Free Agency has been frenzied so far. This is what has transpired to date.
The following list shows the state of the TSN top 50 free agents. For some reason, they had Jimmy Vesey on the list, when he isn’t actually a free agent until mid-August. They also had Stamkos on the list until he was signed late last week, so I’ve stuffed him back in at position zero.
|LW||11||Jimmy Vesey||BUF||exclusive thru 8/15|
|D||40||Jared Cowen||TOR||bought out|
Also, Alex Radulov is unexpectedly back from the KHL, signing with the Habs.
The Bruins have bought out the last 2 years of Dennis Seidenberg’s contract and signed Torey Krug for 4 more years.
Who’s left? Well, there’s a lot of players left, just noone we may care about. Here is what the folks at NHL.com have to say. (Note that Roman Polak has since been signed by the Maple Leafs and P-A Parenteau by the Isles).
Rumor has it that the Bruins are sniffing around Kris Russell.
The Bruins are a little thin at D (Having Chara, Liles, Krug, KevAn & McQuaid signed up, and having Colin Miller, Joe Morrow & Tommy Cross on the bubble).
Luke Schenn is available, as are Matt Bartkowski, Justin Schultz & Kyle Quincey.
My $.02 re: free agency:
Morning all! Great weekend! Three days of paddling my ass off. Much progress. Rolling in moving water is improving. Also, stepped up in a big way – eddy hopping or breaking down Zoar Gap. The toughest rapid on the Fife Brook section of the Deerfield. Usually, people are happy to get through upright. In preparation for tougher rivers my goal was top break down Zoar Gap. Stop in all the eddies and hang out in the middle of the Gap. Mission accomplished. I did it in my boat Sunday and in my buddy’s playboat yesterday. It’s much tougher in the playboat as you have to work your ass off to make it move. It ended with a nasty swim yesterday, but I was really happy with my progress. Also, had great food, lots of laughs with friends. Still no booze, no big thing.
Does Backes seem like a strange signing to anyone else? Umm, center is the Bs deepest position. Maybe Backes also plays D?
Oh yeah, and Florida is loading up!!
Backes also plays right wing.
A LW would be more helpful. Didn’t we have a pretty good one of those?
In fairness, the Bergeron line does need a RW pretty desperately. I feel like they haven’t had a consistent one since Recchi retired.
I agree that they might as well have spent on Loui if they were going to give that contract to Backes anyways.
Maybe the B’s offered 5 years to Loui but Loui wouldn’t budge on 6 years.
(Wow it’s puzzling that Loui chose Vancouver)
One rumor was Boston wouldn’t go above 4. Doesn’t make much sense in light of the Backes contract though.
That’s what I can’t figure out. I don’t give much credence to the concussion issues thing, either. Look what he did last season.
I get the concern over concussions in that another one could end his career. But there is LTIR for that (I know it’s not ideal).
We know Eriksson works in the system already. We have no idea how Backes will adapt. Eriksson is clearly the superior player AND is younger and his play style ages better.
I don’t want either of the two for the term they wanted/got but if forced between them I’d go Loui every time.
Perhaps they were already thinking about going after Backes (pursuing Neely’s — dubious but entertaining — dream of winning through toughness) and weren’t willing to have a boat-anchor contract on the books when they were going to negotiate another one that was also likely to be a boat-anchor?
You don’t like seeing the Bruins physically knock around their opponents?
FWIW, I frikking love it (physical hockey), but I am not so sure it is as effective at winning games as I would like it to be.
I’d rather see them win. Physicality is overrated, especially when it comes at the sacrifice of positioning as is so often the case.
I don’t think Backes is simply “winning through toughness”, as he’s defensively responsible and no slouch offensively, either.
So the question is, Backes or Pastrnak?
Well, if you play him with Krejci, you get a kind f bash borthers thing going on, like we had with Looch/Horton and Looch/Iginla. Also, you can play him with Bergy and Marshy and shut people down. The contract is a tad long but I think it gives us a ton of flexibility.
I don’t know if folks caught this one:
I don’t get it. The guy’s another Matt Irwin – a guy who has played ~10 games at the NHL level and doesn’t look so promising. I looked him up at HockeyDB (he didn’t have enough NHL games to bother with HockeyReference) and his +/- in the AHL over ~60 games was something like -34. I don’t think hockeydb has embraced fancystats, so that’s all the insight I got.
