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We MUST sign Anton Babchuk

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Old
06-05-2009, 11:28 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by AcidQueen View Post
No offense, but I do know totalkev personally and I know his sources of info. He's definitely not Dwayne Klessel.
He may very well have some good sources, but as he said, coming here and making a claim like that, while claiming to have good sources, but offering no proof, is very Eklund-like. Really, the only difference is it's coming from him and not Eklund. Well, that, and totalkev won't charge people to "find out more".

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06-06-2009, 03:00 AM
  #52
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Being well liked in the room is nice, but it's not requisite. I don't think there are many teams in the league that Babchuk would flourish in personally. Some people are just naturally introverted and not very approachable. Babchuk seems like one of those guys. As far as i'm concerned, that isn't our problem. The only thing I care about is what he does when his skates hit the ice, not who pulls up a locker next to him and who talks to him after practice.

Team chemistry is important, for sure, but I don't think Babchuk is disliked as much as the guys in the room are just neutral about him. It's hard to really dislike somebody that seemingly doesn't ever talk to anybody.

Plus, seeing the team huddle around him 16 times this year showed me all I need to know about how he fits in when he's scoring.

16 times, people. 16 goals. If you had money on a Hurricanes defenseman scoring 16 goals this year, I would have went all in on Corvo with a side play on Pitkanen for safe measure. To nearly have a 20 goal season delivered by a 25 year old defenseman? Get out of here.

I think we as fans are more apt to want to retain the obvious hard working players who everybody loves like Larose as opposed to equally productive players who just for whatever reason don't have the same fuzzy feeling about them. Babchuk has that cold Russian demeanor that doesn't lend itself well to charisma or charm. He's stoic almost to the extent that he seems arrogant and nobody on the team really vouches for him. For that reason, his achievements get a resounding "meh" from the fanbase. 16 goals from the blueline is something that only 10 or 15 defensemen in the league can do. We have one of them, and we're doing our best to escort him out of town by being negligent in contract negotiations and downright bitter regarding his return status for next season.

I wouldn't call it a stretch to think that Babchuk could improve on his numbers from last season. 20-30-50 isn't totally out of the question if he gets powerplay time befitting a player of his scoring prowess from the back end. For that, i'll suffer the warts of his inconsistent play in the defensive end.

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06-06-2009, 04:24 AM
  #53
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In order to score 20 goals he would likely have to take 200+ shots, which is doable with first unit PP time (Corvo had 213). Babchuk only ended up with 127 shots this season, but his shots (and subsequently his goal production) were way up in the second half.

First 31 games: 24 shots (64 shot pace), 1 goal (3 goal pace)
Last 41 games: 103 shots (206 shot pace), 15 goals (30 goal pace)

If Babchuk can keep up that second-half shot pace and just shoot at HALF of what his shooting percentage was this season, he'll still get 13 goals.

Just because he has no arbitration rights doesn't mean we should lowball him at the absolute minimum qualifying offer. $1.1M is a total joke for a defenseman who scored 16 goals and I seriously hope that that is not Rutherford's highest offer.

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06-06-2009, 05:28 AM
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueline Bomber View Post
He may very well have some good sources, but as he said, coming here and making a claim like that, while claiming to have good sources, but offering no proof, is very Eklund-like. Really, the only difference is it's coming from him and not Eklund. Well, that, and totalkev won't charge people to "find out more".
totalkev's sources do exist and could get sent packing in short order if they were exposed by an org that believes in the value of omerta.

If you want to keep insulting him by comparing him to a fraud who loves to make up things out of whole cloth and cling to the illusion that he is somehow "anonymous" just because the guy won't jeopardize the people he gets his info from by giving you their names/ranks/serial numbers, by all means please do so. But don't be surprised when I call you out.

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06-06-2009, 10:58 AM
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidQueen View Post
totalkev's sources do exist and could get sent packing in short order if they were exposed by an org that believes in the value of omerta.

If you want to keep insulting him by comparing him to a fraud who loves to make up things out of whole cloth and cling to the illusion that he is somehow "anonymous" just because the guy won't jeopardize the people he gets his info from by giving you their names/ranks/serial numbers, by all means please do so. But don't be surprised when I call you out.
He started the comparison, not I. Don't get in a pissing match with me when I'm using the comparison given to me.

