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Drew Stafford, the real deal ?

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Old
02-09-2011, 11:37 AM
  #51
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Then only a select few (smart IMO) GM's would not pay Stafford 3+ mil/per 3-5 yr contract for 1 out of 5 seasons being very good. Pominville, and Hecht should be looked at before throwing that kind of money and yrs. at a player with little history as that kind of point producing player. That decision would be too spontanious and not well thought out. Just my opinion.

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02-09-2011, 11:38 AM
  #52
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I dont think putting his point on 82 games for his last years really give any infos about a player

By that reasoning, the sedins brothers, who had 30-40 points seasons for the firt 4 years of their career would have been nothing more than bust that should be traded at any time.

Yet... at their fifth season, all of a sudden, they decided it was time to play and jumped to 70 points, then 80, and now 100 at 29 years old

My points is, you can evaluate a player at this age by his past seasons. Not every players are sidney crosby, stamkos, etc. that will make the jump and become elite player.

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02-09-2011, 12:07 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by 71Zamboni View Post
Then only a select few (smart IMO) GM's would not pay Stafford 3+ mil/per 3-5 yr contract for 1 out of 5 seasons being very good.
Something that cannot be proven or disproven, since you did not name any of these GM's. And, once again, you're speaking emotionally and not basing your valuation of Stafford on objective data, which is a significant factor when a new contract is being negotiated.

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Pominville, and Hecht should be looked at before throwing that kind of money and yrs. at a player with little history as that kind of point producing player.
Maybe they should look at Roy's deal, too, for what can happen when you're proactive, rather than taking a reactive approach by making him prove it again next year and allowing his price to go up even more.

Can you at least concede that your proposed 2yr/$5m offer would be a complete non-starter?

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02-09-2011, 12:37 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
Maybe they should look at Roy's deal, too, for what can happen when you're proactive, rather than taking a reactive approach by making him prove it again next year and allowing his price to go up even more.
It all gets back to the crystal ball question of whether Stafford will follow Roy's career trajectory or Hecht's.

I'm betting that Stafford will regress to the 15 to 20 goal per year guy he's been for the bulk of his career over the next 3 seasons.

And I don't want to pay $3.5 to 4M per for a guy like that.

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02-09-2011, 12:41 PM
  #55
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If 2 yr/5mil. is a non starter, then i would let him walk. period. He simply hasn't shown me enough (history wise) that he is worth more. Just my opinion.

now if his 4 prior years he was more like

(full season pace)
06-07 - 54pts
07-08 - 48pts
08-09 - 60pts
09-10 - 64pts

I would throw a 3 yr/9 mil. to a 4 yr/13 mil. at him

Roy's deal is just right, not overpayment, not underpayment IMO
But if Roy was hovering around 45-55 pts a season i would think it was an overpayment. Sorry just my opinion.

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02-09-2011, 12:46 PM
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
It all gets back to the crystal ball question of whether Stafford will follow Roy's career trajectory or Hecht's.

I'm betting that Stafford will regress to the 15 to 20 goal per year guy he's been for the bulk of his career over the next 3 seasons.

And I don't want to pay $3.5 to 4M per for a guy like that.
I'm not so sure, you could be completely right, but it sure seems like the prototypical power forward is a late bloomer.

You can't argue that it sure looks like Stafford has turned the corner.

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02-09-2011, 01:00 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
It all gets back to the crystal ball question of whether Stafford will follow Roy's career trajectory or Hecht's.

I'm betting that Stafford will regress to the 15 to 20 goal per year guy he's been for the bulk of his career over the next 3 seasons.

And I don't want to pay $3.5 to 4M per for a guy like that.
But, based on the comparables list, that's what they cost. So, I read your statement as saying, "I don't want to pay market value for Stafford." That number is what the market looks to be dictating. You clearly think he's a mirage this season. I fundamentally disagree. It goes back to Myllz's point that if players aren't stars by their 23rd birthday, people are quick to label them as busts or mediocrities.

Also, being that you're one of the posters who frequently talks about the importance of how the organization is perceived, I fail to understand how asking a player to work on a number of a things--conditioning, shooting more, etc--then having the player go above and beyond to do just that, and then almost immediately trading him will create a positive perception of the organization.

The message I'd receive as a player? Do everything we ask of you, and when you do, and when you start seeing the fruits of your labor, we'll ship your ass out at the first chance we get. But, hey, it's just business, right?

