Archive for Scouting The Market
Our next victim for Scouting The Market? Zbynek Michalek
Zbynek Michalek is a 27 year old defense man who has played the past couple years in Phoenix. A very consistent, durable blueliner, Michalek is a shot blocking demon, leading the league in 08-09 and always near the top. A good positional defenseman, he’s not going to make too many mistakes, but he’s not going to be a real crease clearing presence in the front of the net either. He has offensive skills, and while it’s dwindled the past couple of seasons, a lot of that is due to playing with Ed Jovanovski, who is an offensive threat and defensive liability.
Michalek is not the most physical guy, but he gets the job done with solid positioning and good stick work. He’s not afraid to block a shot and sacrifice his body. Michalek made $1.5 million last year. You can probably expect an increase to $2.5-3 million a year.
Obviously, signing any defenseman limits the ability for the youngsters to play. Assuming they re-sign Staal and Girardi, the D-pairs would look something like this:
The best thing to do is to buy out Redden, and try to trade Rosival (which may be easier than you think, considering how well he played down the stretch last year). If they can’t do that, and if they sign a defenseman like Michalek, guys like Gilroy and Sanguinetti can’t play. It’s a downside.
That said, what do you think of Michalek? Worth the price of admission? Worth blocking some of the youngsters? Let us know in the comments.
Up next in our wildly popular series, Scouting The Market, is Pavol Demitra.
Pavol Demitra is a 35 year old center who played last season with Vancouver Canucks. The Slovak is said to be good friends with Marian Gaborik, and they have good chemistry when they were in teammates in Minnesota. Demitra had injury issues last year, only scoring 3 goals in 28 games, but in 2008-2009 , Demitra put up a line of 20-33-53, in 69 games. Demitra also was the points leader in the 2010 Olympics, with 10. Health is an issue, and he’s getting up there in age.
He’s not the scorer he once was and he’s not going to offer much defensively, but Demitra can still put up numbers, and ride shotgun to Gaborik in the process. He’s only a candidate for a one year deal. He made $4 million last year, and I don’t think he’ll make that next year. More like 1.5-2 million.
With Demitra (and assuming no other additions) the lines would look something like this:
What do you think of Demitra? Is he worth replacing Prospal?
Up next in our tremendously exciting series, Scouting The Market, is Anton Volchenkov
Anton Volchenkov is a rugged, hard-nosed, shot-blocking, crease-clearing defenseman, who has played the past couple of years with the Senators. The 28 year old is not offensive at all; his career high in goals is 4. But, he is exactly the crease clearing, physical presence the Rangers need.
Since the lockout, Volchenkov has blocked 1,023 shots. 1,023! In Ottawa’s six game series against Pittsburgh, Volchenkov blocked 32 shots. Volchenkov’s disregard for his body gets him injured a lot, playing in no more than 68 games the past 3 years. He blocks shots, but he, and the team, have to pay a price.
Volchenkov is not going to offer any offense. But, he’s a shutdown defenseman, who rarely takes penalties, and is really physical (152 hits in 09-10). You can live with the injuries because, when healthy, he stifles opponents.
Volchenkov made $3.2 million last year. He’s going to be asking for at least $5 million, maybe more. If you buyout Redden, you can replace him with Volchenkov and his salary. In all likelihood, Volchenkov will make less than Redden.
So, a couple of questions. Does Volchenkov’s ability to block shots and be physical outweigh his considerable durability injuries? And he is worth upwards of $5 million? Let us know in the comments.
This is the first of a new installment we like to call: Scouting The Market. In it, we discuss which potential free agents could pique the Rangers interest. First up: Tomas Plekanec.
Tomas Plekanec is a 28 year old center, currently skating for the Canadiens. Born in the same town as Jaromir Jagr, Plekanec put up great numbers this year, with a final line of 25-45-70. With 20 plus goals in all of his full seasons in the league, Plekanec has established himself as a top-notch scorer. His assists aren’t consistent, ranging anywhere from 19 to 45. 2008-2009 was his worst year, putting together only 19 assists, while playing in all but two games. He’s a scorer, and he would certainly take pressure off of Marian Gaborik. He’s also sound defensively, and plays on the PK. His assists totals would probably increase centering Gaborik.
Does he fit financially? I plugged in the numbers to CapGeek, and here’s what I came up with:
Marian Gaborik — $7,500,000 Chris Drury — $7,050,000 * Tomas Plekanec — $4,500,000 Ryan Callahan — $2,300,000 Sean Avery — $1,937,500 Brandon Dubinsky — $1,850,000 Artem Anisimov — $821,666 * Erik Christensen — $750,000 * Jody Shelley — $725,000 Dale Weise ($80,000) $700,000 Brian Boyle — $525,000 * Brandon Prust — $500,000 DEFENSEMEN Michal Rozsival — $5,000,000 * Marc Staal — $2,500,000 * Daniel Girardi — $1,750,000 Matt Gilroy — $1,750,000 Michael Del Zotto ($212,500) $1,087,500 Bobby Sanguinetti — $855,000 GOALTENDERS Henrik Lundqvist — $6,875,000 Chad Johnson ($170,000) $850,000 BUYOUTS NONE LOST VIA REENTRY WAIVERS NONE CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS ROSTER SIZE 20 SALARY CAP $56,800,000 PAYROLL $49,826,666 BONUSES $462,500 CAP SPACE $7,435,834
I bought out Redden and Voros, added Sanguinetti to the D, gave an increase to Staal and Girardi, let Prospal go, and put Dale Weise on the team. Of course, with almost 7.5 million to play with, they can add another couple of scorers.
For fun’s sake, here’s what the lines could look like, if the only addition was Plekanec:
Anisimov’s probably not a third line center, but that line was so good last year that I had to put him there. What do you think of Plekanec? Is he worth probably 4.5, maybe 5 million? How long would you sign him for? Let us know in the comments.