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Big deals don't always pay big dividends

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01-20-2012, 03:31 PM
  #1
jfb392
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Big deals don't always pay big dividends

CBC's Elliotte Friedman has a great piece on high salary free agents not meeting expectations fairly consistently that includes a number of former and current Sabres:

Quote:
A couple of years ago, I was doing research for a piece on Daniel Briere. As part of that, I spoke to one of Briere's biggest boosters, Dave Farrish, who was an assistant under Randy Carlyle in Anaheim. Farrish coached the Philadelphia Flyers sniper at AHL Springfield in 1997-98, a season in which Briere scored 92 points in 68 games.

Briere struggled when he first got to Philadelphia and we talked about why.

"Someone should do a study on how players do after signing a big free-agent contract," Farrish said. "You feel so much pressure to live up that contract ... There's also no guarantee you'll fit in to a new city, a new system, with new teammates. It can be hard."
Quote:
A FORWARD'S SCORING PACE WILL DROP IN YEAR ONE

If you believe jumping into unrestricted free agency is a huge waste of money, here's some ammunition for your argument. Of our 32 specimens, 18 were forwards. Going strictly by points per game, 17 of them scored at a lower rate than the year before (in most cases with a different team).
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SOME GUYS DO RECOVER FROM THAT FIRST YEAR, BUT...

They're in the minority.

If you're Buffalo, you're praying Leino rediscovers the magic, just like Patrik Elias and, to some degree, Kovalchuk. Elias's productivity dropped in each of the first two seasons of his seven-year, $42-million US deal. He recovered to become a point-per-game player in Year Three and is doing it again as a 35-year-old.
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What do teams generally overpay for? Offence. And the numbers show you should be prepared for less. Better hope your free-agent forward can impact the game in other ways.
Quote:
THERE ARE SOME UGLY DEFENSIVE MISTAKES

Again, if you're Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula or GM Darcy Regier, you're looking at Christian Ehrhoff's worst production in four years and saying, "This is a blip, right?"

Not if you're judging by Campbell, Jay Bouwmeester or Wade Redden. Campbell's first season in Chicago actually was the second-best offensive year of his career, but the next two saw significant dropoff. He is now a rejuvenated Florida Panther. Bouwmeester averaged 42 points during his last four Florida seasons, but gets just 28 per year with the Calgary Flames. We all know what happened to Redden. Don't know if it's because Chara, Timonen, Hamhuis and Orpik are better defensive players, but those four performed at a much higher level.

And Ehrhoff doesn't have much in common with those four. (The only defensive stalwart in this study who looks like a problem is Anton Volchenkov. With four years and $17 million US still owed, his body might not make it. But, boy does he compete).

Because I'm optimistic by nature, let's give Sabres fans some hope. In 2006, Toronto signed Pavel Kubina for four years and $20 million US. The first was probably the worst of his career. Not since his rookie season had he been so offensively inept and he wasn't much better on the other end.

But Kubina was competitive and did care. While he never became a fan favourite, he tried to earn that contract. His next three seasons (the last in Atlanta) were the best offensively of his career.

We'll see if Ehrhoff can match that.
http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/opin...dividends.html

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01-20-2012, 04:06 PM
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If success is dependent on how much the players care, we're screwed.

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01-20-2012, 04:52 PM
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Again....

....Ehrhoff, for his cap hit and his play overall, has NOT been atrocious. At all.

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01-20-2012, 04:58 PM
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This was known. No one expected Leino to set the world on fire. I had pretty modest goals for him this year and he didn't meet them. When he finally did get going he got injured. He reminds me a bit of the slava kozlov experiment. Hopefully we can see some of that skill come through the rest of the season.

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01-20-2012, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TehDoak View Post
This was known. No one expected Leino to set the world on fire. I had pretty modest goals for him this year and he didn't meet them. When he finally did get going he got injured. He reminds me a bit of the slava kozlov experiment. Hopefully we can see some of that skill come through the rest of the season.
I just puked up lunch, thanks.

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01-20-2012, 05:17 PM
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Well this is encouraging.

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01-20-2012, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jBuds View Post
Again....

....Ehrhoff, for his cap hit and his play overall, has NOT been atrocious. At all.
I agree. Bad luck he got injured, but the cap hit and overall play I'm OK with.

The only other unfortunate I see besides his getting injured, is we would have seen how crappy this current squad truly was, if we wasn't playing 26+ minutes for that stretch before he got injured.

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01-20-2012, 08:30 PM
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Very interesting read, really brings to light what I think a lot of us thought in the back of our minds. It's not often that you find an interesting hockey read like that, a real gem.

I almost have nothing to elaborate on about it, it pretty much says it all. But I will say that Leino will never earn his contract. The ONLY way he will come close to looking like a good deal is if they find 2 AmAZING players to carry him on a line. He is dead weight.

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01-20-2012, 09:01 PM
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joshjull
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Its ridiculous to lump Leino's contract in with the other forwards mentioned in the article (Kovy, Briere and Elias).

Elias -------> summer 2006, 7yrs 42mil (6mil cap hit)
Briere ------> summer 2007, 6yrs 52mil (6.5mil cap hit)
Kovalchuk --> summer 2010, 15yrs 100mil (6.667mil cap hit)


Leino ---> summer 2011, 6yrs 27mil (4.5mil cap hit)


When you factor in market inflation from the time Briere and Elias signed and the term and total amount of Kovy's deal. Its laughable that these deals are getting lumped together.

Leino isn't even close to their deals. He got a good size contract but its hardly the big time deal many keep trying to portray it as. His cap hit of 4.5mil is 92nd in the NHL and is tied with 15 other players. His actual salary of 6mil is tied for 50th in the NHL with 16 other players.


Last edited by joshjull: 01-20-2012 at 09:12 PM.
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