IT SO EXCITED!!). And now I’m reminded of why I don’t talk about Harry Potter on this blog, because besides the fact that this is a hockey blog, when I get started I can’t stop. And I already had a deep discussion earlier today about Snape’s memories and wanting to look in Harry’s eyes before he died.
Oh. Um, spoiler alert for the stuff above if you haven’t read the last book yet.
A few signing updates: The Sabres are keeping Patty Lala around for another year and the Caps re-signed Jeff Schultz and Eric Fehr. Woo!! Yay!! It’s not like Lindy’s ever going to play Lalime anyway and Ryan likes him so that signing makes sense, although I really did think for a second that Theo had a shot here. Because I am delusional.
Jeff Schultz and I have had our differences in the past but after this year I’ve been working on it. I still maintain that the Caps need someone big and scary, but we shall see. The Fehric signing, on the other hand, is fantastic. I adore Fehric. I can’t explain it. I just love him and what he does for the team and I can’t imagine them without him. Yay for Fehric!
I don’t recommend taking long uphill bike rides at eight in the morning if it’s already 80 degrees. Not fun. I do, however, recommend lying around on the deck reading. It’s a good time.
I’m going to see “Eclipse” tonight with my friends but I was given permission to wear a Harry Potter scarf. (Gryffindor colors) I used to be a big fan of Twilight. I read the books back before they were very popular and even if I didn’t think they were as well written as Harry Potter, I found them highly entertaining. I was Team Edward for about five minutes before I became firmly Team Jacob. Then girls began reading them and becoming obsessed with them, and then they started making truly horrific movies, and now I’m somewhat fed up with all this vampire craziness. While I love me some Taylor Lautner, I assure you I was Team Jacob before he was cast in the role. I plan on making a big scene either before or after the movie during which I proclaim my undying love for Harry Potter. I don’t usually talk about it here on this blog, but I’m one of those people who are just completely obsessed with/in love with the Harry Potter books. JK Rowling is, amongst other things, a bloody genius. I also feel as though Twilight has been copying HP. This makes me angry. Harry Potter is better and I will fight you to the death over it and I will win. This is even coming from a hopeless romantic. Edward needs to just back off a little bit and I can’t stand Kristen Stewart. The Harry Potter books are just so good and even though I’m not crazy about the movies, they’re better made and better acted than Twilight. So there.
The Sabres, to the surprise of everyone, signed someone today!! And not just anyone. They agreed to a one year deal with Niedermayer!!
Yeah, Rob Niedermayer. I know. Bad joke. I couldn’t help it.
The Sabres definitely needed a center and definitely needed a tough veteran. I wouldn’t have minded one with a few more points, but hey, this is the Sabres. Baby steps. And who knows. Maybe I’ll grow to love him as I have grown to love Mike Knuble.
So yesterday I returned home from my Canadian adventure, ready to start my usual summertime activities (sleeping, reading, walking the dog, lying around, doing nothing). It was actually a really nice time. Canada, you’re quite beautiful. Totally weird and wacko, but beautiful nonetheless. I consider Washington, D.C. to be one of my favorite cities on the planet (and did so before I gave a crap about their hockey team, thank you very much) so it was cool seeing Ottawa since it’s another capital city. Even though it creeped me out that all the natives walking by me probably liked the Senators. Montreal was gorgeous, all the Halak graffiti around the Bell Centre cracked me up, and I did a lot of uphill walking. Quebec City reminded me of when I was in Europe which means A+ for Quebec City!! Hearing all the French outside of a classroom setting was cool and the Chateau was breathtaking.
I legit died laughing when I saw the “Slapshot”-related shirts and I ended up buying a Nordiques shirt. Hopefully one day it will be relevant again.
There are quite a few pictures involving me and food from last week. Fear not, I ate well.
While I was away, NHL Free Agency began. Kovalchuk hasn’t signed anywhere yet (I bet he does it today just to screw with America), Volchenkov doesn’t play for the Caps, Alex Semin still does, and the Sabres signed Jordan Leopold. Um, woo? Whatever. I knew the chances of Hank and Toni sticking around were slim but now the Sabres still really do need to add a little something to the blue line. Tyler Myers aside, it’s looking a little frightening.