Like I said, he may have very good sources, and may have a very good reason for not revealing them. I get that. I'm a Journalism major, I get not revealing sources.

However, I also know that not revealing sources makes the story as a whole seem weaker and less believable. Which is why I said I'll take his comment with a grain of salt.

As for Babchuk, it's pretty much what JR stated. Take the qualifying offer or go back to Russia. Babs deserves more, but if he really wants to play for a contender (which this team was this past season), then he'll stick around and take less money.

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06-06-2009, 03:28 PM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton Babchuk View Post
In order to score 20 goals he would likely have to take 200+ shots, which is doable with first unit PP time (Corvo had 213). Babchuk only ended up with 127 shots this season, but his shots (and subsequently his goal production) were way up in the second half.

First 31 games: 24 shots (64 shot pace), 1 goal (3 goal pace)
Last 41 games: 103 shots (206 shot pace), 15 goals (30 goal pace)

If Babchuk can keep up that second-half shot pace and just shoot at HALF of what his shooting percentage was this season, he'll still get 13 goals.

Just because he has no arbitration rights doesn't mean we should lowball him at the absolute minimum qualifying offer. $1.1M is a total joke for a defenseman who scored 16 goals and I seriously hope that that is not Rutherford's highest offer.
Additionally, I think you also have to consider the powerplay time he was denied for the vast majority of those first 31 games. He produced that amount of goals in what amounts to half a season.

There is no promise that his shooting percentage stays as strong across the board, but there is also nothing to recommend that it was an outlier in his career and will never happen again. Anything less than $1.5 to Babchuk would be an insult for his level of production.

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06-07-2009, 12:28 PM
  #57
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if the deal is a one year deal it would be stupid for JR to go much higher than the minimum. Babs isnt on the market and has no arbitration rights. once he gets those rights then the number will jump. Until then. anything JR gives him above the min should be looked at as appreciation for what he's done in 1/2 a season. It would be poor business to give a guy +150% of last years salary when he has no bargaining chip....unless he is interested in Russia. or you think he is a legit cant miss top 4 which noone beleives as of yet. As they say..."its just business"

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06-07-2009, 01:49 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by eerodynamic View Post
if the deal is a one year deal it would be stupid for JR to go much higher than the minimum. Babs isnt on the market and has no arbitration rights. once he gets those rights then the number will jump. Until then. anything JR gives him above the min should be looked at as appreciation for what he's done in 1/2 a season. It would be poor business to give a guy +150% of last years salary when he has no bargaining chip....unless he is interested in Russia. or you think he is a legit cant miss top 4 which noone beleives as of yet. As they say..."its just business"
RFA players are usually given raises based on production. Giving a player close to fair market value as an RFA is tantamount in establishing loyalty in that player. Babchuk signed last season for slightly more than his QO unless i'm mistaken, and it should probably happen again based on what we saw from him this year. I think $1.5 would be fair. Just an extra few hundred thousand to show him we appreciate his production.

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06-07-2009, 01:59 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by Vagrant View Post
Just an extra few hundred thousand to show him we appreciate his production.
That can buy whole lot Bojangles sandwiches.....

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06-07-2009, 02:03 PM
  #60
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I'd be fine with giving him a raise if not for his piss-poor showing in the playoffs. Can you just ignore how awful he was and pay him as if it didn't happen? I hate to say he played his way out of a raise but that's what it feels like.

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06-07-2009, 04:25 PM
  #61
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I really didn't see Babchuk's performance in the playoffs as much worse than any of our other defensemen. No one exactly stood out and played better than the others. At least, to a point where it's worth distinguishing him. Each defenseman had their butts handed to them depending on the opponent. Corvo was exposed against the Devils, Pitkanen against the Bruins, and Gleason against Pittsburgh. D-berg was average all around, until he inexplicably loses his man leaving an easy cross-crease pass. He had to have set a record in that respect: "Beaten in 3 consecutive series by the same play".

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06-07-2009, 05:24 PM
  #62
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I think Babchuk definitely and rightfully so deserves a bit of a raise. I would be fine with 1.5. I agree with Vagrant in the loyalty factor and you never really want to low ball a player just because you hold all the cards so you'll just throw the dirt at him because you know that's his only option. You give a bit, you take a bit. Look at it this way, we gave Dennis Seidenberg 1.2 million last offseason and quite a few thought that was a pretty decent pay raise for what Seidenberg, a RFA at the time, had accomplished to that date.

