My Two Cents for July 30th:
Nashville Matches Philly’s Offer Sheet for Shea Weber- The Nashville Predators this week and much to their credit made franchise history. The Predators did something that nobody through they would ever do. When the Philadephia Flyers extended a $110 million 14-year offer sheet to Shea Weber, it seemed almost certain that Weber was heading for the City of Brotherly Love. Not so fast. The Predators took the time to assess the situation and likely how devastating the loss of Weber would be on the heals of just having lost Ryan Suter in free agency three weeks ago. The Predators took care of their business and in doing so may have saved the credibility of the franchise in the eyes of their fanbase by matching dollar for dollar the Flyers offer. The Predators inked Weber to an extension that is good for the next 14 years at a cool $110 million. This means baring any trade in the future Weber will likely be playing for the rest of his career in the Music City.
The news of this was good for a lot of reasons. The Predators have been one franchise that has always been plagued with player defections via the free agent market. Though Nashville may be considered by some to be a small market team, the core fan base there is arguably as strong as any other team’s fanbase. The Predators have only had one coach throughout their entire franchise existence, Barry Trots who came on board when the Predators did to the NHL back in 1998. Nashville has had a hard time keeping a roster of players in the fold. If the Predators had been able to do so otherwise, who knows, Music City could have even had a Stanley Cup by now. In order to maintain a fanbase which has dealt with it’s share of post season failures (which we as Sharks fans are all too familiar with) and off season free agency defections, it was clear the Predators had to do something here and they stepped up to the plate and did so much to their credit. Is $110 million over 14 years a lot for one player? In a word, yes it is. However, this may be been just as much of a move to keep a franchise player on board as it was to keep a fanbase hopeful that their franchise is doing all it can to be a contender year in and year out. In effect, this was a franchise saving move in as much as anything.
As for the Flyers, they will be fine without Weber and will have the money necessary to retain other key players in their fold (i.e. Claude Giroux, who’s contract still has two years remaining). Nashville without Weber would not be nearly as well as they have seen too many players leave them and one notable burn them twice over (Alexander Radulov). Captain Weber, along with Mike Fisher, Paul Gaustad will help to make the Preds a viable force in the Western Conference certainly for this upcoming season and many seasons to follow. Also, as far as Radulov goes, I say to Nashville just retain his rights for about ten more years when he is no longer a viable player and tell him to just enjoy the KHL. For Nashville, this was a win win despite the money.
Rick Nash Lands in Broadway- Rick Nash formally became “Broadway Rick” this past week as the Columbus Blue Jackets ended the suspense of the Nash Sweepstakes, trading their star player the the New York Rangers in exchange for Brandon Dubinski, Artem Anisimov and Tim Erixon. No longer do the Sharks fans have to worry about losing Logan Couture or Joe Pavelski to the Blue Jackets as the suspense ends. Could the Sharks have used Nash? To quote Curly, “Certainly!” However, the Sharks because of other deals made over the last few seasons no longer have the stock in the farm system to give Columbus what they would have wanted to get Nash. Devon Setoguchi was traded last year, and Jamie McGinn was dealt at the trade deadline at the end of this past February. Nash however will be a good fit in New York as he rounds out what already is a fairly solid team to begin with, and a team that had the capital to make this trade without damaging it’s core.
With the acquisition of Nash, the NY Rangers will be a strong favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference this coming season. Certainly though, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington will have a thing or two to say about that. The Eastern Conference will be even more intriguing this season then in years past and likely a lot more competitive. Nash has the luxury of being surrounded by a good team and though much will be expected of him, he won’t necessary have to be “the guy” every time either. As for Columbus, they get three solid battle tested players that Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson wanted. I don’t think this makes the Blue Jackets a playoff team, but they will be a team that will at least put up a good, decent fight night in and out.
Have $30 Million Dollars to Spend? Call Shane Doan, Now! Operators Are Standing By- If you have $30 million lying around in your sofa cushions and just cannot figure out what you want to do with it, break off a call to Shane Doan. For $30 Million plus a four year commitment, Doan will bolt the Valley of the Sun in Phoenix and lace ‘em up for your team (providing ofcourse that he views them as a viable Stanley Cup Contender). For $30 Million, Doan will bring veteran leadership to your team and be an effective right wing. He plays hard, he plays well, and is as loyal a player as you can have considering he’s only played for one other franchise for his entire 17 year career. Doan has been a Captain, a leader and a mentor to younger players. He has a hockey sense and acumen that is seldom matched. If your concerned about your salary cap hit, $30 Million over 4 years considering what some other players are getting isn’t that far fetched really. It comes down to $7.5 million a season. Doan probably goes to H&R Block too during the income tax season, so not to worry there either.
Do the Sharks make a play for Doan? I do not know, but if I had to guess just consider how active they were in the free agent market after they signed Adam Burrish. That should be a strong hint if the chirping crickets weren’t. I will say this, If the Sharks were not going to sign him (and I don’t think they will), I’m just hoping he either stays in Phoenix or goes to the Eastern Conference. Honestly, anywhere but Detroit, Dallas, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Chicago, St. Louis or Anaheim. If the Sharks can convince Doan to do this same deal over five years, they may be able to pull it off and fit it in their cap space. Otherwise, just hope Doan goes somewhere in the Eastern Conference.
