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Chris Kunitz hopes for long-term stay with Pens

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Old
10-09-2011, 01:54 PM
  #76
UnderratedBrooks44
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People STILL think guys actually take pay decreases? Seriously, it gets mentioned every year and I never see it happen unless a player is getting up there in age and his production has dropped off. Why in the world would Kunitz take a pay cut, or any player for that matter, when they still have some decent years left? This phenomenon is completely made up.

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10-09-2011, 01:57 PM
  #77
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I think that is homering. Cole is pretty much exactly the player Kunitz is, just more physical and a little less sound with his back-checking.
No homerism whatsoever. Cole barely surpassed 50 points last year and scored / was on pace for 40 ish or less the previous two. This isn't 06-07 anymore.

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Leino is a totally different player, but based on his Philly career not inferior to Kunitz. Just competent in other ways and with less of a proven record.
His "Philly career". You mean one season where he rode the unsustainable shooting percentage train playing alongside very talented forwards, while also going against the other team's third rate players thanks to Carter, Richards, and Giroux carrying the water?

Leino just isn't that great of a player. Don't be fooled by fancy dangles and a 50 point season and assume he's the real deal. He was in one of the most favorable situations a player could be in, getting the softest ice time on an extremely deep roster with tons of offensive zone starts, and even then pucks had to go in at an unsustainable rate for him to produce the way he did.

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But anyway, those two contracts show that there will be teams out there offering big coin to Kunitz, because in a full season he gives you 50-60 points and solid two way play.
Not to mention that Leino's deal was 6 years and Cole's was 4 (he is also 32 like Kunitz). Retaining Kunitz for somewhere in the $4-4.5m range on a 2-3 year deal would be an excellent deal for the Pens.

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He just has to decide how much it is worth playing on a team like the Pens for the long term. I think we keep him if we just let his salary stay as is.
That's a pipe dream imo. If he's willing to take a discount that's awesome, but I'm not prepared to let him go if he wants a reasonable pay bump. Like I said, what's the plan if you let him go?

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10-09-2011, 02:00 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by UnderratedBrooks44 View Post
People STILL think guys actually take pay decreases? Seriously, it gets mentioned every year and I never see it happen unless a player is getting up there in age and his production has dropped off. Why in the world would Kunitz take a pay cut, or any player for that matter, when they still have some decent years left? This phenomenon is completely made up.
Because money isn't the only thing that matters. He's still going to get paid handsomely...just not as much as he otherwise could have.

A lot of guys have given up money to be here. No reason to think Kunitz wouldn't do something similar. He knows what the situation the team is in where they are trying to re-sign the core of this team.

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10-09-2011, 02:02 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
Because money isn't the only thing that matters. He's still going to get paid handsomely...just not as much as he otherwise could have.

A lot of guys have given up money to be here. No reason to think Kunitz wouldn't do something similar. He knows what the situation the team is in where they are trying to re-sign the core of this team.
They've given up bigger raises, but still got raises from us nonetheless. They didn't take pay cuts. I think Feds might have been the only one........

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10-09-2011, 02:15 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by Champagne Wishes View Post
Shero signed Dupuis with a raise to a contract that runs through 2013....

Like I said: Dupers. He's a lot less valuable to this team than Kunitz, and he still got a moderate raise.
I'm not going to consider a $100k raise from $1.4 to $1.5 as indicative of the idea that Shero is happy to give raises to everyone. Rather, I consider signing Dupuis for $1.5 when he very likely could have received over $2million being representative of a discount, rather than a raise.

Similarly, Matt Cooke got a raise from $1.2 to $1.8. However, I still consider that an example of a guy taking less than he could have received on the open market to stay with the Pens. Ditto for Brooks Orpik's contract.

I like Dupuis a lot, but at his age, I don't think he gets a raise nor do I think he gets more than 2 years -- maybe 3 MAX, if he takes a discount.

I think Kunitz is worth $4million TOPS on the open market. Rather, I think he's worth somewhere between $3.25 to $3.75 as fair market value, considering his age & durability concerns. So for Kunitz to sign here for say, $3.25 (a $500K discount), I don't think he's leaving that much money on the table compared to UFA status.