Babchuk is still young, he could very well round out his game. I have used the comparison before and it comes into play for me here, Sheldon Souray. There was a time when Sheldon Souray had quite poor mobility, was poor defensively, yet he was an asset on the PP with a cannon of a shot. (I have went over it on a couple occasions). To say the least and make a long story short, Sheldon has improved his defensive game and is a little more polished and his skating and mobility has become a bit more acceptable. Both Sheldon and Anton had/have a very raw defensive game, poor mobility but carry a cannon of a shot and are an asset on the PP.

All in all, there has been a rocky history between the two sides. To date we have patched things up and both sides have started over. Babchuk does indeed have potential, so there is no reason for us to take him for granted and throw him a low ball offer that would be offensive for his production. I still think it was idiotic, ignorant and uncalled for when JR come out and said Babchuk can either take the offer or go back to Russia. Babchuk polished up his offensive game quite nicely this past season and is still quite raw in the defensive zone. For some players it all doesnt come together at one time. With some more development and trust, along with a coaching staff willing to work with him, he could become a little better in his own zone. He'll likely never be an ace, and far from it, but if he can polish his defensive game up a bit, he will be ok in my books. He may never be a top 4 defenceman, and thats ok with me. If he turns out to be a 5/6 defenceman who can be counted on for bottom pairing minutes and top PP time, than you will likely still get a very productive, 15-20 goal defenceman and an ace of an asset for your PP. Nothing wrong with that.


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06-07-2009, 06:15 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Guerzy View Post
I think Babchuk definitely and rightfully so deserves a bit of a raise. I would be fine with 1.5. I agree with Vagrant in the loyalty factor and you never really want to low ball a player just because you hold all the cards so you'll just throw the dirt at him because you know that's his only option. You give a bit, you take a bit. Look at it this way, we gave Dennis Seidenberg 1.2 million last offseason and quite a few thought that was a pretty decent pay raise for what Seidenberg, a RFA at the time, had accomplished to that date.

Babchuk is still young, he could very well round out his game. I have used the comparison before and it comes into play for me here, Sheldon Souray. There was a time when Sheldon Souray had quite poor mobility, was poor defensively, yet he was an asset on the PP with a cannon of a shot. (I have went over it on a couple occasions). To say the least and make a long story short, Sheldon has improved his defensive game and is a little more polished and his skating and mobility has become a bit more acceptable. Both Sheldon and Anton had/have a very raw defensive game, poor mobility but carry a cannon of a shot and are an asset on the PP.

All in all, there has been a rocky history between the two sides. To date we have patched things up and both sides have started over. Babchuk does indeed have potential, so there is no reason for us to take him for granted and throw him a low ball offer that would be offensive for his production. I still think it was idiotic, ignorant and uncalled for when JR come out and said Babchuk can either take the offer or go back to Russia. Babchuk polished up his offensive game quite nicely this past season and is still quite raw in the defensive zone. For some players it all doesnt come together at one time. With some more development and trust, along with a coaching staff willing to work with him, he could become a little better in his own zone. He'll likely never be an ace, and far from it, but if he can polish his defensive game up a bit, he will be ok in my books. He may never be a top 4 defenceman, and thats ok with me. If he turns out to be a 5/6 defenceman who can be counted on for bottom pairing minutes and top PP time, than you will likely still get a very productive, 15-20 goal defenceman and an ace of an asset for your PP. Nothing wrong with that.
Exactly. Babchuk is still a valuable part of the team even if he doesn't continue developing. He just needs to be paired with a partner who is at least passable at skating and moving the puck, which is not Wallin.

Babchuk having no arbitration rights doesn't mean he has no bargaining chips. He can threaten to go back to Russia or sign an offer sheet. Don't laugh. I'm sure there's some team lacking offensive defensemen that would be willing to pay Babchuk what he's worth and only sacrifice a 2nd rounder.

Babchuk drove down his price with his playoff "performance", but in no way does that mean he deserves the minimum QO. Cam Ward - who was not arbitration eligible at the time - got a three-year deal at $2.667M despite posting some of the worst goaltending stats in the league that season. And as mentioned before, Seidenberg got a $350,000 raise last season despite being a healthy scratch for large portions of the season (and though he was arbitration eligible, he didn't actually file for it).