Incidentally, per NHL.com here is a list of free agents that are still available…(maybe someone can copy this this list and fax it over to DW, I don’t have a fax machine)…
Please Ignore the Joe Thornton to NY Rangers Rumors- I saw this earlier today too and thought it was just plain ridiculous. The only genesis for this rumor came from the fact that Rick Nash was just traded there and that he supposedly wants Jumbo Joe to join him. I’m sure Thonrton would be flattered, but I don’t think the deal will happen for several reasons or at least for the next two seasons. First off, NY Rangers coach John Tortorella apparently does not care much for Thornton to begin with as strongly intimated after the Sharks played back in New York last November. The only way Thornton will be on the same ice with the NY Rangers is when the Sharks play the Rangers, which incidentally will happen at the regular season home opener on October 15th.
Now, if the Sharks start to fall apart as a team either during this season or next season when a number of contracts will start to come up for team teal, maybe then there lies a possibility of such a deal. Even then, all of that is mere speculation and a long shot of a chance at best. Doug Wilson has pledged to do all he can to keep a competitive team on the ice and I cannot see where DW trades Thornton unless there is one heck of a significant package that would be coming back the Sharks way. Also, Thornton probably knows that if he were dealt to the Rangers, Tortorella would probably take “Slappy” away and toss him into a fire pit…something that probably should happen anyways. That would be a great motivator for the Sharks tough too. Pregame report Slappy is kidnapped, and then there is a screen shot of Tortorella as he laughs out loudly. Then without warning Torts’ tosses Slappy into a fire pit. The crowd at HP Pavillion would go wild. Maybe this is the kind of motivation the Sharks need for the coming season. Ofcourse, Tortorella would also become an accidental hero here too.
CBA Update- The ongoing negotiations between the owners and the NHLPA continue as both parties to try and seek a resolution before the September 15th deadline. The latest proposal is an expansion of the opening proposal which was delivered to the players union on July 13th. The terms of the original proposal were decreased share of hockey revenues from 57 to 46 percent. The proposal also specified term limits on contracts and a rollback of players salaries by as much as 22 percent. This leads one to think that if the league is doing so well, then why are trying to cut back and hockey related revenues. I can understand term limits and keeping salaries competitive so the NHL does not have just two or three dominant teams while the other 27 become bottom feeders. If you can get the players to drop from 57 to say 52 or even 53 percent, you’ll probably be able to hammer out an agreement a lot faster. These are not the only sticking points ofcourse, but they seem to be the main ones.
Whatever happens, the sooner they nail down an agreement the better. I feel if Commissioner Gary Bettman really wants to get the players back on the ice and do so for the fans as he says he does, then don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Do not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. The game has survived one work stoppage and the loss of the entire 2004-05 season. The odds of the league surviving any damage after another work stoppage when it shut down once before are not very good. The economy is bad, and people are become way more frugal with their money. Hockey fans will always be hockey fans, but there are many more that will not be as sympathetic. Just settle this CBA deal already, but please Mr Bettman, please be smart about it this time. Most Hockey fans haven’t forgotten the first lockout even if they have forgiven it. Don’t ask them to forgive the next time, that’s not going to happen.
Aurora Update- Monday (7/30) in Arapahoe County Superior Court in Aurora, Colorado, that Idiot Shooter (who’s name I won’t use out of respect for the victims) was formerly charged with 12 counts of first degree murder and 58 counts of attempted murder, plus firearms violations and being illegally in the possession of explosive devices. These charges stem from this idiot’s murderous rampage at the Aurora Century 16 theater in the early morning hours of July 20th, during the premier showing of the latest Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises”. Under Colorado law, because of deliberate, premeditated, random viciousness and wanton actions of the accused who was laying in wait, the charges are automatically doubled. So in effect, this idiot for his odious deeds faces 24 counts of murder and 116 counts of attempted murder. Enough about this psychopath until his justice is served, and severed cold. For more on the hearing, go to this link (via KUSA-TV in Denver):
Update on Victims- As for the victims, some have been discharged from area hospitals while others remain. Many of the injured were visited by members of the Denver Broncos football team before the team started training camp, and also by members of the Colorado Rockies baseball team after they returned from a road trip. Actor Christian Bale, the main star of the new Batman movie visited the victims and the memorial set up across the street from the theater where the mass shooting happened. He wanted absolutely no publicity for the visit, which was the right thing to do. Many of those who were killed have been laid to rest over the past week. Jessica (Redfield) Ghawi, a promising young sports journalist was amongst those who were killed in this horrible tragedy. Her services were held this past Saturday in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas.
In Ms Ghawi’s honor, a foundation called the Jessica Redfield Ghawi Foundation has been established. The goal of the foundation is to start the Official Jessica Redfield Sports Journalism Scholarship Fund. The idea is to establish a scholarship fund to make it possible for other young and upcoming sports journalist to pursue their dreams and passion just as Ms Ghawi did. For more information, please go to:
http://www.indiegogo.com/OfficialJessicaRedfieldFund or you can follow on Twitter at @JRGFoundation… It’s a good cause and a good way to honor a young woman who had a dream, and tragically her life taken away long before her time. I will be posting this website and twitter address in all of my future postings albiet “My Two Cents” columns or Sharks post game recaps. It’s the least we can all do…
…just my two cents…
The King Shark
Blades of Teal: The Final Word On San Jose Sharks Hockey
The Jessica Redfield Ghawi Foundation:
PS: *The opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not reflect on any other staff member’s opinions with Blades Of Teal, Fansided or their websites themselves… The King Shark…