1. Now things are moving
Shea Weber? Locked up. Rick Nash? Finally traded. Shane Doan? Came out and set a deadline for the Coyotes to figure everything out or else he’s gone.
The logjam that existed when I wrote about the stagnant trade market last week is now no longer an issue, and one suspects that will get everyone up off their asses and onto the phones, as teams now seek frantically offload some of their unwanted contracts before someone else starts giving out offer sheets or trading largely inconsequential pieces for regular 30-goal scorers. We now have about two or three premier free agents left on the market, one of whom no one will sign because he’s Alex Semin. The second Doan signs with the Flyers or the Rangers, pretty much every team will be more or less set with their rosters as far as major free agent transactions are concerned.
Thus, all that stuff about the Flames not being able make moves because no one is interested in doing at this time so should be out the window. And it’s then that we’ll see just how committed Jay Feaster is to keeping the roster as is, which he’s said he’s comfortable with.
Given what Nash fetched, or rather, failed to fetch, one supposes that the trade market is more profitable for buyers rather than sellers these days, and given the number of teams looking for defensive help, can a Jay Bouwmeester bidding war be especially far away?
And okay yes, this is all harping on Bouwmeester, but the reason he’s been talked up is that he’s the one big-ticket contract on the Flames besides Miikka Kiprusoff, Mark Giordano, and Jarome Iginla, who are under lock and key, that wasn’t a Feaster acquisition. Cammalleri, Tanguay, Hudler, Cervenka, Wideman. All Feaster guys.
And okay yes, there’s also Anton Babchuk and Matt Stajan, but it’s important to be realistic about people wanting these contracts. No one wants these contracts and for very good reasons: They — both the players and the deals — pretty much stink.
At least Bouwmeester has demonstrable value. There’s a lot of talk from teams around the league about how "we won’t trade our guy unless someone really bowls us over." But if the Flames don’t get rid of him given an even good offer, they’re making a huge mistake. If that’s what Rick Nash pulls, home-run deals aren’t going to happen. Get used to it.
2. Okay here’s something about that Doan deadline
As mentioned above, Doan came out and said earlier this week that the Coyotes have until Friday to get their ownership situation sorted out at least to the point where he could receive assurances about their viability in the desert.
Hope he wasn’t holding his breath.
I do believe that Doan wanted to stay with the only franchise he’s ever played for earlier, and he’s right that, at some point, enough has to be enough. He’s been taking meetings with interested teams for a while now and it’s hard to imagine at least one didn’t knock his socks off with an offer that’s for too many years, too much money and, most realistically, both.
But on the other hand, going from, "I want to see how this vote plays out on July 8," to, "If you don’t have this sinking ship back up to full speed by Friday, I’m gone," seems a bit much, no? It’s like the drill sergeant in a bad military movie who messes up your perfectly-made bed right in front of you, then screams at you to make your bed like he told you.
Now that Doan has seen what’s out there, I can’t imagine a return to the desert, regardless of the Jamison bid’s future — because let’s be honest, how many of these things have we seen already — will be the best possible idea for him as he seeks his cash-out contract.
You can’t blame the guy for wanting out, but the way he wants out sure is crummy.
3. Poor Tim Erixon
4. Some quick thoughts on Rick Nash
I theory, I like the idea of the Rangers going out and getting Rick Nash. They gave up relatively little for a guy who could be a dominant top-line winger alongside a great playmaker like Brad Richards and another goalscoring threat like Marian Gaborik. That top power play unit could be terrifying. It also fleshes out the Rangers’ one true weakeness last season: A mediocre top-six.
(Yeah, Nash is on a really bad contract but the Rangers are basically a plaything for a terribly rich man who can afford to bury tens of millions of dollars’ worth of bad deals in the minor leagues because, well, who cares? If it comes to it, Rick Nash could finish out his Rangers career riding the bus for all anyone cares.)
And with Nash, the Rangers instantly become a team with more credibility than they already had and, given that they already won that division last season, don’t seem less likely to do so again given that every other team in the division is now worse (Flyers, Devils) or in stasis (Penguins, Islanders). This feels very much like an arms race against no one in particular, which, I suppose, is a good way to improve an already very successful team.
I know it’s kind of rote to say the Rangers are favorites in the East and will likely compete for the Stanley Cup next June, but, well, look at them. Good team, money to spend, just went out and got a great wing. I don’t know how Glen Sather does it.
5. Don’t cry for me, Shea Weber
I love love love that Shea Weber is now crying poor because the Predators may or may not give him the no-trade clause the Flyers were going to. Boo hoo it really sucks having $110 million dollars. This is the worst day.
Hey Shea, if you wanted all that money and to get locked in with Philly for the next decade and a half, maybe you should have just demanded a trade instead of signing an offer sheet. The Flyers (and a few other teams) apparently thought a trade was possible before Paul Holmgren said "screw it" and just slid him the offer sheet instead. I don’t recall hearing anything about a trade demand, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.
I get it from his end: He wanted a big deal before the CBA expired so he could maximize his earnings. He wanted to go to a city that he knew would spend big money and be a premier free agent destination for the remainder of his career. He wanted assurances that he wouldn’t be traded from there, as Holmgren is wont to do with all long-term signees not named Dany Briere.
But it’s like, hey buddy, you just tried to screw the team you’re now tied to for the next 14 seasons. Why do you think they should owe you something beyond what the CBA mandates they do? If it makes you feel any better, you can use part of the $27 million you’ll receive by next July 1 to get plastic surgery that renders you unable to either cry or pout.