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06-07-2009, 06:21 PM
  #64
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Still, good money is on us holding Babchuk's rights hostage and offering him exactly $1.1 million to retain him. It would be a ridiculous move, but it would be a JR move. If I was his agent, i'd be calling around the league fishing for offer sheets as subtle as possible. As was mentioned, Babchuk for a 2nd would be a heist for whatever team made the gamble.

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06-08-2009, 06:47 AM
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant View Post
Still, good money is on us holding Babchuk's rights hostage and offering him exactly $1.1 million to retain him. It would be a ridiculous move, but it would be a JR move. If I was his agent, i'd be calling around the league fishing for offer sheets as subtle as possible. As was mentioned, Babchuk for a 2nd would be a heist for whatever team made the gamble.

Exactly. And listening to JR say he can either take the offer given or go back to Russia pretty well puts it in order as to how the chips may fall here.

Unless of course JR is fine with 1.5 but believes Anton and his agent will want to discuss a deal involving 2-3 million, if so and that is the speculation and reasoning for JR to utter those words, I could see where he is coming from.

To say the least, it will be interesting within the next week/week and a half as i'm sure we will be hearing some news on some of these RFA.

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06-08-2009, 09:08 AM
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vagrant View Post
Still, good money is on us holding Babchuk's rights hostage and offering him exactly $1.1 million to retain him. It would be a ridiculous move, but it would be a JR move. If I was his agent, i'd be calling around the league fishing for offer sheets as subtle as possible. As was mentioned, Babchuk for a 2nd would be a heist for whatever team made the gamble.
I don't see Babchuk lasting in Carolina for much longer. He'll be given his minimum QO, just as you said above, after that he'll either be easily traded over the course of the season or let go after another season or two when he finds another team to take him. JR's statement, Babchuk not showing up in front of reporters after exit interview give you some ideas that his days here are numbered.

Interesting tidbid I've read over the course of past year in russian news. it was a game day and Anton's b-day and, after the game that Canes won, russian reporter asked Samsonov whether Sergei and guys congratulated Babchuk. "What? Is it really his b-day?" - replied Samsonov - "I'll tell him happy b-day then".

It just shows how intraverted Babchuk is and his luck of chemistry with his teammates.
I am not surprised that English speaking teammates didn't know about Anton's b-day, but the only guy in the roster who speaks the same language had no clue.

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06-08-2009, 09:43 AM
  #67
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Originally Posted by Vagrant View Post
RFA players are usually given raises based on production. Giving a player close to fair market value as an RFA is tantamount in establishing loyalty in that player. Babchuk signed last season for slightly more than his QO unless i'm mistaken, and it should probably happen again based on what we saw from him this year. I think $1.5 would be fair. Just an extra few hundred thousand to show him we appreciate his production.
Two things: No. 1, this just plain isn't the organization's style. JR uses every tiny bit of his leverage when he has it. He knows that the player will do the same thing when he gets his turn, so he sees no reason not to do what he can to save even a tiny bit of money with RFAs (see Cole, Erik for about three straight off-seasons).

And No. 2, I compared my statement to Eklund for a laugh. I know you can't take it at face value because it's unattributed, but people do know me and know that I'm not making stuff up. I can tell you that there are many players on the team who aren't the least bit indifferent about Anton -- they simply hate him.

This actually bothers me, to tell the truth. That's where real leadership should come in. If there's a problem in the room with a guy, the captain (or another team leader) should take the player in and at least figure out a way that he can be at least understood in the room.

And I do have a funny story about Eklund, in case anybody is interested. One of his biggest rumors a few years ago on draft day was a three-way trade between Carolina/Edmonton/Philadelphia that involved Cole, Pitkanen and an unknown package from Edmonton-to-Philly. He originally had a rumor on his site about an "Eastern Conference power forward headed west." So I called a friend at the draft (who would have no direct knowledge of a deal and wouldn't tell me if he did, but may have heard something and would at least shoot the s*** with me on the phone) and speculated that it could be Cole to Edmonton. We talked about it a bit and decided Edmonton didn't have anything we'd want, and there would have to be a third team involved.

It turns out that Eklund's original thought on the first rumor was Glen Murray from Boston to Minnesota, then he overheard half of the conversation and ran with the three-team deal as an E4 or something like that. In other words, random speculation between two guys who had *zero* to do with anything.