Also, remember: As Shero stated, this past summer was a "perfect storm" for free agents because you had so many teams below the cap floor. Well most of those teams have hit the cap floor and will remain above it for next year if the cap doesn't rise significantly. So with that in mind, as well as the uncertainty of the new CBA, I do not believe we will be seeing another summer of guys getting overpaid the way we did this year.

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Originally Posted by JTG View Post
When it comes to the cap, I will never ever trust anything anyone says around here after what happened a few years ago where people were talking about drops to the tune of millions, and the cap actually went up.

Armchair cap experts are really some of the biggest smoke blowers.
My "armchair" statements are based on info coming from people like Bob McKenzie, Dreger, LeBrun and others who have talked about possible CBA changes. These are real concerns. Of course, it doesn't mean it's definitely going to manifest into reality, but there's a legitimate possiblity.

The fact is, there are more than a handful of teams that are still losing significant money in the cap era. That is not sustainable, and the league (and players) need to fix the health of the league. That may mean a lower % of revenue gets allocated to player salaries (i.e. lower salary cap range). That may also mean a lower cap floor, which means the minority of teams underneath it -- like Florida -- won't be pushing up the price of players league-wide.

The league has increased it's revenues, and player salaries are as good as they have been in years. That said, the league will not have several teams losing big money and on the verge of considering relocation or needing to sell to new ownership. This issue HAS TO be fixed. If some people want to stay in the dark and not acknowledge that, that's fine. But the league will address this issue.

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10-09-2011, 02:18 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
I think Kunitz is worth $4million TOPS on the open market. Rather, I think he's worth somewhere between $3.25 to $3.75 as fair market value, considering his age & durability concerns. So for Kunitz to sign here for say, $3.25 (a $500K discount), I don't think he's leaving that much money on the table compared to UFA status.
What? How many inferior players need to get insane contracts before you realize that this is simply not true? Kunitz would be a heavily sought after UFA if he were not extended by July 1st, and I have no doubts he'd get at least what Leino and Cole got.

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10-09-2011, 02:43 PM
  #82
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Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
What? How many inferior players need to get insane contracts before you realize that this is simply not true? Kunitz would be a heavily sought after UFA if he were not extended by July 1st, and I have no doubts he'd get at least what Leino and Cole got.
I don't doubt that there would be a handful of teams that would offer Kunitz $4million -- provided the cap doesn't drop much. However, I do think that Kunitz may follow in the footsteps of guys like Orpik and Martin who turned down more money to sign here, or guys like Kennedy, Dupuis and Cooke who most certainly could have garnered more had they hit the open market.

Maybe Kunitz and his wife really like it here in Pittsburgh and would prefer not to move. Maybe he doesn't want to give up playing wing with the best player in the world. Maybe he wants to stay on the team that likely give him the best chance to win a Cup for the next few years.

And if Kunitz doesn't feel that way and wants to test the market, I also seriously acknowledge the fact that Shero may not be willing or able to match what he could receive from other teams. Kunitz is a great player and I want him to stay, but he is our equivalent of Chicago's Ladd or Versteeg: a great player who helped the team win, but his departure wouldn't seriously affect our team's ability to remian a Cup contender.

I love Kunitz and would like to keep him, but I don't feel he's an essential part of our core long-term, the way that guys like Staal, Kennedy and the 9 years younger James Neal are.

As such, I believe Shero extends Neal and Kennedy during or immediately after the season, before looking at Kunitz so he can realize what he can offer the latter.

Ultimately, IMO, we are going to have to sacrifice one of Kunitz or Martin to keep this group together long-term, and to be able to give the due-raises to guys like Neal, Kennedy, Letang, and other support players like Jeffrey, Vitale and others over the next several years.

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10-09-2011, 03:25 PM
  #83
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No way he makes less money next year than he did this year be it here or somewhere else. I could see him staying here for a smaller raise than he could get somewhere else, but he has no reason to take a paycut.

