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03-31-2010, 08:02 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
Originally Posted by
If these players develop and earn their contracts then there can be little problem with the contract. They become at least good trade bait.
If they don't and stay on as minor leaguers then they are not drag on the cap.
Really it is not a question of whether to get into the bidding for undrafted NCAA players as it is a matter of doing this correctly. If you identify the right players (and these guys are older so it is not like the guesswork necessary for the entry draft of 18 year olds) then you can very much improve the team and overall organization.
If you look at Anahiem they have Sexton (one of the best players taken last year) back next year at cap figure of 575,000 + .175 bonus). If he continues his development they have potential top 6 player at a huge bargain. Toronto has Bozek back at an excellent price if you see him as #1 center
The Canucks, according to Gillis, are making a firm commitment to signing these college players and so they should. However, to date, they have not done a good job in this area. They tried and failed to sign the main college players last year and ended up with very little. Walsky was a total wash out and Oberg is very suspect.(I saw him tonight and have watched him all year and he is a very fringe prospect). This year they have signed only the very lightly regarded Volpatti. The main players that have been repeatedly recognized, like Butler, are going elsewhere.
In the end whether the salaries are inflated or otherwise you need to be in this market. Just like mistakes in signing drafted players like Ellington, they can play out their contracts at a lower level without significant impact to the team.
If I'm Gillis I am not asking whether we should be looking to sign NCAA prospects, but instead do we have the right people in position to to use this avenue of improvement for the team. At this point, it looks like we need people who can better assess these prospects and who can attract these players to the Canucks.
If at the end of the day we end up with nothing then I think the argument about inflated salaries is just so much sour grapes.
Again, in the college UFA market there were 2 really good talents last year : Bozak and Gilroy.
Gilroy has a $1.8 million cap hit to be a #6 defender in New York - they overpaid for him and it was a poor value signing. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, we got an equal talent who is exactly the same age in Rome for $500k.
Bozak signed a ridiculous deal in Toronto that has him at a $3.75 million cap hit for the next 2 years - basically the same bonus structure as guys like Tavares/Stamkos got as #1 overall picks. He's looked good for the Leafs since being called up, but is also the same player who had 4 goals in 32 AHL games in the first half of this season.
So the 2 actually good players both got deals that wouldn't have made sense here, and the rest of that crop was crap, aside from maybe Sexton who I'm not sold on.
I really don't see the 'missed opportunity' last summer, or what could have been done differently.
As for this summer, the only guy I'm mildly disappointed we missed out on is Lee Baldwin. Was a local product, fit an organizational need, and sounded like he had some pro tools/upside.
Any of the forwards would have to be an idiot to sign with this organization, which has most of their top-6 locked up long term and Hodgson/Schroeder/Grabner waiting in the wings. There is just a bad organization to be in if you're a prospect forward. Grabner would probably already be a regular with half the teams in the league.
When a guy like Bobby Butler is deciding between Ottawa (a team with no scoring depth at all on the wings) and Vancouver, the decision is pretty damned easy.
So basically, you have a market where :
a) there are very few players of any real quality in any given year.
b) no forward or goalie of any quality is ever going to sign in Vancouver while the organization is this strong.
c) players of any substantial quality get overpaid.
This simply isn't a Canuck-friendly market right now.
Good scouting is finding players for cheap where other people aren't looking or think there is nothing. It isn't following the herd and overpaying for marginal talent.
The job our scouts did in finding Rome and Glass last year speaks to that - two youngish players who have been regulars for this club down the stretch and were signed for the league minimum.
good scouting. And scouring the AHL for guys who are proven at that level (much higher than the NCAA) and can step in for $500k is a hell of a lot better investment than these NCAA guys.
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