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06-08-2009, 10:29 AM
  #68
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Two things: No. 1, this just plain isn't the organization's style. JR uses every tiny bit of his leverage when he has it. He knows that the player will do the same thing when he gets his turn, so he sees no reason not to do what he can to save even a tiny bit of money with RFAs (see Cole, Erik for about three straight off-seasons).

And No. 2, I compared my statement to Eklund for a laugh. I know you can't take it at face value because it's unattributed, but people do know me and know that I'm not making stuff up. I can tell you that there are many players on the team who aren't the least bit indifferent about Anton -- they simply hate him.

This actually bothers me, to tell the truth. That's where real leadership should come in. If there's a problem in the room with a guy, the captain (or another team leader) should take the player in and at least figure out a way that he can be at least understood in the room.

And I do have a funny story about Eklund, in case anybody is interested. One of his biggest rumors a few years ago on draft day was a three-way trade between Carolina/Edmonton/Philadelphia that involved Cole, Pitkanen and an unknown package from Edmonton-to-Philly. He originally had a rumor on his site about an "Eastern Conference power forward headed west." So I called a friend at the draft (who would have no direct knowledge of a deal and wouldn't tell me if he did, but may have heard something and would at least shoot the s*** with me on the phone) and speculated that it could be Cole to Edmonton. We talked about it a bit and decided Edmonton didn't have anything we'd want, and there would have to be a third team involved.

It turns out that Eklund's original thought on the first rumor was Glen Murray from Boston to Minnesota, then he overheard half of the conversation and ran with the three-team deal as an E4 or something like that. In other words, random speculation between two guys who had *zero* to do with anything.
I don't think there is any doubt about Babchuk not being well-liked in the room. Aside from his aloof behavior many of the guys on the roster were there when he abandoned the team during a playoff stretch by going AWOL. Regardless of whether it was bad advice by his agent, this was a purely selfish move where he put his own interests ahead of the team's and is always a sore spot with teammates. JR brought him back out of necessity not because the players clamored for it.

As far as the Eklund story, Luke DeCock claimed it was a conversation between he and Jim Matheson (EDM writer) that was overhead, as they were both speculating about the rumor while at the draft. But Eklund clearly has been known to wing it in that manner in the hopes he covers every angle and can that claim breaking a story.

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06-08-2009, 11:20 AM
  #69
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I don't think there is any doubt about Babchuk not being well-liked in the room. Aside from his aloof behavior many of the guys on the roster were there when he abandoned the team during a playoff stretch by going AWOL. Regardless of whether it was bad advice by his agent, this was a purely selfish move where he put his own interests ahead of the team's and is always a sore spot with teammates. JR brought him back out of necessity not because the players clamored for it.
It does bring up an interesting point of topic though. A good portion of the current team wasn't around when Babs seceded. Samsonov, Ruutu, Jokinen, Corvo, Eaves, Pitkanen, Cullen, maybe Seidenberg. And of course, Maurice. And the quotes praising the guy when he was on that hot streak (if you can really call it that) were mainly from those players. The others, like Staal and Ward, were usually backhanded complements like "It's always good when the puck goes in the net" or "If he hits the net, there's a good chance of it going in".

Still, in the end, it's about those 2 points, and I'm sure the players on the team have no problem putting it in the past assuming Babchuk puts on a similar regular season performance next year. You can not like the guy, but when you're huddling around him to celebrate a goal every 5 games, it doesn't really matter, does it?

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06-08-2009, 11:32 AM
  #70
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As far as the Eklund story, Luke DeCock claimed it was a conversation between he and Jim Matheson (EDM writer) that was overhead, as they were both speculating about the rumor while at the draft. But Eklund clearly has been known to wing it in that manner in the hopes he covers every angle and can that claim breaking a story.
Yeah, not sure where it "officially" started, but neither of the people on my phone call were Luke or Jim Matheson. I guess a lot of people were speculating, but to "report" it as fact based on phone conversations involving beat writers is pretty weak. Of course, what Eklund does can in no way be called "reporting."

