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(THW) Nashville's Free Agent Flops

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Old
07-12-2013, 10:39 AM
  #51
struckbyaparkedcar
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Originally Posted by ThirdManIn View Post
Guys, it's OK to critique an article, but when you start taking personal shots at a member of the HF Community you are violating the rules to which you agreed. I've cleaned up what crossed the line. If I have to do it again it won't be simple deletions.

Please, make your criticisms without getting personal and taking pot shots at the author.


I can take it.

/is not actually 40.

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07-12-2013, 11:46 AM
  #52
glenngineer
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Originally Posted by struckbyaparkedcar View Post
I'm not hating on the team as a whole, I'm hating on the first day of UFA they just had, that's why the article is as negative as it is.

I think the contracts Poile dealt out are more Gill or Gaustad than Goc, that their biggest impact on the Predators next season will be being NHL bodies instead of not-NHL-players and that DP didn't have to break out the checkbook for that effect. Stalberg especially I have issues with. I don't think he can succeed without either a straightforward forechecking role on a sheltered depth line (Shaw), or a combination like Kane and Toews that allows him to wheel while they do most of the work. I don't think he has the defensive chops to play on either of your top two lines, and he's not good enough at creating his own shots to aid Smith's development on the third line (or whoever ends up on the third line).

And there's a reason the two names I brought up as alternatives here are Gordon and Filppula, two guys who were paid premiums by non-playoff teams. I'm not saying "OMG Nashville didn't sign Iginla, bust city," by any stretch. I didn't even bring Matt Cooke, a better depth forward than anyone the Preds signed, into the conversation specifically because he signed with what he saw as an up-and-coming squad. Honestly, if these four guys were the only ones willing to go to Nashville, I would have told at least two of them (Stalberg/Nystrom) to piss off and played the long-game on the trade market.

If the Predators do well this year its because: Jones/Forsberg make meaningful contributions to the lineup, Wilson continues to develop, the core stays healthy, and they don't have to rely on a revolving door of Bobby Butlers for secondary scoring. I have nothing against grinder-heavy lineups, I just don't think Nashville invested in particularly great, or even "good" grinders, given their defensive and possession needs.

Again, let's recap, the Predators signed:
0 top 3 QoC forwards
0 top six forwards under 36
1 forward better than 9th overall in team TOI
1 forward with a positive corsi (which came in one of the most sheltered roles of the season)
1 forward with first unit PK deployments (on the 20th ranked PK)

And the only two forwards with decent goals against (Stalberg/Cullen) are one season removed from significantly worse defensive seasons, in roles far more comparable to what they'd be counted on to do in Nashville.

I don't understand how the Predators had a July 5th that's above significant derision. That they signed a bunch of grinders isn't the issue, it's that they signed a bunch of grinders who aren't even very good at grinding.
Not only signed but overpaid for yet people are complaining that Nick Spaling may get a raise and because of it he's probably gone. Jettison good young talent for players not as good. That doesn't make sense for me. I've tried to wrap my head around these signings and I hear what you're saying about Stalberg and the thing I've read about him is his inability to finish. For the salary he's getting it's an ok risk in my book. Cullen is a solid player but in 2 years his contract and Fisher's are up, Legwand's is up after this year, where are the long term centers of this team? Wilson has been projecting to make the switch but with Cullen signed, that's not going to happen. Seeing Watson at camp the other day I feel he'll be ready in a few years to be a productive NHL center. Who does Nashville have left? Spaling would make a good number 3 but he may be gone because of the arbitration process.

I agree with you that the money could've been better spent. I'm not totally sold on some of your suggestions but something needed to be done to help the team and the only thing we did was spend money and I don't think it was done wisely.

People around here get defensive if there's a negative connotation to anything written about the Preds. Write your articles and from what I've seen, you've got conclusions based off of facts so I don't have a problem with anything you've said. It's good to get an objective opinion from someone who can see the forrest and not just the trees.

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Old
07-12-2013, 12:51 PM
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by struckbyaparkedcar View Post
I don't understand how the Predators had a July 5th that's above significant derision. That they signed a bunch of grinders isn't the issue, it's that they signed a bunch of grinders who aren't even very good at grinding.
Out:

Kostitsyn - 3 goals
Martin Erat - 4 goals.


In:

Stalberg- 9 goals
Cullen - 7 goals
Nystrom - 7 goals
Hendricks - 5 goals and shootout expert - we had 7 shootout losses last year.

Consult all the advanced stats you want, the Preds are better on July 6th than they were on July 4th.