I know that +/- is a flawed stat, but even with it’s flaws, there’s a certain point where you have to look at it and admit it might indicate something (especially for D-men)
This is one of those points.
Exactly. And EVERY stat is flawed.
Has a page on reference but useless given 7 game sample.
His stats are odd… was a -34 last season but also put up 11-31-42 in 69 games for a team whose leading scorer was Craig Cunningham (22-24-46 in 61). Guy’s offensive numbers have been very good at AHL (43-131-174 in 323 games but that -34 was an aberration, even for his own team. Is -40 overall so really -6 outside that one season.
Cheap, two-way contract, probably spends the season in Providence and might get a call-up if someone gets hurt. Will probably clear waivers every time he’s called up or sent down unless he shows a bucketful of unexpected goodness.
See also: Brandon DeFazio last season. (no bucket)
The Bs need a Bucket Brigade! Right now their bucket’s got a hole in it.
Huh. It’s still really weird that Irwin never got another chance after those two bad games… which is interesting because he provided, like, ALL our scoring in the preseason.
Not that weird. Defensively he was not very good in preseason, and in those two games he was just horrible. If he had come back up, it would have been a race between Clode & Tuukka to see who would take his head off first.
Goals for wasn’t an issue in Boston, but goals against was a crisis. He would have been counterproductive for a team trying to find it’s identity on the blueline.
I’m going to finally ask: what happened in only 2 games that proved this kid had nothing? I missed the games, but everyone seems to have PTSD about his time.
He was a -5 in two games… -7 Corsi (22/29) and -13 Fenwick (14/27) despite starting 60% in OZone. All that in 25 minutes of ES.
Small sample but those numbers are BRUTAL
Admittedly, I watched zero preseason hockey
-34 in 69 games with the Springfield Falcons, a team that had a 26-24-3 record. The year before, he was -17 in 58 games with the 34-34-7 Binghamton Senators. He was a +1 in 19 games (also with Binghamton) in ’13-’14, when they went 44-24-3. (Also that year +3 in 2 games with Anaheim & +1 in 52 games with the 40-26-3 Norfolk Admirals.) So his +/- sucked on shitty teams and was OK on good ones, suggesting that his performance wasn’t the only factor contributing to his stats.
Yeah, but that -34 was the worst on his team. (I didn’t look at the previous years). Of course his +/- is going to vary with the skill of his team, but if he is the worst on the team, then it is probably him bringing down his teammates more than his teammates bringing him down.
To truly be fair about it, I’d have to adjust per total time on ice. But -34 is epic fail.
I just noticed I had a significant typo in there. The Falcons’ record last season wasn’t 26-24-3, it was was 26-42-3. That’s a lot more shitty play than can be accounted for by one guy.
Morning all. A wasp has taken my bathroom hostage so I wasn’t able to shower this morning and now my whole day is ruined. Hoping I can get SatanDad to kill the fucker.
I take it you’re allergic?
Yeah, so I don’t really want to take any chances.
Understandable. The wife is as well so I get sent out to deal with yellowjackets when they nest in the area.
I wish I had that reason. My wife hates bugs. I deal with all of them for nothing more than that reason.
This includes something as harmless as the occasional stray ant.
I put a soda bottle trap in there yesterday but the asshole is content on just lurking on the shower rod.
Sounds about par for a wasp. (I will never not post something like this):
You should buy some wasp spray. Kills those suckers quickly
Satan siblings? Allergic to things? NO WAY!
We just have to be difficult!
So currently me and one other co-worker are sitting in a training room across the street waiting for our training class to start. Supposed to start at 9 and we’re waiting on the instructor + 2 other people….. no idea when they’re coming
Take it this is today’s thread?
Morning all. Weekend and wedding were excellent. Didn’t blow my hand off, so that’s good. T-3 days left at my current company.
Here is your sigh of relief for today:
You know what I got out of this? That we should make a move for Reinhart.
I’ve been playing too much Overwatch lately, because this was my first thought when you said Reinhart:
Although, that might sure up the D-line pretty well…..
Works for me!
So has everyone accepted the reality that Boston is signing Russell? Have we all become resigned to our fate?