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10-09-2011, 03:42 PM
  #84
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
I don't doubt that there would be a handful of teams that would offer Kunitz $4million -- provided the cap doesn't drop much. However, I do think that Kunitz may follow in the footsteps of guys like Orpik and Martin who turned down more money to sign here, or guys like Kennedy, Dupuis and Cooke who most certainly could have garnered more had they hit the open market.

Maybe Kunitz and his wife really like it here in Pittsburgh and would prefer not to move. Maybe he doesn't want to give up playing wing with the best player in the world. Maybe he wants to stay on the team that likely give him the best chance to win a Cup for the next few years.

And if Kunitz doesn't feel that way and wants to test the market, I also seriously acknowledge the fact that Shero may not be willing or able to match what he could receive from other teams. Kunitz is a great player and I want him to stay, but he is our equivalent of Chicago's Ladd or Versteeg: a great player who helped the team win, but his departure wouldn't seriously affect our team's ability to remian a Cup contender.

I love Kunitz and would like to keep him, but I don't feel he's an essential part of our core long-term, the way that guys like Staal, Kennedy and the 9 years younger James Neal are.

As such, I believe Shero extends Neal and Kennedy during or immediately after the season, before looking at Kunitz so he can realize what he can offer the latter.

Ultimately, IMO, we are going to have to sacrifice one of Kunitz or Martin to keep this group together long-term, and to be able to give the due-raises to guys like Neal, Kennedy, Letang, and other support players like Jeffrey, Vitale and others over the next several years.
I don't think we'll have too many issues the next 2 years resigning guys. Kunitz will be a 4 mil/2 year, take it or leave it type deal imo. Maybe Shero will go 3 years but I doubt it.

Malkin and Letang's contracts will be a different story. If Despres/Morrow can push for a #4 D spot or push an improved Niskanen/Lovejoy up the depth chart, then I could definitely see one of Martin/Michalek gone. I just don't see how we can allocate that much cap space to the backend and still have any type of supporting cast for our centers.

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10-09-2011, 04:00 PM
  #85
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My "armchair" statements are based on info coming from people like Bob McKenzie, Dreger, LeBrun and others who have talked about possible CBA changes. These are real concerns. Of course, it doesn't mean it's definitely going to manifest into reality, but there's a legitimate possiblity.

The fact is, there are more than a handful of teams that are still losing significant money in the cap era. That is not sustainable, and the league (and players) need to fix the health of the league. That may mean a lower % of revenue gets allocated to player salaries (i.e. lower salary cap range). That may also mean a lower cap floor, which means the minority of teams underneath it -- like Florida -- won't be pushing up the price of players league-wide.

The league has increased it's revenues, and player salaries are as good as they have been in years. That said, the league will not have several teams losing big money and on the verge of considering relocation or needing to sell to new ownership. This issue HAS TO be fixed. If some people want to stay in the dark and not acknowledge that, that's fine. But the league will address this issue.
And that's fine. And it's not specifically you I'm targeting in that post. I just remember the doom and gloom some people here were expressing a couple years ago. Posters making these large elaborate posts sounding like they knew their stuff. Fact is...they were wrong...big time. And it wasn't just people here. It was also media personalities. That ENTIRE year the media was speculating wildly about what was going to happen. They were wrong too. I think people would be better off waiting and seeing what is going to happen rather than making these vast and elaborate speculations.

And from my posts in the past, you would know that the cap is an extreme concern for me. I'm a hockey fan. People love that the cap goes up year after year here. I like it too, but I also recognize being a fan of some teams (mainly Nashville) who has done everything they possibly could correctly, but they just cannot possibly keep up salary wise with the league ceiling. It's definitely a concern, and I've called the NHL a pseudo-MLB in the past because as the cap rises, teams are going to stay at the same level financially. Teams have a rough time reaching the floor every year, so as the cap goes up, the disparity between salary wise isn't going to work. It's a bubble that's going to burst. If it keeps going in this direction, teams like Nashville are going to turn into the Marlins where they cannot possibly afford to keep their talent, even if they are well under the ceiling, which isn't right.

