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04-20-2004, 06:54 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: cookeville,tn
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Originally Posted by dulzhok
This is going to be an interesting off-season. The GMs should have the upper hand in negoiations. Most "average" free agents (ie Bombardir, York, Johansson-types) probably won't receive any offers until after a new CBA is signed. Most RFAs will only get qualifying offers, and then will have to wait until new CBA is signed before GMs are willing to offer them anymore.

Poile doesn't need to rush into anything and give contracts like he did with Legwand and Arkhipov last year.

York-- wants to stay, but should be gone.
Bombardir-- wants to stay, but we need an upgrade.
Johansson-- wants to stay and should at similar price tag. Probably won't be signed until after the CBA is settled. Could lose him to Sweden if there's any length of lockout.
Johnson-- is he a UFA? If so, I say we move on. If not, I'm sure Poile will keep him.
Murray-- he's done. Sad.
Zholtok-- gone.

Average RFAs:

Allison-- I'm guessing he's in the Predators organization next year, on a two-way contract again. I wouldn't mind having him in a depth position, but certainly not a top 6 guy. Action: No qualifying offer, sign to depth position after CBA is signed.

Stevenson-- No qualifying offer, sign to 500K contract after CBA is signed.

Mason: It depends on Finley. Is Finley wavier eligible next year? If so, the backup job is Finleys. If not, Mase should be back while Finley is the full-time starter in Milwaukee.

Above-average RFAs:

Sullivan: Poile says "he's going to be here next year." Not good PR when you're trying to negoiate a contract. Honestly, I say we should attempt to sign him below the qualifying offer at approx 2.5m/yr for 3 years. 3.0m/yr at most. The guy is good, but he's not a bonafide all-star. If arbitration gives him a big deal, we HAVE to walk away and hope to sign him a lower price via UFA.

Orszagh: qualify him, maybe lock him up long term if he does it a resonaable amount (no more than million).

Harntell: qualifying offer, unless he wants a long-term deal at a similar price. Make him prove himself. Don't make the mistake we made with Legwand and Arkhipov last year.

Erat: this guy is a keeper and there's really not much question to it. Try to get him locked up long-term if possible. 1.0-1.2m.

Zidlicky: this one could get ugly. Qualify him and wait for the CBA. He still has much to prove before becoming a quality, reliable NHL defenseman. I wouldn't pay him much more than million at this point. It would be nice if we could get him locked up for a few years at that price.

Eaton: We might have a good chance to get him locked up long-term at a reasonable deal, like we did with Skrastins last year (and blew it). 3 years, 1.0- 1.2m.

Hnidy: 1 year qualifying offer.

Vokoun: another one that could get ugly. We were in a similar position with Dunham a few years ago.... he had a great year, we paid him 3 million+, and then his fortunes changed. Thankfully, New York was dumb enough to take him off our hands. It takes more than a year or two to establish yourself as a bonafide starter in the NHL. Make Vokoun prove himself for a couple of years before giving him BIG money. No more than 2 million. His stats are pretty average, so he doesn't have much bargaining power other than the all-star game and win column.

Other guys:

Legwand: You know my opinion on him. If we can get something good, pull the trigger on this guy. The contract we gave him last year could totally skew things up with Erat, Hartnell, Orszagh, and any other young player that gets around 18 goals.

Arkhipov: His value isn't more than a 3rd rounder. There's a possiblity that no one will be willing to take his contract (1.2m next year, 1.4m the next). I still think he has it in him to become a bonafide scoringline line NHL player. He could be a good reclaimation project for somebody, even for us.

McKenzie: might be useful if Tootoo is in Milwaukee next year. Maybe expose him in the wavier draft.

Under contract and should keep: Hall, Hamhuis, Timonen
Sorry but would rather have Legwand over Arkhipov any day.

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