The Preds had several needs going into FA. One of them was to land an impact scorer. The other was to add size, grit, guys who play physical, and depth. Any way you look at it, we filled needs. Maybe not all of them, but most of them.

Maybe we didn't land the impact scorer, but you can only call that a flop if there was one out there to be had. Which there wasn't in free agency (unless you count LeCavalier, who wasn't coming here).

Next, guys get paid in free agency. It's always going to happen. The cap is going up next year, let's see what the muckers and grinders get next July 1st - and we'll likely not think that Nystrom's contract is so bad.

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07-13-2013, 08:13 AM
  #54
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One thing Trotz has mentioned in at least two interviews since FA was the need to protect Jones and more importantly Forsberg. He wants players on ice with these future franchise players who will deter other teams from taking cheap shots. The only negative critique I've seen of Jones' game is his lack of a "nasty streak". I think protecting Forsberg is especially important for his development. Throwing him on ice with Spaling and Halischuk is akin to throwing him to the wolves. Only Clune and Goose have the ability to keep guys like Tootoo from running him. And those two don't have the offensive ability or instinct to help Forsberg develop.

Last year the Preds were a small, soft team that struggled moving the puck out of the defensive zone and through the neutral zone. So Poile and Trotz got bigger, stronger, and tougher players in FA to help his young skill players. Since they acquired these players via FA, they had to overpay.

Will Trotz's team-oriented, defense first formula work with these FA acquisitions? Time will tell. I will say that outsiders are almost always surprised at Nashville's success considering the lack of skilled forwards.

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07-13-2013, 08:19 AM
  #55
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I think getting protection for our young players is very important. Look what happened last year with Wilson and Bourque. I believe not only those two were targeted but others as well.

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07-13-2013, 08:46 AM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaiderDoug View Post
Out:

Kostitsyn - 3 goals
Martin Erat - 4 goals.


In:

Stalberg- 9 goals
Cullen - 7 goals
Nystrom - 7 goals
Hendricks - 5 goals and shootout expert - we had 7 shootout losses last year.

Consult all the advanced stats you want, the Preds are better on July 6th than they were on July 4th.



The Preds had several needs going into FA. One of them was to land an impact scorer. The other was to add size, grit, guys who play physical, and depth. Any way you look at it, we filled needs. Maybe not all of them, but most of them.

Maybe we didn't land the impact scorer, but you can only call that a flop if there was one out there to be had. Which there wasn't in free agency (unless you count LeCavalier, who wasn't coming here).

Next, guys get paid in free agency. It's always going to happen. The cap is going up next year, let's see what the muckers and grinders get next July 1st - and we'll likely not think that Nystrom's contract is so bad.
So you don't care who the quality of competition was for the purchased players, you just like there goal totals ... got it

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07-13-2013, 09:39 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Dave is a killer View Post
So you don't care who the quality of competition was for the purchased players, you just like there goal totals ... got it
We don't know who our other bidders were for the purchased players.

I'm willing to bet though, that if Nystrom got 2.5 from us, that's because someone else was willing to pay 2.25.

I don't only care about goal totals - but since everyone here seems to think that by far our biggest problem was goal scoring - I tought i'd show that the players that came actually scored more than the players that left.

We did also gain in toughness, grit, and size.

Any way you slice it, we're a better team now than we ended the year.

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Old
07-13-2013, 10:03 AM
  #58
glenngineer
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Name another team in the NHL who has a 4th line that will be paid $8 million.

And I don't get how Nystrom and Hendricks are going to fix the toughness issue. Neither is a heavyweight at all. Hendricks is barely a middleweight. And to say we added grit is one thing but if I'm another team, am I really afraid of Nystrom, Hendricks, Gaustad and Clune? I'm sorry but that's 4 bodies that are gritty but they do not strike fear into anyone. Tootoo was better than any of them at the intimidation factor and could actually fight and would go against anyone. As much as I like Clune, he's not a good fighter at all. Nystrom is too small to go against the big guys. Gaustad is big enough to go with some of the bigger guys but he's not a fighter by trade and Hendricks is 211, is he really going to strike fear into the heavyweights around the league?

Then on top of it, Trotz has to let them loose if he wants them to be truly effective but he won't, he'll take numbers and we'll get those guys the next time we play but we never do.

If we really want to protect our younger players from getting run, you have a guy like Tootoo or McGrattan on the bench. While it may seem like a waste of a roster spot, it's better than opening up a spot in your top 9 because of injuries that are caused by guys being run all the time.

Then again, I may be completely wrong and these guys are exactly what the doctor ordered and they help a lot of the issues we've had in the last year or so.