My opinion is that I cannot see the NHL changing the current CBA and then making teams drop exorbitant amount of salary immediately. I am for that happening, actually, but I'd like to see it be grandfathered in, where maybe the NHL says, "You have 2 or 3 years to get at this number." It's not something the NHL can institute, IMO, and then have teams who have been spending to the cap and following the rules to meet those requirements.

The GM's are going to know what's going on. I think over the next handful of years, you're going to see happen what happened back when people were predicting doom and gloom. GM's don't want to make moves, they don't want to take on term at the deadline, and they don't want to give out term in free agency. Player movement will slow down to a crawl, and then will ramp back up once everything is settled.

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10-09-2011, 04:15 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
I don't doubt that there would be a handful of teams that would offer Kunitz $4million -- provided the cap doesn't drop much. However, I do think that Kunitz may follow in the footsteps of guys like Orpik and Martin who turned down more money to sign here, or guys like Kennedy, Dupuis and Cooke who most certainly could have garnered more had they hit the open market.
I'm questioning your assertion that he'd only get $4m on the open market. Based on what we've seen over the last few years he'd be getting around $4.5-5m.

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Maybe Kunitz and his wife really like it here in Pittsburgh and would prefer not to move. Maybe he doesn't want to give up playing wing with the best player in the world. Maybe he wants to stay on the team that likely give him the best chance to win a Cup for the next few years.

And if Kunitz doesn't feel that way and wants to test the market, I also seriously acknowledge the fact that Shero may not be willing or able to match what he could receive from other teams. Kunitz is a great player and I want him to stay, but he is our equivalent of Chicago's Ladd or Versteeg: a great player who helped the team win, but his departure wouldn't seriously affect our team's ability to remian a Cup contender.
I'm not saying that I'd want to match what Kunitz could get in free agency. I'm not sure that I would. What I'm saying is that I would be willing to meet him somewhere in the middle, where as some only seem to want him back if he re-signs at his current salary or takes a paycut. In other words, I'm willing to fairly compensate Kunitz to retain him.

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I love Kunitz and would like to keep him, but I don't feel he's an essential part of our core long-term, the way that guys like Staal, Kennedy and the 9 years younger James Neal are.
I don't get wrapped up in semantics. Kunitz is a very valuable player and could easily be considered our best winger. I want him back whether he's considered a 'core' player or not.

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As such, I believe Shero extends Neal and Kennedy during or immediately after the season, before looking at Kunitz so he can realize what he can offer the latter.
Kennedy has two years left on his contract. Neal should be fairly easy to re-sign barring a serious breakout campaign.

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Ultimately, IMO, we are going to have to sacrifice one of Kunitz or Martin to keep this group together long-term, and to be able to give the due-raises to guys like Neal, Kennedy, Letang, and other support players like Jeffrey, Vitale and others over the next several years.
With the cap continuing to rise I don't feel at all like keeping this group together is going to be much of an issue. By my estimation it'll take around $1-1.5m to give Kunitz and Neal extensions this year, an amount that'll almost surely be covered by the cap increase alone. The expiring contracts of Dupuis / Cooke will pave the way for the Jeffreys and Vitales. There's also the possibility that Despres / Morrow makes a guy like Martin expendable, freeing up more cap space.

For me it comes down to this: we don't have anybody to replace Kunitz right now within the organization and trying to sign another free agent to replace him means we'll likely end up overpaying for an inferior player. No thanks.

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10-09-2011, 04:59 PM
  #87
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I enjoy having Kunitz on our team but I trust that Shero has a budget, will follow the budget, and, if Kunitz demands too much, Shero will has a contingency plan that will work out better than paying Kunitz more.

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10-09-2011, 04:59 PM
  #88
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I don't get wrapped up in semantics. Kunitz is a very valuable player and could easily be considered our best winger. I want him back whether he's considered a 'core' player or not.
I want him back, as well. All I am saying is giving him more than 2 years could end up being a problem when it comes to re-signing other guys. Simply based on age and the futures each player can have with our franchise, we have to focus on retaining Neal and Kennedy as a priority over Kunitz.

