Friday Musings: Wideman, Crosby, Schultz, and the cap

June 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.


  1. Rob sahm says:

    Wow quick got 60 mill just imagine what henrik is gonna be worth when his contract is up

    • Chris says:

      Not more, a cup+conn smythe outweigh a Vezina.

      • evan says:

        Was discussing the issue of Henriks contract with a friend last night. There are rumors that owners are asking for a cap on years in contracts. This could be bad news for the rangers cause say they cap it at 6 years, henrik would then ask for a lot. Especially cause he will be 32 when his next contract is up. If there is no limit i feel a 9 year 60 million will happen to keep the cap hit below 7 million. But if say a 6 year limit is imposed, henrik will probably want a 6 year 54 since it is his last big pay day. Will be interesting to see what happens.

  2. Blueblood Blueline says:

    Why would Schultz and MDZ need to fight for PP spot? Leetch and Zubov were ok on the same PP unit. The Rangers surely will not sign Schultz if he truly wants a spot given to him. The team culture would not allow for it…players or coaching staff. Not sure whether his demanding of a spot is legit either but surely in his position it would be negligent not to have opportunity be part of the criteria.

    • Dave says:

      Richards is the other point man on the first unit.

      • Scully says:

        But who says Richards needs to be. I completely agree with the “why would we need to trade Del Zotto just because we sign Schultz” logic… it makes no sense unless it’s for someone like a Bobby Ryan and even then that’s not necessarily a given that that’s a good trade. I could easily see both Mcd and Del Zotto having 50pt seasons this year. They’re both 15G 35A guys waiting to happen.

        • Dave says:

          It was one of the reasons they signed him. He plays point on the PP.

          • evan says:

            I am one of the people who believes MDZ becomes expendable if we do rope in Schultz, simply because of our defensive depth. We will be able to sign MDZ to a reasonable extension this summer, but if we also acquire schultz we will have an incredible amount of depth at defense. The bottom line, as i have said in past posts, is that we need offense. If we acquire schultz and someone comes asking for MDZ or Erixon or Mcilrath to acquire a top level scorer, I am all for it.

            • Dave says:

              The issue isn’t dealing MDZ to acquire a scorer, it’s that a lot of people are just stating “trade MDZ once we get Schultz.”

              It makes it seem like people are saying trade him just because they can.

      • freewheeler says:

        He shouldn’t be. Nor should MDZ or Stepan.

  3. Walt says:

    Schultz would be a nice addition, but not at the cost of disrupting the chesmisty, and unity of the team. He has to understand that one earns a spot, not have it handed to him. Should he sign with us, Torts will give him a real shot at a position, and all will respect him for earning it.

    With that stated, I think he is using the Rangers as a tool to get the maximum from the team that he signs with. Hay if that is the case, this kid is smart, and using the five teams interested in him as a string fiddle.

    I just hope that McD can sway his thought process, and he does indeed sign with the NYR!

  4. Jeff P says:

    The fact that cap is $70 mil today is meaningless. I don’t understand why GMs are rushing to sign their stars. I think it’s obvious that 50-50 revenue splits are going the way of the dodo bird in professional sports. I expect at least 52-48 split in favor of the owners (lower cap) and some kind of salary rollback when CBA is done.

    • Justin says:

      Don’t forget though Jeff, that Donald Fehr is now in charge of the player’s union. He ran the most powerful player’s union in pro sports over at MLB, so I think the players won’t be getting gouged the way they did at the lock-out.

    • Dave says:

      Right now it’s 57-43 in favor of the players. There’s no way it’s going to a 52-48 split for the owners for the next CBA. Maybe 52-48 for the players.

  5. wwpd says:

    I’d say it the other way around. From a hockey standpoint this is a great contract, you get your franchise star and #1 player in hockey on a long term deal at a fair price, and if he is forced to retire from injury his salary comes off the cap (unless the new CBA changes this but I can’t see that happening).

    From a business standpoint more risky than it seems. If Sid is knocked out of hockey by the next hard hit he takes, organization is on the hook for a decent chunk of that contract still if it was not fully insurable, yet the cash cow dries up. That’s a lot of dough to potentially sink into thin air even for a guy with pockets as deep as Burkle. I wonder how it is they got comfortable with that risk.