But I still go back to the point of, name another team in the NHL that pays their 4th line $8 million. And someone had said earlier that you overpay in free agency, yes, you do but not for guys who are dime a dozen in the NHL. You overpay for top 6 forwards and top 4 defensemen, not grinders. We complain that Tootoo asked for too much money but we've essentially paid Hendricks what Tootoo is making and paid Nystrom more than what Tootoo is making so how come the change of tune in our fan base? Once again, overpay free agents to come and play here yet jettison home grown talents for less money.

I will wait to see the product on the ice and maybe this works out great. Maybe the guys gel as a group of players and the sum of the parts is what matters. Maybe Poile is a genius. I've always thought he was a pretty good GM but these moves have me questioning that.


Last edited by glenngineer: 07-13-2013 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Needed to add more
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Old
07-13-2013, 06:12 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by WartracePred View Post
One thing Trotz has mentioned in at least two interviews since FA was the need to protect Jones and more importantly Forsberg. He wants players on ice with these future franchise players who will deter other teams from taking cheap shots. The only negative critique I've seen of Jones' game is his lack of a "nasty streak". I think protecting Forsberg is especially important for his development. Throwing him on ice with Spaling and Halischuk is akin to throwing him to the wolves. Only Clune and Goose have the ability to keep guys like Tootoo from running him. And those two don't have the offensive ability or instinct to help Forsberg develop.
Nystrom is the only guy of the new additions who can skate with scoring lines and fight, and neither his fists or his hands are particularly notable. If getting deterrents who could actually play with the kids was the priority you're making it, Stalberg and Cullen don't make much sense as priority signings.

Quote:
Last year the Preds were a small, soft team that struggled moving the puck out of the defensive zone and through the neutral zone. So Poile and Trotz got bigger, stronger, and tougher players in FA to help his young skill players. Since they acquired these players via FA, they had to overpay.
Again, neither of the toughness elements Poile got will spend much direct time with the kids, and none of the additions address the Predators' issues with possession or transition beyond replacing AHL/NHL tweeners with actual NHL bodies.

Quote:
Will Trotz's team-oriented, defense first formula work with these FA acquisitions? Time will tell. I will say that outsiders are almost always surprised at Nashville's success considering the lack of skilled forwards.
It's not the lack of point production that worries me, it's the lack of any kind of production, especially under adversity. Stalberg's possession stats are more correlation than causation, and are the only positive numbers of the group, Nystrom's the only notable PKer and the Stars kill has been mediocre. Cullen's only good offensive year during his last contract came on the verge of the Minnesota top six after the Parise/Suter acquisitions.

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07-14-2013, 07:16 AM
  #60
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Nystrom is the only guy of the new additions who can skate with scoring lines and fight, and neither his fists or his hands are particularly notable.
I disagree because Hendricks was used up and down all lines in Washington, even with Ovechkin, and was a fan favorite for that and the way he conducted himself off of the ice and in the locker room. We are all armchair GM's at best and have to say that Poile and Trotz''s track record and success getting scraps to the playoffs often makes our assessments look like children's.

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07-14-2013, 07:51 AM
  #61
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It's always good to be reminded of just how little anyone outside of the Preds loyal fanbase knows about the team.

Here's a thread on the main board speculating on who will lead each team in points next season... http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/sh....php?t=1468725

The guesses for the Predators:

Nashville - Jones?
Nashville - Weber
Nashville- Weber/Stalberg Idk tbh
Nashville: ?
Nashville - Legwand
Nashville Weber -64
Nashville - Legwand
Nashville - ....eesh Weber I guess?
Nashville Hornqvist
Nashville Weber 52

Only 30% with a definite Weber answer which should be the safe pick. But going with Wilson or Stalberg is pretty good too. Legwand, Hornqvist and Jones?

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07-14-2013, 08:04 AM
  #62
glenngineer
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I find it laughable that we think Stalberg is going to come in and fill a void for sure but any time someone mentions the kids doing any scoring everyone is like, it's not going to happen, no way. How do we know Stalberg is going to come in and do anything? I'm not advocating he will or won't but it's like the free agents are the saviors and the kids are just unproven and there is no way they can produce anything.

Nothing is guaranteed with the free agents or the young players or even the vets for that matter. I'd love to see them all succeed obviously but there will be success and failures with everyone we've just acquired whether it be via trade, free agency or the draft. You just hope that there are more successes than anything else.

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07-14-2013, 09:46 AM
  #63
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Still don't get the angst over the fact that we have an "8 million dollar 4th line"

As I have said before, its not your money, why do you care? As long as spending that money doesn't keep us from signing a skilled player later then it is of no concern..

