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What are people's thoughts on dealing with players who are about to become UFA's?

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Old
11-28-2011, 12:06 PM
  #1
Huffer
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What are people's thoughts on dealing with players who are about to become UFA's?

This is a question on how you would deal with your team's upcoming UFA's as a GM. What would be your philosophy? I.E. No contract talks during the year, try to resign after the season? No trades or trade them all?

My take is that as a GM I would identify the players that I would like to have back and make every effort to resign them before and yes even during the season. As it gets closer to the trade deadline, I would have a serious conversation with each player and flat out ask them if they have any intention of resigning in the off season. In the event that I couldn't either resign the guys I wanted, or was told that they wouldn't resign, I would look to get something for them at the deadline. Especially for a team like Winnipeg, where I don't expect us to be able to magically restock our roster every year by signing other teams UFA's, I don't think we should be in the habit of losing players for nothing.

This wouldn't work all the time though. In certain instances you might want to hold on to an upcoming UFA, even if he's not resigned. Maybe the team is possibly strong enough to take a run, and you don't want to gut it. Or maybe the UFA in question is in a position of weakness on the roster, and losing him would temporarily destroy the team. You can also get something after the season for the "rights" to a UFA before the July 1 date, but it's considerably less than what you would get at the deadline.

Anyway, this leads to my next question, which is what would you do with this years UFAs:

Slater
Glass
Wellwood
Jaffray
Stapelton

Oduya
Meech
Flood

Mason
Mannino

Also, next year might be even more important:

Antropov

Hasiney
Enstrom


Seems like the board is a little slow today (post Grey Cup hangover), and I thought this might be a decent point of discussion.

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11-28-2011, 12:31 PM
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allan5oh
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Like I said in the Wellwood thread, he would be extremely valuable to a team that is making a cup run that is also up against the cap. Producing well above his pay grade and is a known playoff performer. Would I trade him? Who knows, he seems to like it here. It would depend on the trade. The fans would sure love him to stay though.

There's also the intangibles that we don't know about. Of course we know guys like Meech would love to stay in Winnipeg.

It's also pretty early in the season to be dealing with this. I'd wait until at least January to re sign guys.

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11-28-2011, 12:51 PM
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I would deal Wellwood and Oduya because I don't see them re-signing with us at all (we were sort of Wellwood's last option and we have prospects that can replace Oduya).

Slater and Antropov I would only deal at the deadline if it doesn't look good for them to re-sign with us.

Enstrom I would keep until July 1st in hopes that he and the Jets can come to terms on a new deal. He's a core player and someone I hope Chevy locks up long term (ie. 6.5 million x 7 years).

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11-28-2011, 01:04 PM
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Assuming we are 100% out of it a week before the deadline, I would look into moving Oduya and Wellwood and seeing what would be offered for Antropov and Slater. All could fetch something of value with their play. I don't think Antropov will be in the long term plans of this team, but I think Slater is key.

I would like to think we would want to resign Slater and Wellwood ASAP though.
-Slater is being relied heavily for faceoffs and solid D. I've noticed Noel will have him out there to take more defensive zone draws. He took the 2nd most draws SAT against Boston with 14 and took 18 against Washington last week. He's more or less our 3rd line defensive center that can add some scoring(more then recent years).
-Wellwood just seems to do a lot of good things offensively for us. I think he can be valuable to this team as depth scoring once some of the young guys develop. Could be our 2nd line RW with Ladd going forward.

-Long term, I think a guy like Hainsey needs to try to be resigned. He's a leader in the locker room and the veteran on the blueline. You need a good veteran presence on the backend to go deep in the playoffs and with the improvements Hainsey has made in the last year or so, he is one of our top 4 D. I think he is key for us

-Enstrom obviously needs to be resigned long term. He can eat up minutes, play in all situations, QB the PP, and bring 50+ points from the backend. A combo of him, Bogo, and Hainsey can really take us far with the minutes they can eat up and play in all situations. It also benefits Buff to give him easier minutes when we're fully healthy.

If we're in a playoff spot come the deadline, I don't expect Wellwood, Slater, Oduya, or Antropov to be moved. They have all been big for us this year.

If we're in a borderline playoff spot, I'd expect Chevy to make a move for a depth forward with a little scoring touch.

Unfortunately, the move could have put a damper on who we want to keep. Atlanta to Winnipeg is a BIG difference, and some guys might just want to go somewhere else(although, I can't imagine guys don't like playing in front of the most enthusiastic crowd in the league).