That's why I say I think Shero gets a Neal extension done and a Kennedy extension done (which we can do as of July 1) before seeing how much we can offer Kunitz. I also believe we need to work on extensions for Crosby and Staal (which we can also do as of July 1st) before we can figure out the Kunitz situation. We also may want to retain Niskaken, who could see a modest increase ($250 to $500K on a 2 or 3 year deal).

All that said, the issue of whether to re-sign Kunitz or not becomes moot if we feel we can replace Martin with Despres/Bortuzzo/Morrow/whomever. Because if we can replace Martin with a guy who makes 1/5 of his salary, then that gives us a ton of flexability to sign everyone, including Kunitz. A lot of that depends on the precise nature of Martin's NTC & NMC. Because I would not want to part with Martin unless we could get a significant asset in return (top prospect or 1st round pick +).


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Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
Kennedy has two years left on his contract. Neal should be fairly easy to re-sign barring a serious breakout campaign.
I think they will both be easy to sign, but Neal will command a modest raise (average of $3.25 to $3.5 per) and Kennedy will command somewhere between $2.5 and $3 million if his progression continues. Those are reasonable and manageable



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Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
For me it comes down to this: we don't have anybody to replace Kunitz right now within the organization and trying to sign another free agent to replace him means we'll likely end up overpaying for an inferior player. No thanks.
Well, we don't really now, but we have a guy like Tangradi who will have to play in the NHL next season (and barring a regression in his development, should be able o step into a top-6 role). I also see the ability to move Staal or Jeffrey to LW with Malkin.

Within 2 years, Bennett, Kuhnhackl and Agostino could seriously be knocking on the door in the NHL. It's well-known that in the salary cap world, you need to have inexpensive young players who can come in and contribute. Kuhn and Agostino are LWs, as is Tangradi. If Staal or Jeffrey move to wing, it's LW also. Our depth on LW is very strong. Kunitz would be missed for next season, but long-term, I see Kuhnhackl/Agostino/Tangradi and one of Staal or Jeffrey being able to comprise a heck of a good top-9 LW contingent.

I'm not suggesting that we would WANT to do this in an ideal world. But sometimes in the cap world you have to let a good guy go (i.e. Chicago with Campbell or Ladd, knowing that young guys like Leddy on D or Morrin/Saad/Pirri at F will fill in). You may regress slightly for a year while these young guys get acclimated, but at least your young core stays intact and it doesn't adversely affect you long-term).

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10-09-2011, 07:32 PM
  #89
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Leino just isn't that great of a player. Don't be fooled by fancy dangles and a 50 point season and assume he's the real deal. He was in one of the most favorable situations a player could be in, getting the softest ice time on an extremely deep roster with tons of offensive zone starts, and even then pucks had to go in at an unsustainable rate for him to produce the way he did.
Leino was arguably the second-best Flyer during their Cup run just two years ago. He was dominant against the Blackhawks, too. I wouldn't have signed him because the Sabres needed a center, and Leino did his damage on right wing, but he's a very good player. Better than Kunitz, imo.

I think we have to remember one thing about July 1, 2012. That's the first day Shero and co. are allowed to start negotiating with Sidney Crosby's agent about a contract extension. That would be Priority 1 for me. Next up would be the RW market, and then comes the Kunitz and Neal situations.

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10-09-2011, 07:46 PM
  #90
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I find it pretty hilarious that, at 32, I consider him to be "old." My God, our team is still ridiculously young.
... and rediculously good for the last 5 seasons!

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10-09-2011, 08:11 PM
  #91
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Leino was arguably the second-best Flyer during their Cup run just two years ago. He was dominant against the Blackhawks, too. I wouldn't have signed him because the Sabres needed a center, and Leino did his damage on right wing, but he's a very good player. Better than Kunitz, imo.
Leino had an on ice shooting percentage of 16% during that playoff run. To put that in perspective, Sid this year was somewhere around 12-13%, and lifetime is around 11% (which I believe is tops in the league over a significant sample). Hell, Leino tripled his on ice shooting percentage over the regular season that year. You don't get much luckier than that.

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10-10-2011, 01:13 AM
  #92
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Why are we giving Neal a raise? He is barely earning the money he is on at the moment. He will need to play very well this season to put his hand out at the end of it.
My thoughts exactly, he has been an embarrassment here offensively.