The question the OP apparently wont answer is would the Preds have been better off signing nobody and sticking with the roster we had? Because all of specualtion about who we cfould have had instead is pretty useless. Nobody knows if Filpulla would have signed here for any amount... same goes for any of his other suggestions.

The only move that Poile didn't make that we know he could have was taking Grabo on waivers. The fact that 29 other GMs passed on that same option tells me it was probably the right call.

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07-14-2013, 10:26 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by PredsV82 View Post
Still don't get the angst over the fact that we have an "8 million dollar 4th line"

As I have said before, its not your money, why do you care? As long as spending that money doesn't keep us from signing a skilled player later then it is of no concern..

The question the OP apparently wont answer is would the Preds have been better off signing nobody and sticking with the roster we had? Because all of specualtion about who we cfould have had instead is pretty useless. Nobody knows if Filpulla would have signed here for any amount... same goes for any of his other suggestions.

The only move that Poile didn't make that we know he could have was taking Grabo on waivers. The fact that 29 other GMs passed on that same option tells me it was probably the right call.
When your team is starved for offense and you spend money on 4th line grinders that's a mismanagement of funds. Since you're a doc imagine where you work says we need more docs but instead hire more nurses. Doesn't make any sense does it.

As a paying fan it is my money that goes to paying part of these salaries and as a fan base what does it tell us, look, we're spending money, on players that don't require those sorts of salaries.

For the most part, this team has been an offensive wasteland. We had a few years where we could put up numbers and even then people didn't think we were that good offensively.

I'm not saying we shouldn't have signed the guys we did, I just wish the money was better spent on top 6 talent while adding some grit without the huge salaries. We could've signed 2 $5 million forwards and 2 $1 million grinders for basically what we paid 4 pretty average guys.

And the term of those contracts will bite us if we try to add talent or trade these awesome 4th line grinders.

I hear these guys are quality locker room types, how many of those do we need? Are Weber, Fisher, Klein and Legwand not enough of a leadership group? Does everyone need to be a leader and good locker room presence. Get good leaders, find guys that will follow them in to battle every night and call it a day.

And I asked this the other day and no one answered, name me another team that has an $8 million 4th line. So what if it's not my money as you keep putting out there, I don't see any other GMs doing this so either Poile is a genius or other GMs are wiser when putting rosters together.

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07-14-2013, 11:39 AM
  #65
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I know our lockerroom has had some issues lately, so maybe the extra lockeroom guys were needed.

On the surface, I'll agree with you on the 8m 4th line. Let's see how that plays out though.

As far the Doctors/Nurses comparison goes though. I think that was more dramatic than our situation. How about: He needed 2 doctors but instead they hired 4 physician assistants? Wouldn't that be closer to what Poile has done?

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07-14-2013, 11:41 AM
  #66
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Again, this team was built to test you from start to finish. It will have speed, physical play and energy throughout the line-up. Will it work? I have no idea, but that's what the blueprint looks like to me.

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07-14-2013, 12:00 PM
  #67
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Again, this team was built to test you from start to finish. It will have speed, physical play and energy throughout the line-up. Will it work? I have no idea, but that's what the blueprint looks like to me.
I agree, looks like 03-04 but with more potential firepower. That sounds pretty good to me.

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07-14-2013, 12:15 PM
  #68
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Trig, I can agree with what you're saying. Better analogy with the doctors too. Thanks for the correction on that.

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07-14-2013, 05:34 PM
  #69
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I want Gaustad to center the third line so everyone shuts the hell up about an 8 million dollar 4th line

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07-14-2013, 06:59 PM
  #70
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I want Gaustad to center the third line so everyone shuts the hell up about an 8 million dollar 4th line
That would not be good as one of the top 3 centers got hurt.

Come on dude, people were saying we couldn't afford to have a top pairing make $7 million each yet here we are totally overpaying 3 players to play on a 4th line. So it's ok to overpay for crap and justify it but when you have true talent and guys you should keep it's a bad idea to shell out the money?

Maybe it's true, these are the only guys that we could sign or want to come here. But if these are 4 of the 7 guys we targeted I'd love to know who the other 3 were.

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07-14-2013, 07:21 PM
  #71
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I can take it.

/is not actually 40.
I don't doubt it, but still. We have rules around here and all.

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07-14-2013, 08:33 PM
  #72
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That's why these kind of posts infuriate me. Some guy draws the short straw and has to write about the Preds. Does some cursory research and quickly concludes all of these guys who haven't seen a minute of ice time in a Preds sweater are already flops.

Guys like this and Lozo who seem to know so much about this stuff should give David Poile a call and see if he could use some 'expert' help.