The Caps, on the other hand, have done pretty much nothing. If they’ve got something up their sleeve, well, that’s exciting. But if they honestly think this lineup is going to cut it, I’m concerned. HELLO. It is NOT WORKING. You need to add a few more pieces before you go out and win that Cup.
That’s all I’m going to say for now. Time to go celebrate the birth of our wonderful country. To all you Americans out there, enjoy your day!!
Well, maybe not an ‘A.’ Because Jay Mohr was terrible. But you know what? I have now watched the NHL Awards twice through (I’ll explain) and once again I’m reminded of how much I love this sport and this league.
Last night I missed half of the acceptance speeches because we were LOLing too hard (after Ryan’s, we proceeded to thank Noureen for all the other guys when they gave their speeches) and we were complaining too much during Jay Mohr’s stuff to completely appreciate it. We did, however, enjoy the Bobby Ryan/Ryan Getzlaf skit. Genius. It was funny, it was entertaining, even my mother cracked up. I love things like that. These guys have such great personalities and the league really should showcase that.
Today I watched my recording of it, which was fantastic. I could fast-forward through all the awkward banter and bad musical performances and just watch the acceptance speeches and player bits. It was quite nice.
I’m always down for a good “Alex Ovechkin looks like a caveman” joke, but Bigfoot? Really? I also thoroughly enjoyed his acceptance speech. I’ll be honest, I was surprised he won the Ted Lindsay award. I knew there was always the chance he’d win but I didn’t actually think he would. And while him winning that made me think he really did have a shot at the Hart, I’m okay with the way things turned out. Alex was voted most valuable player by his peers (I pointed this out ad nauseam to my Sidney Crosby fan friend last night around two in the morning until she threw a pillow at me), Hank got recognition from the media for what really was a great season, and Sid got the “we feel bad that we don’t have any other award to give you so we’re giving you this award” award. HA.
But I must admit, Sid did look completely out of his element last night. Poor kid.
I have a theory that it was actually Daniel accepting the awards tonight, and I’d like to keep it that way in my mind.
I love Tyler even more for his speech but the poor thing needs a little work on the hair. God bless his soul, I can’t wait until he wins ten Norris trophies.
Ryan Miller can work skinny ties like it’s nobody’s business. I’m very picky about who wears skinny ties, but he gets my seal of approval.
Mike Green, this is what you get for being a fatty and a crappy defenseman. Yay Duncs!
I cried when Theo was accepting his award. I have no problem admitting that. What a guy. I hope he ends up somewhere good next year.
(Seriously, Darcy, I’ve been saying for at least a year that you need to get him here to back up Ryan. He’d be a great backup!!)
I think I’m going to hunt down Pavel Datsyuk and get him ordained so he can marry me or give a speech at my wedding or something. That guy is hilarious.
Patrick Kane is going to get herpes before he’s done in Vegas if he’s not careful. Good grief, Kaner.
I will be taking in tomorrow night’s NHL Awards with some friends while we celebrate the end of our academic school year and will be sleeping over, which means there most likely won’t be incessant tweets from me and there definitely won’t be a post-Awards post right after the show is over. I know you’re really cut up about this. So enjoy the Awards, and rest assured that I’ll be busily making “Mike Green is fat jokes” and cooing over Tyler and Millsie and cringing over Alex.
P.S. I haven’t had a chance to look at the entire schedule yet but judging by when the Caps and Blue Jackets are in town, it’s like the hockey gods are just trying to make me happy.
In The Buffalo News today, there’s an article about how the Sabres dislike drafting Europeans. Now, there are some perfectly legitimate arguments made in this article. There’s definitely a risk today with young Europeans who want to stay at home or want to sign with the KHL. I’m not disputing that at all.
But one of the examples is Dennis Persson, who played in Sweden for a few years before heading over here. Okay, I get it, you want to get use out of your picks. But you know who else stayed in Sweden for a year before coming over to the NHL? Lars Nicklas Backstrom. Yes, that’s right. And in my humble opinion, he turned out okay.