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10-10-2011, 03:04 AM
  #93
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No homerism whatsoever. Cole barely surpassed 50 points last year and scored / was on pace for 40 ish or less the previous two. This isn't 06-07 anymore.
When we signed Kunitz, he had a super hot end to the regular season with 18 points in 20 games, thus ending the year with 53 points. Other than that he has beaten Cole's last season performance once, in 06/07.... where as you note Cole was the more productive player still, not to mention the year before where Cole was a PPG player. The fact that Cole SUCKED with Edmonton... well, he then had 15 points in 17 games when rejoining Carolina or somethign. Next seasons injuries are what they are. Doesn't mean he wasn't back to Kunitz level again last season playing on an inferior team while Kunitz had a career high shooting percentage playing next to a Crosby on warp-speed. Cole was signed to his new contract because he delivered again.

Ask around and few people who aren't Pens fans will say that there's an appreciable difference between the two. After all, they play the same game, position, are the same size and seen over the careers so far they have similar stats/production.

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Leino just isn't that great of a player. Don't be fooled by fancy dangles and a 50 point season and assume he's the real deal. He was in one of the most favorable situations a player could be in, getting the softest ice time on an extremely deep roster with tons of offensive zone starts, and even then pucks had to go in at an unsustainable rate for him to produce the way he did.
I suppose I could give you your usual lecture of 'small sample sizes' though obviously you do not include Leino's playoff numbers, where the QOC that matters looked like this: http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_stati...12+13+14+15+16

I don't need more than look at Leino play to see that he is a very talented hockey player with gifts unlike those of Kunitz (and obviously weakneeses that Kunitz do not have also). Leino definitely got too much money and he doesn't have much of a back catalog to show that it is sustainable, but just looking at him, it isn't weird that he got top6 winger money in this free agency.

I suppose we'll see who it really is who is being fooled. There were also those around here who were completely baffled why I'd want Jussi Jokinen for this team when he wasn't making the Tampa lineup, but I suppose in the end talent shone through, and this off season a lot of people were on that train. The book on Leino isn't written yet.

Ultimately, we fully AGREE that when these players can get what they got, so can Kunitz if he wants to!
I'm just allergic to Pens fans going on and on about how great our role players are relative to very similar players from others teams, only to simultaneously say that we have no talent when Sid and Malkin are out, and anyway - if Kunitz was to ask for 4.5 - he isn't worth it (just like Cole and Leino wouldn't be on our team - or Ryan Malone, however much I love him). We might as well suffer Dupuis on the first line LW then and spend the extra money on getting a 6 million dollar honest to God difference maker for the other wing.

Again - I think Kunitz will be retained for what he gets now, at most.


Last edited by Tender Rip: 10-10-2011 at 03:15 AM.
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10-10-2011, 04:40 AM
  #94
Malkin4Top6Wingerz
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Originally Posted by Tender Rip View Post
When we signed Kunitz, he had a super hot end to the regular season with 18 points in 20 games, thus ending the year with 53 points. Other than that he has beaten Cole's last season performance once, in 06/07.... where as you note Cole was the more productive player still, not to mention the year before where Cole was a PPG player. The fact that Cole SUCKED with Edmonton... well, he then had 15 points in 17 games when rejoining Carolina or somethign. Next seasons injuries are what they are. Doesn't mean he wasn't back to Kunitz level again last season playing on an inferior team while Kunitz had a career high shooting percentage playing next to a Crosby on warp-speed. Cole was signed to his new contract because he delivered again.

Ask around and few people who aren't Pens fans will say that there's an appreciable difference between the two. After all, they play the same game, position, are the same size and seen over the careers so far they have similar stats/production.
PPG over the last 3 years for Kunitz:

08-09: .65
09-10: .64
10-11: .73

PPG over the last 3 years for Cole:

08-09: .53
09-10: .43
10-11: .63

Pretty clear who has been more productive of the two over recent years. Sucking in Edmonton isn't an argument in his favor either. I also think Kunitz wins the hypothetical intangibles argument.

