Friday Musings: Wideman, Crosby, Schultz, and the capJune 29, 2012, by
The musings are a day late today, but that’s only because all of the big news happened yesterday. Don’t blame us, blame everyone else for not making all this stuff happen before Thursday. I swear, everyone else is to blame, not us!
So Sidney Crosby gets $104.4 million over 12 years. From a hockey standpoint, that is a very risky contract. Crosby has had significant concussion issues, and could be one poorly placed hit away from early retirement. From a business standpoint, it’s a savvy investment in the face of the franchise. For an average of $8.7 million per season, the Pens get to keep their boy in Pittsburgh and reap the marketing benefits of having him there. They make more off him than he does off them, that’s for sure.
Sticking with the Pens, it’s assuming that Evgeni Malkin will sign a similar deal. With their two top stars locked down, 18 players under contract, and oodles of cap room (~$14 million), the Pens are poised to make runs at both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. The scary part: They can afford them too.
Even scarier than the Pens signing both Parise and Suter: Calgary GM Jay Feaster trading for Dennis Wideman, then signing him to a deal worth $5.25 million a season. You have to wonder though, at some point the GMs around the league must dismiss what Calgary does from market value. At this rate, Carlo Colaiacovo will be getting $5 million a year. It’s getting to the point where you need to calculate market value without Calgary, then add them in to see how much it gets skewed.
So apparently the Rangers are one of five teams in on Justin Schultz, and the only American team still in the running. That Wisconsin connection with Derek Stepan and Ryan McDonagh sure does mean a lot I guess.
Speaking of Schultz, it’s rumored that he wants guaranteed playing time. No GM is going to do that, no one gets guaranteed time. He will be guaranteed a long look at camp. Even Ryan McDonagh needed two months in the AHL before he was ready.
One last bit about Schultz: Remember that prospects are not a given. The last UFA defenseman that was hyped was Matt Gilroy. If that doesn’t sway you, then the last high draft pick that forced his way off his drafting club was Tim Erixon. Everyone thought Erixon was NHL ready, but he played almost the entire year in the AHL. When it comes to prospects, nothing is a given. Period.
What I don’t get is why fans are insistent on trading Michael Del Zotto if the Rangers sign Schultz. Sure, if you can package him for Bobby Ryan (just say NO to Rick Nash), then you do it, but you don’t trade someone just to trade him. There’s nothing wrong with having both Schultz and MDZ fighting for that top powerplay spot.
The salary cap ceiling next season will be $70.2 million, and the cap floor is set to $54.2 million (pending a new CBA of course). Seven teams finished under the cap floor this season (NYI, COL, DAL, CAR, OTT, WPG, NSH), and a whopping 20 teams are currently under that number. You think last year was bad with the contracts given out? Just wait until Sunday. Of course, it’ll be even more interesting in September when a new CBA is signed. Makes you wonder if there are going to be grandfathered contracts.