July 02 2015 11:00AM
1. The Hamilton trade and contract
The most reasonable reaction to the Dougie-Hamilton-for-three-draft-picks trade was, "I don't believe that."
That was a criminally small price to pay for a guy who everyone — including the team that just jettisoned him — agrees is a young "build your team around this guy" defenseman. That he is now the third such player on the Flames is insane. Calgary went from a top-heavy D corps with a lot of garbage at the bottom to maybe the best in the league, depending upon whether they can re-up David Schlemko (or sign a comparable) to be the No. 5/6 instead of Kris Russell and Deryk Engelland.
Don Sweeney was, we know now, painted into a bit of a corner, but for there to be almost no bidding war was immensely to Brad Treliving's benefit. In much the same way as the predecessor to his predecessor grossly mishandled the Joe Thornton trade, and his predecessor grossly mishandled the Tyler Seguin trade, Sweeney grossly mishandled the Hamilton trade. The good news for Boston is that he didn't go to an Eastern Conference team, but that's about where it ends.
June 26 2015 10:20PM
EDITOR'S NOTE: A couple weeks back, your pal Ryan Lambert wrote this for OilersNation regarding the whole cap situation Boston got itself into, Dougie Hamilton, and a potential for the Oilers to help Boston out. In the wake of today's events, it'll probably be either incredibly insightful or incredibly tragic in retrospect - depending on whether you're living in Calgary or Edmonton. Enjoy!
For what seems like the millionth summer in a row — but I'm sure it's more like the seventh or eighth, which is still an eternity in the NHL — the Boston Bruins are facing a cap crunch. We don't yet know what the league's ceiling is going to come to, but a reasonable assumption is that it's going to go up about $1-2 million at most. Let's be generous and say it hits $71 million, which is the outside estimate Gary Bettman keeps giving.
Read on past the jump and I'll break down what the issue is, and how the Bruins can deal with it.
June 22 2015 08:00AM
Photo Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports
The outcome of the Stanley Cup Final will, in many ways, vindicate Stan Bowman's decisions at the trade deadline this year. He spent big to get Antoine Vermette and Kimmo Timonen (a combined cost of two second-round picks, a first, and a decent prospect) and hadn't, for most of the playoffs, gotten much out of them.
There wasn't much of a surprise there with Timonen, because the guy is like 112 years old and coming off a very serious health concern that almost ended his career. But the performance of Vermette, which has only began to sort itself out late in the run, long seemed a point of concern to say the least.
We're obviously working with a very limited data set here (just 39 games from the regular season through the end of the playoffs) but 4-6-10 in all situations and a sub-50 percent possession number on a team as good as Chicago is deeply problematic. Which goes a long way toward explaining his getting just 13:35 per game from Joel Quenneville; he hasn't averaged that few since he was a sophomore in the league, back in 2005-06.
At best, Bowman was "vindicated" with a Cup win (in much the same way the Tomas Kaberle trade once didn't-matter after the Bruins won the Cup), but at worst, the Vermette and Timonen trades could look like terrible decisions.
And though he came on late, the fact that scoring two goals in six games was a coup probably throws Vermette's price in the UFA market into serious doubt, if nothing else.
June 18 2015 10:00AM
1. A doubtful re-signing?
So there has been a lot of talk about what the Flames are going to do with Jiri Hudler and Mark Giordano this summer, and at least the plan with the latter is obvious: They full intend to re-sign Giordano to what should be the final contract of his NHL career, and they've said so many times.
The future is far less clear where Hudler is concerned, and I think this is for a number of (obvious) reasons. He's entering the final year of a four-year contract that pays him $4 million against the cap, and he's going to be 32 when it expires.
June 03 2015 09:00AM
Photo Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports
This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy!
If you're looking for a veteran presence that Chicago might be inclined to let walk, especially from that blue line, Johnny Oduya seems as likely a candidate as anyone. While he is part of the four-headed beast that arose in these playoffs because Joel Quenneville literally doesn't trust anyone else to patrol the blue line, Oduya best matches the description of a guy who will probably be allowed to walk.
The reasons why should be clear enough: He'll be 34 on Oct. 1, he probably wants one last multi-year deal, he probably wants a raise from his current $3.375 cap hit per NHLNumbers.com, and he's wrapping up a season in which he was vilified for much of the year by his own fans.
Stan Bowman is a smart general manager and while it's not totally clear how he's going to address his blue line's depth problems, giving a 34-year-old coming off a bad year multiple seasons and a raise doesn't seem like part of the plan. So in other words, it's very likely that Oduya is available to the highest bidder come July 1.