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11-28-2011, 01:53 PM
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Denny 204
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Slater and Flood are the guys on that list that I want signed to longer deals. Wellwood would be great to keep if he made 1 mill or less. The rest I can part with.

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11-28-2011, 02:08 PM
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Slater needs a 3 year deal as far as I'm concerned. He's been great for us, I'm blown away by him and I give the ATL fans a lot of credit for recognizing what a gem he is.

I wouldn't mind re-signing Glass. He's not a stud, but he shows up every night a does his job. A good blue collar guy if the price is right.

I think Wellwood deserves a 2 year deal if we can come to terms on a decent contract. He's been good for us, and seems like he has a positive impact on the players around him. Hopefully he realizes that we gave him a chance when no one else was going to and rewards us with reasonable contract demands.

I love the way Oduya has been playing of late. I think he's the victim of a bad first impression but as of late I think he's been one of our better D-men. He's been forced to play a lot more, and against better players due to injuries and has fared pretty well. He needs a sizable pay reduction but I wouldn't mind seeing him next year if the price is right.

Flood would be nice to have, but I think it's best for him to move on. We're so deep on the blue line that I dont think he'll get a real shot here. If he goes elsewhere he can be a legit every day NHL player.

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11-28-2011, 02:52 PM
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I think most of us have a guy like Slater pegged as someone we would like around and given another contact.

So I will use him as an example. You've identified him as a guy you want to keep. You spoken with him and his agent all last summer. You've also spoken with his agent a little through the season. For some reason, you can't get a contract done.

At the trade deadline do you unload him because you don't want to risk losing him for nothing, or do you hold on to him, and pray you can sign him in the offseason?

Not every situation is the same, but the question I am asking is, would you be the type of GM that sends the message that unless you resign "before" hitting UFA that you are fair game at the deadline? Or would you be the type to roll the dice and hope you don't get burned when a valuable player on your roster leaves as a UFA and you don't get anything for him?

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11-28-2011, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny 204 View Post
Slater and Flood are the guys on that list that I want signed to longer deals. Wellwood would be great to keep if he made 1 mill or less. The rest I can part with.
Exactly this.

Depending on the years (I'd sign him to 1 or 2), but I'd be willing to give Wellwood more than a mil, less than 2 most likely though. Although if the return is good enough I wouldn't be heartbroken if he was dealt at the deadline. I would however be heartbroken if Slater was dealt at the deadline. I just feel like he's the kind of player that is an extremely solid bottom 6er that is more important to the team than any return he could demand.

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11-28-2011, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wpgsilver View Post
Slater needs a 3 year deal as far as I'm concerned. He's been great for us, I'm blown away by him and I give the ATL fans a lot of credit for recognizing what a gem he is.

I wouldn't mind re-signing Glass. He's not a stud, but he shows up every night a does his job. A good blue collar guy if the price is right.

I think Wellwood deserves a 2 year deal if we can come to terms on a decent contract. He's been good for us, and seems like he has a positive impact on the players around him. Hopefully he realizes that we gave him a chance when no one else was going to and rewards us with reasonable contract demands.

I love the way Oduya has been playing of late. I think he's the victim of a bad first impression but as of late I think he's been one of our better D-men. He's been forced to play a lot more, and against better players due to injuries and has fared pretty well. He needs a sizable pay reduction but I wouldn't mind seeing him next year if the price is right.

Flood would be nice to have, but I think it's best for him to move on. We're so deep on the blue line that I dont think he'll get a real shot here. If he goes elsewhere he can be a legit every day NHL player.
I think with UFAs that, unless it's an awesome talent (like Enstrom), when their contract expires, you offer them a deal, if they don't take it, they move on. Oduya is nice, but at some point you have to give time to the players you've been developing, and give them a chance to make the team. Unless you get him under market value, I think you let Oduya go.

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11-28-2011, 03:18 PM
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BigTuna49
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^^^ I agree with that to an extent as well. Part of it though is different between each GM. They don't of course all have the same, "tactics". Oduya likely won't be here long term, but I feel like the top 5 is set for the next year or two. Of course, trades and offers come up and you have to do what you feel best for the team. With the way the D as a whole has turned around this year, I think that'll be the easiest to keep solidified. The forward crop is a little different right now.

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Exactly this.