I refuse to accept it and will just rampage when it does
Don’t forget that when he does inevitably sign, he is getting an NTC at the very least if not an NMC…
We’re not signing Russell and we’re not trading Krejci (the other narrative I’m sick of).
You know we are. This is Don we are talking about.
The last two offseasons there have been three players that everyone joked about how badly they’d be overpaid and would then underplay the contract (Beleskey, Backes, Russell). Boston has now signed two of the three and is a rumored leader for the third.
[And regardless of what you think of Beleskey, that WAS the chatter leading up to last July 1. He took less than projected/expected so the optics aren’t nearly as bad but it doesn’t change the fact that Boston signed the guy the whole analytics community was laughing over]
Yes, people were chuckling. But you said yourself: he took less than projected. Beleskey was only supposed to be a laughing point because people thought he was gonna get PAID. The contract, I feel, shut most people up.
Eh. The chatter was 5/25 and he got 5/19. Not THAT dramatic a difference.
Fact still stands that Boston has signed the two biggest bugaboo UFAs the last two seasons…
Two thoughts: 1) That’s $1.2mil/yr difference. I’d call that a pretty good difference. That’s the difference between signing a key role/young player or letting them walk. 2) Given the fair deal and the fact that (regardless of what the score sheet says) Beleskey played well, so far I have a hard time calling him a bugaboo. Had we signed him 5/25 or higher and he was the bust everyone expected, I’d be singing a different tune.
He’s been one of our most consistent forwards – he’s looked great out there.
Man, you fucking love your Beleskey!
I love good hockey, he plays good hockey. I would love it if he showed up on the scoresheet more, but it’s not for lack of trying. If you’re watching the games, you’re seeing him make a difference out there on the regular.
Yay! He tries hard! Let’s give him a participation trophy now!
When the best praise you can give someone is that he tries hard it is not a good sign…
I expect a bit more for 3.8 than making a difference out there but not on the scoresheet… last I checked that is how games are ultimately won.
Normally I try not to get into the middle of these, but you’re going to criticize Beleskey but also claim the Smith trade was a mistake?
Not only did Smith disappear from the score sheet for great lengths at a time. He basically became a ghost. At least you actually know Beleskey is there. And starting next year, Beleskey is cheaper!
I’m not saying you have to like him. And you can sure as hell disagree with signing him. I don’t actually care about that. I’m just pointing out that you are panning one player while raising another with similar/worse issues.
My biggest complaint was people criticizing Smith as being overpaid while he outproduced the higher paid Beleskey who is deemed worth his pay. Just doesn’t make sense.
Smith has superior production while also having superior Corsi/Fenwick (both absolute and relative). But he was overpaid and Beleskey is not.
The funny bit is, Smith’s bad final year in Boston was still better than Beleskey’s first year in Boston…
He tries hard AND IS EFFECTIVE. That’s the difference. He creates room for his linemates and he wins battles. That’s important.
Stats say otherwise. His two most common linemates were Krejci and Spooner.
Spooner with him: 2.49/2.93/46.3
Spooner w/o him: 2.43/1.67/47.5
Krejci with him: 2.74/2.10/47.9
Krejci w/o him: 2.90/2.02/52.4
Not looking to good for Beleskey there when both of his centers perform better with him on the bench!
OK buddy, sure. You hate the guy, I get it, but enough is enough – we’re just going to have to agree to disagree and not bring it up every other day.
So the numbers lie now? You’re welcome to run them yourself… taken directly from https://puckalytics.com/superwowy.html
You know if the numbers went the other way you’d be heavily relying on them right now…
The same site shows both Kesler and Getzlaf performing better away from Beleskey than with him, though their TOI figures from 14-15 conflict with what BehindtheNet gives.
I don’t recall saying the numbers lie. I’m just tired of discussing it – you said below that you’re entitled to your opinion – so is everyone else.
So long as you recognize that the facts don’t support your opinion (creating room for linemates, being effective)…
Here’s the thing: numbers don’t lie, but numbers don’t tell the whole story, either. You can’t just cling to stats and expect that I’m going to throw my arms up and concede. There’s a reason both stats and the eye test are necessary.
And vice versa.
However, I trust numbers over eye test every time.