Look these guys may turn out to be bad additions. Or maybe they will gel and put out a team that dominates defensively while getting some good offense from Cullen/Stalberg/etc. The point is we don't know yet. Neither does the author of this article. Labeling them flops, winners, whatever is worthless right now.
I agree with you 100%. Wait 20 games into the season and then make player judgments.

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07-14-2013, 10:34 PM
  #73
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Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
I'm not saying we shouldn't have signed the guys we did, I just wish the money was better spent on top 6 talent while adding some grit without the huge salaries. We could've signed 2 $5 million forwards and 2 $1 million grinders for basically what we paid 4 pretty average guys.
Who though?

The problem is the alternative wasn't that we picked Eric Nystrom over LeCavalier, or Briere, or any other top 6 guys.

The alternative to signing Nystrom/Hendricks/Stalberg was more Bobby Butler, more Chris Mueller, or whomever the AHL flavor of the day was.

Briere wasn't coming. LeCavalier wasn't coming. Ribiero went with his old coach. If you think the Nystrom contract was bad, we'd feel alot worse if we landed Horton for the contract CBJ gave him. Filppula? Roy? Ryder? All players with rich contracts with major flaws in their game. Will they be better than our guys? Time will tell.

This is a poor FA class, coupled with the fact that as a last place team in a non-hockey market with a reputation for being cheap, we're not exactly the most attractive destination for guys that had other options. I'm happy we actually did something for once. There's a chance Nystrom pots 16 like he did last full season, Hendricks contributes to 3-4 shootout wins, and Stalberg blossoms into 30G/60pt guy.

Or maybe they do nothing, which is exactly what we'd get out of spending no money, and/or the AAAA level known quantities like the scrubs. You can't hit a homerun if you don't swing the bat.

Personally, I'd rather see more of Eric Nystrom on a bad contract than Chris Mueller on any contract.


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07-15-2013, 01:09 AM
  #74
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Originally Posted by glenngineer View Post
When your team is starved for offense and you spend money on 4th line grinders that's a mismanagement of funds. Since you're a doc imagine where you work says we need more docs but instead hire more nurses. Doesn't make any sense does it.

As a paying fan it is my money that goes to paying part of these salaries and as a fan base what does it tell us, look, we're spending money, on players that don't require those sorts of salaries.

For the most part, this team has been an offensive wasteland. We had a few years where we could put up numbers and even then people didn't think we were that good offensively.

I'm not saying we shouldn't have signed the guys we did, I just wish the money was better spent on top 6 talent while adding some grit without the huge salaries. We could've signed 2 $5 million forwards and 2 $1 million grinders for basically what we paid 4 pretty average guys.

And the term of those contracts will bite us if we try to add talent or trade these awesome 4th line grinders.

I hear these guys are quality locker room types, how many of those do we need? Are Weber, Fisher, Klein and Legwand not enough of a leadership group? Does everyone need to be a leader and good locker room presence. Get good leaders, find guys that will follow them in to battle every night and call it a day.

And I asked this the other day and no one answered, name me another team that has an $8 million 4th line. So what if it's not my money as you keep putting out there, I don't see any other GMs doing this so either Poile is a genius or other GMs are wiser when putting rosters together.
again, it is only "mismanagement" if the money used on these guys prevents us from signing someone else. I'll use your own medical analogy to prove you are way off base... we need doctors and nurses, but if no doctors are available, that still doesnt stop you from hiring nurses. If and only if the money you spend on the nurses keeps you from hiring a doctor when one becomes available, then you have a problem... until then you fix what you can fix and do the best you can otherwise.

do I wish we had signed someone who is more of a proven scorer? sure. But the fact that we didnt DOES NOT meant that we could have done so and chose to sign these other players instead. this is not an either/or situation...

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07-15-2013, 12:36 PM
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struckbyaparkedcar
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It's seems very shortsighted to think that Nashville's FA situation boils down to either signing the exact four players they did or going for another ride on the AHL tweener carousel, that's why I haven't responded to that hypothetical directly.

According to that line of reasoning, the four guys the Predators ended up with were the last available options on Nashville's UFA big board, because it completely removes the possibility that Poile could have done other things with his money (aside from waiver claims). Also, if getting the minor-league fodder out of the lineup was priority #1, why would you not just wait out the rush of terrible signings and pick out one or two bodies out of whoever was left?

Poile did a great job at signing NHL regulars to contracts. He also did a very poor job of getting value for his money. He signed a platter of role players with limited upside and possession/defensive value to at-or-above market value contracts, and his longest term investment is the worst of the bunch.

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