Depending on the years (I'd sign him to 1 or 2), but I'd be willing to give Wellwood more than a mil, less than 2 most likely though. Although if the return is good enough I wouldn't be heartbroken if he was dealt at the deadline. I would however be heartbroken if Slater was dealt at the deadline. I just feel like he's the kind of player that is an extremely solid bottom 6er that is more important to the team than any return he could demand.
This was what I was trying to get at in my post as well. I feel like to go deep in the playoffs, you will need a strong defensive center that can win faceoffs, play physical, and add a scoring touch. Slater has become JUST THAT.

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11-28-2011, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tbcwpg View Post
I think with UFAs that, unless it's an awesome talent (like Enstrom), when their contract expires, you offer them a deal, if they don't take it, they move on. Oduya is nice, but at some point you have to give time to the players you've been developing, and give them a chance to make the team. Unless you get him under market value, I think you let Oduya go.
Just to clarify, you're saying with our current UFA's just to ride them out to the end of the season and see which ones we can re-sign? I.E. you wouldn't try to move any of them at the deadline?

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11-28-2011, 03:35 PM
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-Slater is one of the hardest workers on the ice. Perfect bottom 6 guy to helps lift the cup. If there's a UFA to be signed, Slater is number 1.

-Wellwood. wow. Look at his point production and then look at his contract. Looks like the guy is ready to settle down with one team and if the price is right I'm hoping its Winnipeg. He makes everyone on his line better.

-Flood under the radar, but he has been steady since his call up. He was great with the moose and I was hoping the Canucks would give him a call up in 2011. Nice to see the Jets hung on to him.

-Glass. I'll tell you this, he wasn't this good for Vancouver. The guy is pure class and is a fearless energy guy. Would be nice to resign him for a few more years.

-Meech? Haven't noticed Meech enough to comment on his play. Is that good thing?

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11-28-2011, 03:36 PM
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If we're in contention come the trade deadline, you keep the team intact. If we're out of it, you perhaps explore trading some soon to be UFA's for assets.

I'd personally like to keep Slater, Wellwood and Glass as I believe they can all have a place on this team headed forward.

I think it all comes down to where the team is in the standings, from there, decisions will have to be made.

In terms of a guy like Slater, though, if Chevy feels confident he can re-sign him, by all means I'd like to hold on to him even if we're out of playoff contention.

Same goes for a guy like Wellwood, in my opinion. If come the deadline and we're out of contention, if Chevy likes Wellwood and he is continuing to fit in well here and we feel confident we can re-sign him, I'd like to hold on to him.

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11-28-2011, 03:56 PM
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The problem is I think this team will post a similar record to how Atlanta's was at the deadline, which was JUST outside the playoffs.

This makes it harder to decide whether to be a buyer or a seller. Although in this teams new circumstances they have a lot less pressure to make the playoffs, so I can easily see them being sellers this time around.

I'd be looking at trading off Oduya and Wellwood at the deadline. With the possibility of dealing either Wheeler or Fehr, depending on who Chevy deems more important to this team moving forwards. I could also possibly see dealing Thorburn (but his long contract may hinder that), but with how highly Rick Dudley spoke of him I could see Burke getting influenced and grabbing him for team depth if Toronto is still headed for the playoffs.

As for the UFA's, I'd be in constant talks with Slater's agent to try and iron out a deal before the season starts. To some extent possibly with Wellwood as well, but the way he's playing right now his price may be too much. Glass is sort of a mystery piece as he's the most easily replaceable, but he's been doing very well with the increased minutes and responsibility. He's also a very solid character guy, which management likes. We also have Klingberg who needs to slot in somewhere (on the bottom six) in the future so that needs to be given consideration as well.

I really think the entire time before the deadline is a learning period for both Noel and Chevy to see what they really have in this team and what they need to acquire/what they can lose to make this team better. As there is a bit of mismatching and line-juggling on the part of Noel to see who can play well together and what roles/what areas certain players excel at.

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11-28-2011, 04:16 PM
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Just to clarify, you're saying with our current UFA's just to ride them out to the end of the season and see which ones we can re-sign? I.E. you wouldn't try to move any of them at the deadline?
No you move who you can, I think you need to work out who is going to stay and who isn't before the deadline. If they aren't going to commit or if they don't indicate that they're willing to negotiate, ship them out.

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11-28-2011, 04:23 PM
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No you move who you can, I think you need to work out who is going to stay and who isn't before the deadline. If they aren't going to commit or if they don't indicate that they're willing to negotiate, ship them out.
Those are my thoughts as well.

