No worries. (1) There is a l-o-n-g time before next season, so a lot of things can change; and (2) Even with Wennberg on the roster, at this point we still have at least $19.342M in cap space heading in to next season (and probably more), which should give the CBJ plenty of room to sign all three of the RFAs you mention. And that's assuming Dubinsky adequately states his case over the next eight months for not getting bought out.
I don't see Hannikainen as quite the lock to be in Columbus that this write up implies. As a result, I think it is possible two of the players on this list could have a wide open opportunity to earn significant playing time in Columbus.
All true and I get that the longer term was going to yield a higher AAV because Provorov was giving up UFA years.
Since I don't live in the Philadelphia market, I really haven't had the opportunity to watch Provorov much. Many commentators that have pointed out that Ivan has way more holes in his game than that either Z or McAvoy. in fact, he slid backwards this past season in a number of statistical categories. I realize that these contract decisions are a calculated risk by both GMs and agents based on a number of unknowable variables, but given Provorov's uneven performance, I just believe longer term and the higher cost makes this a much riskier deal for Philadelphia.
I hope PhillyBuckeye 27 will weigh in with his perspective since he lives in that market.
Focusing on the high potential RFA defensemen that have signed in the last week, Proporov seems to be the outlier. McAvoy and Werenski are fairly comparable contracts ($4,9M AAV vs $5M AAV) and (from what I have read) Proporov has more question marks in his game than either of the other two, so it looks like the Flyers might have overpaid.
Fun fact: At this point in his career, McAvoy has played an average of only about 59 games a season compared to Ryan Murray, who has averaged 53 games per season. So, yeah, GM Jarmo did well on this deal and to his credit, Zach set himself up to do very well on his next contract if his game continues to grow.
I read a credible source (Elliott Friedman, I think) that the CBJ did offer $8M x 8 years. Matt ultimately accepted $8M for 7 years to join Nashville. The only part of this that stings a bit is that Duchene accepted $8M less to go to Nashville, so it's pretty clear that is where he wanted to be. I don't know that $500,000/year more would have made a difference.
I appreciate his comments and his departure was certainly different than Adam Foote or Jeff Carter, both of whom I will boo forever. He earned the right under the CBA to become an Unrestricted FA, so if he wants to tee up his post hockey life in Nashville, that just makes sense.
I've said it before -- if we don't convert one or two of the defensive players on this list (not named Jones or Werenski)) for a solid top six forward, we have missed a real opportunity to get better. I do believe a window of opportunity will open up when some of the RFAs sign, forcing the trade of some pretty dynamic offensive talents so current teams can get under the salary cap.
The fact we are even considering the Captain for the top line tells you all you need to know about just how important it will be to turn defensive depth into offensive talent. As a bonus, the CBJ have cap space to take on salary if that is what it takes to make the team better.
I do understand that the expansion draft is two seasons away, not just one. In my view however if AW can't get some of his mojo back in the 2019-20 season, his trade value will be next to zero anyway. You could be right about a 5th round pick, but I just don't see any team taking on that salary for a player with zero even strength goals. If we lose Wennberg to a waiver claim, at least the $4.9M will be off the CBJ salary cap.
I'm glad Tex had a strong game at the prospects camp, but if you recorded the CBJ playoff games from this past spring go back & watch his play against the Bruins before you jump on the hype train and give him a mission critical role at 2C
If he doesn't hit 50 points...say 10 to 15 goals and 35 to 40 assists, the CBJ have to move on. I agree however that with another sub par year is trade value is zilch; and I don't think we can count on the expansion draft to bail us out unless we are also willing to send along a first round draft pick as a sweetener like we did with the LVGK. That leaves a next buyout next summer. If some of the youngsters step up this season however it is possible the team will put him on waivers and send him to Cleveland.
This is WAY early...I promise to not jump on the hype train...but this is an example of why there is still room for optimism this year.
Same with Bemstrom, Gavrikov and VV. If they are ready they will get a good look in Columbus.
Well said Matt.
I don't disagree with your premise that the CBJ have not done well with first round picks. If we are evaluating successful first round draft picks however, I would add Ryan Johansen (who was turned into Seth Jones) plus Jakob Voracek & Derrick Brassard (they were good picks; it wasn't their fault they were shipped off in poor trades). I could also make an argument to include Rusty Klesla as a good use of a first round pick. He was a quality pick that McClain just rushed too fast to the NHL.
It's good to see Seth get the recognition; he has earned it. Today he gets my vote for the MVP on this roster. He will need to stay healthy and have a very good year to pull this group back to the playoffs
After a disappointing 2018-19, I hope Nash can gravitate back toward the mean on his statistical contributions. There will be plenty of slack the players on this year's roster will need to pick up if the CBJ are to make it back to the playoffs.
This is just more disrespect for a non-traditional hockey market. I think Canadian hockey fans still resent the fact that Columbus and Nashville have NHL teams and small Canadian towns like Saskatoon and Quebec City don't. On a positive note, Torts will no doubt post those rankings on the locker room bulletin board, which should be a constant reminder how hard the team will have to work this season.
Gustav is a solid pick up and will be a great fit. There will be plenty of opportunities for young players to step up and contribute but I still believe GM Jarmo needs to pick up one more top six player, preferably a center.
Thanks for the information on the younger players in the CBJ pipeline! I appreciate the updates and look forward to the next couple of installments.
Three years sounds like a great deal for everyone plus it will be after both the next TV deal and the next collective bargaining agreement. From a fan's perspective, the only downside to three years for Zach is that both Jones and Werenski will be negotiating for a new contract at the same time. I know that no deal will be perfect for all concerned, but after the off season we just had I'm a bit gun shy. At least by 2022 it will be post-expansion and by then an expensive contract or two will be off the books.
Press is now reporting $5M+ for three years for ZW. That would make sense for both sides. Zach has earned a nice raise and it gives him another window to see if Jarmo can surround our young stars with more talent to make an even longer run in the playoffs before he commits long term. He may also earn an even bigger payday.
From the team's perspective, it is affordable, provides a little space when Josh & PLD come due next summer and the next time around for Zach, Dubinsky's cap hit will be off the books.
Matt is right; it's way too easy to project the rest of the Metro as better than they actually are. I agree the Metro will be a wide open dog fight this year.
That said, I'm a little disappointed that GM Jarmo hasn't yet managed to get another top six forward (like Gusev) into the fold via trade. The optimist in me is hoping that there will be another good opportunity when RFAs sign with their teams that are already hard up against the cap. For example, Nylander might be available for a fair price when Marner signs in Toronto or Roslovic might be available when Laine and Conner sign with the Jets.
I also think there are a number of teams that desperately need defense and should be willing to send a young scoring threat to Columbus for one of our defensemen NOT named Werenski or Jones.
I wonder how fans of the TBL rate our front office. HA. Columbus will not get respect of the hockey world until our boys absolutely kick the door down, so the results will always be a bit skewed toward the negative. The front office was dealt a pretty rough hand by the two former players from Russia, and our leadership played it as best they could.
Perhaps his agent priced him out of the market, especially as it relates to term. One of the unfortunate byproducts of RFAs wanting to score their big money with their first post - ELC contract is that GMs are getting evermore reluctant to pass out long term contracts for players that are getting close to 30 and are merely good but not proven superstars.
I agree 100% with OWSH.