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Originally Posted by 71Zamboni View Post
If 2 yr/5mil. is a non starter, then i would let him walk. period. He simply hasn't shown me enough (history wise) that he is worth more. Just my opinion.
Let's ignore the theoretical for the moment. With whom are you going to replace Stafford's production? A free agent? A draft pick (who will be NHL-ready five years from now)? It's a serious question. Because if you're letting one of the few productive players from an already inconsistent offense walk away, I want to know how you're going to fill that void? Short of trading him for a top-6 center, Stafford not being on the team next season would be near-indefensible.

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Roy's deal is just right, not overpayment, not underpayment IMO
So you think 70-point centers who play all three phases are only worth a $4 mil cap hit? Oy! You're cheaper than Quinn and Golisano!

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02-09-2011, 01:18 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by 71Zamboni View Post
Roy's deal is just right, not overpayment, not underpayment IMO
But if Roy was hovering around 45-55 pts a season i would think it was an overpayment. Sorry just my opinion.


Well then that explains your stance on Stafford. What exactly are you basing your values on? What you personally feel they should be paid, or what the market value dictates?

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02-09-2011, 01:18 PM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71Zamboni View Post
If 2 yr/5mil. is a non starter, then i would let him walk. period. He simply hasn't shown me enough (history wise) that he is worth more. Just my opinion.

now if his 4 prior years he was more like

(full season pace)
06-07 - 54pts
07-08 - 48pts
08-09 - 60pts
09-10 - 64pts

I would throw a 3 yr/9 mil. to a 4 yr/13 mil. at him

Roy's deal is just right, not overpayment, not underpayment IMO
But if Roy was hovering around 45-55 pts a season i would think it was an overpayment. Sorry just my opinion.
And if he had shown that level of improvement do you think he would have singed a 2yr deal worth 1.9/2.3? You do not negotiate based on 4 years ago. He's been paid for that. You negotiate based on where he is and where you think he's going. I disagree with JB, but at least he's making a value judgment based on future projections. That's how the market works.

Don't believe me.. then go to the commodity pits and talk with the traders there. It's all about the future, not the past.

Ta,

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02-09-2011, 01:24 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
Also, being that you're one of the posters who frequently talks about the importance of how the organization is perceived, I fail to understand how asking a player to work on a number of a things--conditioning, shooting more, etc--then having the player go above and beyond to do just that, and then almost immediately trading him will create a positive perception of the organization.

The message I'd receive as a player? Do everything we ask of you, and when you do, and when you start seeing the fruits of your labor, we'll ship your ass out at the first chance we get. But, hey, it's just business, right?
That's an excellent observation Zip. For all of the talk I see about a fresh start and changing direction, shipping Stafford off now would be nothing more than a continuation of the current practice of not paying unless forced to do so.

The question lingering behind this is simple... is Regier even allowed to talk contracts with the players between now and the close on the 22nd? That would seriously impact the possibility of being pro-active on Stafford's contract.

He's done the work and he's been a revelation this season. We now have multiple sets of wingers who are a danger to score and we're going to sell one of them while in a playoff chase?

Unless Pegula truly hates both Regier and Stafford, firing one and forcing a trade via the new GM in his first 6 days Stafford's here until April without a contract for next year.

Ta,

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02-09-2011, 01:28 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by goooal View Post
If what Ruff is saying is really the organizations belief (that Staff really turned the corner this year) I say lock him in with a deal, at least three years but I'd prefer four (maybe even five, but I'm not sure hed do it if he has confidence in himself). If you get him to four years you can achieve a reasonable cap hit for an impact player (3.5/per maybe?). A 4 year should also satisfy him as he would come out when he'd still (if he is in fact the real deal) be in his prime and ready to sign a 4~6 year big, till end of career deal.

Also, the organization needs to start negotiations. It will be a nice show of confidence for him I think, and life is easier (generally) when you dont wait till a week before free agency.

Yes, I would say it's a risk, but risks need to be taken to go far. I'd rather take the (reasonable) risk than never go anywhere for fear of a mistake.
I'd try to sign him long term as well. With an incoming owner willing to spend money, the worst case scenario is a buyout or waivers/AHL. Although a GM doesn't enter into negotiations expecting to have to use those tools, not having them places major constraints on the offer. I'm sure Lydman would have been offered a longer term if Regier had those tools.

I don't think it's wise to start negotiations now as it can be a distraction for the player. Unless the Sabres make it to the finals, they'll have plenty of time to negotiate. The Sabres can also use club elected arbitration to block the possibility of an offer sheet while they negotiate.