I trust both. And I certainly have pointed out that I would like to see more points out of him. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to be disappointed with him as a player.
Even though the stats indicate his ‘creating space’ is a myth? I’m not even talking his points, I’m talking team points.
He’s a borderline first line player, for under $4 million. That’s pretty good,
Carried by his centers, both of whom fared better without him than with him. He dragged down Eriksson the same way he did Spooner and Krejci.
Hell, the man dragged down HAYES! That’s how bad Beleskey was… when Hayes got away from him he was actually 50% GF (2.13/2.13 compared to 1.94/3.11 with him!)
Once more, with feeling: the offense wasn’t the problem last season.
As for Donny signing Russell long-term…we have 2 significant RFAs and a significant UFA looming. Russell doesn’t fit into any plan beyond 1 season. And again, we’re in the mix for Vesey.
If we’re looking to add another d-man, I say try for Tobias Enstrom, with Winnipeg retaining some salary.
When did I say the offense was a problem? Hell, when did I even imply it?
I’ve inferred it from your persistent harping on Beleskey. If I am in error, my apologies.
I don’t think he’s worth the contract, no. I think they’d have been better off keeping Smith (which I thought was a bad trade at the time).
Doesn’t mean I think the offense is the problem though, that clearly rests with the porous D. However, just because offense isn’t a problem it doesn’t mean some of the forwards can’t be problems in themselves.
Smith plays RW. Beleskey plays LW. Not the same. Also, Smith is being overpaid starting next season, maybe over a million more than Beleskey.
Here’s the thing:
The issue about signing Beleskey was that people thought he would be overpaid, not that he was a bad player.He’s being paid like a third liner, and he can play on any line we ice, and doesn’t look remotely out of place. He’s not overpaid, and it was a GOOD move. Shitting on Sweeney for the sake of shitting Sweeney at this point.
Just because you think it was a good move doesn’t make it fact. I am welcome to my own opinion after all…
Of course you are, and we’re welcome to ours.
I know you and I have been back & forth on the Krejci speculation quite a bit, but I do want to clarify that I advocate it in the terms of improving the defense. I know that pulling off said trade will be incredibly difficult with the contract, NMC and injury, and it’s more like 95% chance of not happening anyway. But it’s an option Sweeney should be exploring and significantly. Should it not happen, a center line of Krejci, Bergeron, Backes, Spooner will be absolutely BANGING
I don’t see that happening. You can’t have 6M Backes playing 3rd line minutes and you can’t waste Spooner’s offense on a 4th line with limited talent. It just makes no sense. Stunts Spooner’s growth and value while wasting Backes.
Backes should be on the wing while Spooner stays on the third line.
It won’t be all season like that, Backes’s contract has a lot to do with the versatility he brings
I see Backes as alternating between RW on the top 6 and 3C in special situations. Spoons does not excel at the wing, and is better than average 3C. With Stempniak & Loui gone, they will need at least one more top 6 winger with experience.
I agree with this sentiment. Just because he said he intends to play center, doesn’t mean that’s what management/coaching has in mind.
He’s also said that he expects – and looks forward to – spending some amount of time on wing.
Agreed. If they play him at C under normal circumstances they just won’t have any wingers. The only high-end winger would be Marchand at that point with a bunch of grinders. The Penguins approach for the 7 years prior to this
Yup. At first I thought it was weird, but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s a smart move, other than the term.
I don’t like the idea of trading Krejci because:
– we don’t have a problem at center
– not only that, we have excellent players at center
– trading Krejci creates a problem at center
– fixing a problem at center is notoriously difficult
– we have a wave of young defensemen coming in 2017 anyway
Does it create a problem at center? They’d just go from Krejci/Bergeron/Spooner to Bergeron/Backes/Spooner. If anything, trading Krejci creates a problem on the wing, not at center.
It certainly a downgrade at center, and one that presumably gets even worse as Backes suffers from age-related decline and injury trouble. And yeah, if Backes moves to C then we have an RW problem again.
But Krejci has a full NMC through 2019 so we can stop talking about it.
In fairness, Krejci is due for the same age-related decline. His play style does age better but he is still exiting his prime.
True, though he’s 2 years younger than Backes.
Yes, but only ~50 fewer NHL games on his body and has had far more injuries over the course of his career.