Kunitz is clearly the better player, imo. It might also be worth noting that Cole is already in Martin's doghouse two games into the season, or at least his ice time would indicate as much.

Quote:
I suppose I could give you your usual lecture of 'small sample sizes' though obviously you do not include Leino's playoff numbers, where the QOC that matters looked like this: http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_stati...12+13+14+15+16
You must have missed my 'QOC numbers in the playoffs mean nothing' lecture. In order for QOC to work properly the pool that it draws from must be diverse and the sample must be significant. Otherwise you get this common scenario: Joe Thornton outshoots Pavel Datsyuk's line in the first round and it leads to a series victory. Since Pavel Datsyuk was matched up largely against Thornton and had no other opponents the only sample for Corsi Rel QOC is what went on in that series with Datsyuk being outshot, which means he he would show up as a weak opponent when using QOC. Variants of this scenario are extremely common, making the numbers fairly useless until they incorporate regular season data in there as well.

Quote:
I don't need more than look at Leino play to see that he is a very talented hockey player with gifts unlike those of Kunitz (and obviously weakneeses that Kunitz do not have also). Leino definitely got too much money and he doesn't have much of a back catalog to show that it is sustainable, but just looking at him, it isn't weird that he got top6 winger money in this free agency.
As is common with a lot of these deals, it's not really the cap hit that will kill them, it's the term. 6 years is brutal. They're also using him as a center which he's never successfully played at the NHL level.

I'm not too surprised by any UFA deals at this point, but on the surface this was a pretty mediocre signing by the Sabres. They do have a deep enough roster to shelter him similar to how the Flyers did though, so I won't be surprised if he maintains a decent pace, particularly if the Sabres give him more ice time.

Quote:
Ultimately, we fully AGREE that when these players can get what they got, so can Kunitz if he wants to!
I'm just allergic to Pens fans going on and on about how great our role players are relative to very similar players from others teams, only to simultaneously say that we have no talent when Sid and Malkin are out, and anyway - if Kunitz was to ask for 4.5 - he isn't worth it (just like Cole and Leino wouldn't be on our team - or Ryan Malone, however much I love him). We might as well suffer Dupuis on the first line LW then and spend the extra money on getting a 6 million dollar honest to God difference maker for the other wing.

Again - I think Kunitz will be retained for what he gets now, at most.
If there was a true difference maker out there at wing to be signed for $6m this offseason I'd be up for letting Kunitz go and making other sacrifices to sign them. But with more teams locking up their core players every offseason the UFA pool gets weaker and weaker, with very few real impact players ever slipping through unsigned beyond July 1st. That leaves the best of whatever's left to consume the cap space of teams that are desperate to spend money, of which there are always plenty. While the UFA list doesn't look too shabby right now, that's how it usually is in October. Over the next few months we'll likely see most of the high profile talents crossed off our lists as they get extensions.

If not re-signing Kunitz actually served a real purpose cap wise I could see why we would go in a different direction. But by my estimates we can easily afford a decent raise if it comes to that (depending on Neal's performance and what happens with the cap), and if the alternative is to hand an unproven prospect his job or to replace him with another free agent, I'd much rather give Kunitz UFA type money. Unless of course that free agent is Parise or Hemsky ..

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10-10-2011, 07:25 AM
  #95
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Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
PPG over the last 3 years for Kunitz:

08-09: .65
09-10: .64
10-11: .73

PPG over the last 3 years for Cole:

08-09: .53
09-10: .43
10-11: .63
If Malkin gets back to 100+ this season, will you be doing his PPG for three seasons, or will you be thinking that he has returned to the norm? I mean you realise that you could not possibly be presenting stats more in Kunitz favor, right?
Once Cole got out of Edmonton in 08/09 he put up points at the same clip Kunitz did when he joined the Pens in the same season.
Next year Cole is injured half the season, along with Eric Staal and Cam Ward, and they finished one point out of the lottery. Prior to your three season selection, Cole had been on generally good teams and outproduced Kunitz in nominal and PPG terms both. Significantly so, btw.