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11-28-2011, 05:03 PM
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The problem is I think this team will post a similar record to how Atlanta's was at the deadline, which was JUST outside the playoffs.
This is exactly it. It will be a tough decision but I agree that we should sell this year. Playoffs in our first year would be INCREDIBLE, but I want a future Stanley Cup contender; I don't like the risk of losing picks/prospects just to finish in ninth.

I also agree that we should look into moving Oduya and Wellwood. If Wellwood drops his performance a bit, but keeps up let's say a 50-point pace, there are a lot of teams that would jump at the chance to get that for a $700k (!) cap-hit.

I want to see the GST line back next year, they are punching way above their weight. As a line, they seem to be more than the sum of their parts, though we could find energy guys to replace Glass or Thorburn... I just like them too damn much.

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11-28-2011, 05:36 PM
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I think Chevy is still getting to know a lot of players. I'd bet Slater, Glass and Wellwood will get extensions before the deadline. Slater and Glass have been playing hard for us and seem to fit what the organization is trying to build itself as. Both are due large raises though. Wellwood has bounced around the league a lot, so I'd bet he's a little less enthusiastic about going to free-agency than someone like Slater might be.

Oduya and Mason are both guys that I'd like to see retained but that I could see leaving. Oduya may not fit with our depth and abundance of offensive defensemen. Mason could probably get a lot more starts on a team with weak goaltending and at his age, he may be looking for more of a chance.

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Enstrom I would keep until July 1st in hopes that he and the Jets can come to terms on a new deal. He's a core player and someone I hope Chevy locks up long term (ie. 6.5 million x 7 years).
Seriously? I like Enstrom but there's no way he's worth that much. I sincerely hope he doesn't make anywhere close to that. I'm also hesitant about contracts longer than 5 years unless the player is named Crosby. More often than not, long contracts end up looking really bad for the team in the end.

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11-28-2011, 06:22 PM
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Seriously? I like Enstrom but there's no way he's worth that much. I sincerely hope he doesn't make anywhere close to that. I'm also hesitant about contracts longer than 5 years unless the player is named Crosby. More often than not, long contracts end up looking really bad for the team in the end.
Considering Doughty got that much and Weber got even more, it isn't a stretch at all to think Enstrom will get around that especially if he tests the FA market.

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11-28-2011, 06:30 PM
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Considering Doughty got that much and Weber got even more, it isn't a stretch at all to think Enstrom will get around that especially if he tests the FA market.
Sorry I do like enstrom.... but he isnt worth Doughty & Weber money

However he may end up getting it depending on that years UFA market

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11-28-2011, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
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Seriously? I like Enstrom but there's no way he's worth that much. I sincerely hope he doesn't make anywhere close to that. I'm also hesitant about contracts longer than 5 years unless the player is named Crosby. More often than not, long contracts end up looking really bad for the team in the end.
I'm not gonna get into a debate with you on how much he deserves yearly because it's all too subjective right now anyways, but in two years time, $6.5 a year is not gonna be what it is today. I'm not sure he'll ask for that much anyways, but that's neither here nor there.

I do agree with you about contracts getting up there in 6 and 7 years. You have to be careful with giving those out. Age and health come into play. Enstrom will be 29 at the end of his current contract, and assuming health is not a problem going forward, I'd personally have no problem with a 6-7 year deal.

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11-28-2011, 06:49 PM
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Using Doughty and Weber as comparables to Enstrom aren't very good comparables, in my opinion. I like Enstrom and he does a lot of things well, but I don't think he is in the same class as Doughty or Weber.

I personally think Enstrom is in the 5-5.75 pay bracket. I think that would be a fair average for him. That's not to say he wouldn't get more on the open market given how incredibly ridiculous the UFA market can get, but I just don't view Enstrom as elite of a defenseman as Weber or Doughty.


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11-28-2011, 06:54 PM
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BigTuna49
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Doughty has come back down to earth since his Norris nomination season. He isn't even on the same level as Weber. Even Bogosian has a better +/- (I know I know) and more points(I know I know, 5 more games).

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11-28-2011, 07:01 PM
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Doughty has come back down to earth since his Norris nomination season. He isn't even on the same level as Weber. Even Bogosian has a better +/- (I know I know) and more points(I know I know, 5 more games).
Agree with this. Doughty has come down a few notches since his big coming out party in 2009-2010. Even now Doughty is only on pace for an atrocious 29 points. With that being said, just as I repeatedly say with Bogosian, Doughty is still just 21 years of age, 22 in December.

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11-28-2011, 07:05 PM
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I doubt Toby would pass on 5+ per but like it's been said, that free agent market I could easily see him getting 6+ were he to explore that route.

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