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06-08-2009, 11:42 AM
  #71
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Originally Posted by Blueline Bomber View Post
It does bring up an interesting point of topic though. A good portion of the current team wasn't around when Babs seceded. Samsonov, Ruutu, Jokinen, Corvo, Eaves, Pitkanen, Cullen, maybe Seidenberg. And of course, Maurice. And the quotes praising the guy when he was on that hot streak (if you can really call it that) were mainly from those players. The others, like Staal and Ward, were usually backhanded complements like "It's always good when the puck goes in the net" or "If he hits the net, there's a good chance of it going in".

Still, in the end, it's about those 2 points, and I'm sure the players on the team have no problem putting it in the past assuming Babchuk puts on a similar regular season performance next year. You can not like the guy, but when you're huddling around him to celebrate a goal every 5 games, it doesn't really matter, does it?
Actually in a nutshell it can matter. If you have a locker room cancer, as some like to call it, it can affect team chemistry. If a player is in a locker room where they don't want to be or a handful of players don't want that player there, it can matter. See Eric Belanger.

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06-08-2009, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Blueline Bomber View Post
Still, in the end, it's about those 2 points, and I'm sure the players on the team have no problem putting it in the past assuming Babchuk puts on a similar regular season performance next year. You can not like the guy, but when you're huddling around him to celebrate a goal every 5 games, it doesn't really matter, does it?
A good performance helps, but when you feel a teammate put himself over the team at a time when they were battling for a playoff spot, that is very hard to overcome. When the guy isn't very personable and often a loner, it's harder still.

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Yeah, not sure where it "officially" started, but neither of the people on my phone call were Luke or Jim Matheson. I guess a lot of people were speculating, but to "report" it as fact based on phone conversations involving beat writers is pretty weak. Of course, what Eklund does can in no way be called "reporting."
No, I know Luke said both he and Matheson were there in person. Eklund has no sources locally and I've pointed that out to him but he is "smart" enough to know that whenever a former Cane is a FA or on the block, that Carolina is one of the several destinations to list.

I still laugh though about the time he swore Ryan Smyth had agreed to a sign-and-trade deal with NYI as a way to repay them for the time he was there. Yeah, ok.

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06-08-2009, 02:32 PM
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If the team can convince me that they need a D-man who can score close to 20 goals WITHOUT MOVING than by all mens sign Babs to a 1.1-1.3M one year deal. If said defenseman has to actually move, skate, or hit, we can find somone else to come stand in a puddle and swing at the puck.

Babchuk is incredibly slow, out of position and fails to use his size the way he could.

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Additionally, I think you also have to consider the powerplay time he was denied for the vast majority of those first 31 games. He produced that amount of goals in what amounts to half a season.

There is no promise that his shooting percentage stays as strong across the board, but there is also nothing to recommend that it was an outlier in his career and will never happen again. Anything less than $1.5 to Babchuk would be an insult for his level of production.

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06-08-2009, 04:11 PM
  #74
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Actually in a nutshell it can matter. If you have a locker room cancer, as some like to call it, it can affect team chemistry. If a player is in a locker room where they don't want to be or a handful of players don't want that player there, it can matter. See Eric Belanger.
Well, that comparison's flawed in numerous ways. First, Belanger scored about half the amount that Babchuk did. He also spent most of his time complaining about his lack of ice time. Belanger was a bigheaded loudmouth that thought he was better than he actually was. I really doubt you can say Babs is anything like that.

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Originally Posted by JussiRuutu View Post
If the team can convince me that they need a D-man who can score close to 20 goals WITHOUT MOVING than by all mens sign Babs to a 1.1-1.3M one year deal. If said defenseman has to actually move, skate, or hit, we can find somone else to come stand in a puddle and swing at the puck.

Babchuk is incredibly slow, out of position and fails to use his size the way he could.
The first and the last one are true. The 2nd one isn't. One of the only reasons Babchuk is serviceable as a defenseman (Shotblocking being his other strength) is his positioning. Good positioning can overcome a lack of speed or an aversion to physicality.

Look at Wesley. He wasn't the fastest guy out there, nor the most physical, but his ability to be in the right position at the right time overcame that.

When he was confident (and therefore playing well), Babs had the right positioning down for the most part. Being paired with Pitkanen was an advantage as well, since his speed offset Babchuk's lack of.

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06-08-2009, 04:17 PM
  #75
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We better sign him he deserves a spot and I think he should have played more in the playoffs....he will score big next year, not every team has the personnel to stop his biggest weapon like Pittsburgh or Boston.

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