For a complimentary top6 winger, it matters what kind of teams you're on. Kunitz to his credit has never been on a poor team, but if you put him on this years Islanders or Florida (etc.) he is not going to produce like he is with us. He isn't that kind of player. Cole has succeeded playing up-tempo, hard hitting hockey with Carolina. Kunitz has done the same with Anaheim and the Pens. Edmonton was none of that for Cole, and likely neither will it be like that at Montreal. I think it was a terrible decision by the Habs, but again that doesn't mean that Cole himself is much different from Kunitz.

As for Leino we will just continue to agree to disagree. Or wait and see... rather.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
As is common with a lot of these deals, it's not really the cap hit that will kill them, it's the term. 6 years is brutal. They're also using him as a center which he's never successfully played at the NHL level.
Term doesn't kill at all if the player is not subject to 35+ rules and your owner could care less if he has to pay to send the player down. also, That's the new Buffalo Sabres also, or so it seems, and there were no C's for them to get in this years market after Richards got Sathered - with Buffalo really needing one. It was an unreal contract though considering Leino's CV, we can only agree on that, but Leino is pretty young so the 6 years part isn't that bad. Just like Malone's contract, with what has happened to the cap, looks a lot less brutal now than it did then.
Personally I would love if we signed Kunitz to five years at less than what he gets now.... provided that our owners are OK with the risk... which is somewhat unlikely I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
If there was a true difference maker out there at wing to be signed for $6m this offseason I'd be up for letting Kunitz go and making other sacrifices to sign them. But with more teams locking up their core players every offseason the UFA pool gets weaker and weaker, with very few real impact players ever slipping through unsigned beyond July 1st.
Well - plenty of time to see if some are left before dealing with this issue. It is not as if there aren't anyone out there at present.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkin4Top6Wingerz View Post
If not re-signing Kunitz actually served a real purpose cap wise I could see why we would go in a different direction. But by my estimates we can easily afford a decent raise if it comes to that (depending on Neal's performance and what happens with the cap), and if the alternative is to hand an unproven prospect his job or to replace him with another free agent, I'd much rather give Kunitz UFA type money. Unless of course that free agent is Parise or Hemsky ..
Again - if paying Kunitz 4.5 million is the best solution when we reach that time, then you re-evaluate, but I have a hard time seeing how that could possibly be the case. Rather I think that would be lazy, because then you can always find a quality player for another position and acquire Kunitz replacement in a trade.

For me, if you have a major need, you get the player to fill it even if it means paying extra. As much as I like Kunitz, no one can tell me that left wing is such a massive problem on the Pens that we have to cave to market UFA terms. Indeed, outside of capable C's there's hardly anything we are less stocked with in terms of NHL quality players.

And again - I think and hope Kunitz stays.

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10-10-2011, 09:11 AM
  #96
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I don't see how Kunitz's salary ends up going UP now that he's older and more injury prone. Where does the increase in value come from, aside from the fact that he added a second stanley cup to his resume with the Pens?

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10-10-2011, 09:14 AM
  #97
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I don't see how Kunitz's salary ends up going UP now that he's older and more injury prone. Where does the increase in value come from, aside from the fact that he added a second stanley cup to his resume with the Pens?
Ask Erik Cole.

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10-10-2011, 09:26 AM
  #98
Ogrezilla
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Originally Posted by BLACKnYELLOW66 View Post
I don't see how Kunitz's salary ends up going UP now that he's older and more injury prone. Where does the increase in value come from, aside from the fact that he added a second stanley cup to his resume with the Pens?
cap inflation. The same quality player costs more money with each passing year.

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10-10-2011, 09:29 AM
  #99
Ugene Malkin
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Ask Erik Cole.
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Originally Posted by Ogrezilla View Post
cap inflation. The same quality player costs more money with each passing year.
This is due to GM's being in a pinch and over spending/paying.

Shero... does not equate too this.

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10-10-2011, 09:31 AM
  #100
AquaticBirdman
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cap inflation. The same quality player costs more money with each passing year.
I'd say it has to do more with team DESPERATION rather than cap inflation. The Habs offering Erik Cole that ridiculous contract was just once again piss poor management by a team that has been a victim of horrible management decisions for over a decade.

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