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02-09-2011, 01:32 PM
  #62
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Originally Posted by Buffaloed View Post
I'd try to sign him long term as well. With an incoming owner willing to spend money, the worst case scenario is a buyout or waivers/AHL. Although a GM doesn't enter into negotiations expecting to have to use those tools, not having them places major constraints on the offer. I'm sure Lydman would have been offered a longer term if Regier had those tools.

I don't think it's wise to start negotiations now as it can be a distraction for the player. Unless the Sabres make it to the finals, they'll have plenty of time to negotiate. The Sabres can also use club elected arbitration to block the possibility of an offer sheet while they negotiate.
Good point. B'loed. I wasn't sure of Stafford's status within Group II.

Ta,

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02-09-2011, 01:41 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by joechip View Post
And if he had shown that level of improvement do you think he would have singed a 2yr deal worth 1.9/2.3? You do not negotiate based on 4 years ago. He's been paid for that. You negotiate based on where he is and where you think he's going. I disagree with JB, but at least he's making a value judgment based on future projections. That's how the market works.

Don't believe me.. then go to the commodity pits and talk with the traders there. It's all about the future, not the past.

Ta,
Exactly, and i realize i may be in the minority, that's fine. I am not comfortable with thinking he will from now on be a 60+ pt. producer. He may be, that would be awesome! But based on his history, i would think you could at least see why i am not so sure he will from now (until his next contract expires) will be way better than his past. I truly hope i am wrong on his future production. I just have reservations about him. I would rather have Pegula pay reasonable contracts, regret very few of them, rather than pay huge bloated contracts on 6-8 guys, and be no better off, and regret most of them. I keep thinking of Pominville, Hecht, Connolly, Drury, Redden, Gomez, Campbell, Giguere, Vanek, and on and on.
It's hard for me to believe you need to overpay for most of your roster in order win the cup. I think it can be done differently. Smart signings,reasonably priced leaders, very few hype players. Some teams have won that way, some have won the other way.

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02-09-2011, 01:52 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by 71Zamboni View Post
Exactly, and i realize i may be in the minority, that's fine. I am not comfortable with thinking he will from now on be a 60+ pt. producer. He may be, that would be awesome! But based on his history, i would think you could at least see why i am not so sure he will from now (until his next contract expires) will be way better than his past. I truly hope i am wrong on his future production. I just have reservations about him. I would rather have Pegula pay reasonable contracts, regret very few of them, rather than pay huge bloated contracts on 6-8 guys, and be no better off, and regret most of them. I keep thinking of Pominville, Hecht, Connolly, Drury, Redden, Gomez, Campbell, Giguere, Vanek, and on and on.
It's hard for me to believe you need to overpay for most of your roster in order win the cup. I think it can be done differently. Smart signings,reasonably priced leaders, very few hype players. Some teams have won that way, some have won the other way.
You are the only one who thinks paying Stafford a market wage is over-paying him. I concede you have your worries about the player... then if you're the GM you trade him at high value, ala JB. You don't insult him with a poor offer that will ensure that it bites you in the ass next time.

How would you feel if you're boss said "Do this this this this and this.... and make us $XXXX but you've only done that once, so here's a cookie."

Fie on that. You walk in and you negotiate a raise and/or a bonus. If they balk, you are free to solicit offers from other employers and prove your worth on the market. If they don't want to pay you, you switch jobs. Do you negotiate on a house based on the price 3 years ago? No, you use comps of current sales.

Now, RFA's can't do that in the NHL, b/c of the CBA and idiotic U.S./Canadian labor law[1], so the agent is going to argue for a comparable contract. If we lowball him, Stafford will go to Arbitration, or accept a QO (and be a UFA the next year... good luck signing him then). It's about leverage. The player in ascendancy has it. Live with it or trade him. There is no in-between. That position is a non-starter in the real world.

Ta,

[1] - my take... radical libertarian here, ignore if you disagree.

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02-09-2011, 01:54 PM
  #65
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Originally Posted by 71Zamboni View Post
Exactly, and i realize i may be in the minority, that's fine. I am not comfortable with thinking he will from now on be a 60+ pt. producer. He may be, that would be awesome! But based on his history, i would think you could at least see why i am not so sure he will from now (until his next contract expires) will be way better than his past. I truly hope i am wrong on his future production. I just have reservations about him. I would rather have Pegula pay reasonable contracts, regret very few of them, rather than pay huge bloated contracts on 6-8 guys, and be no better off, and regret most of them. I keep thinking of Pominville, Hecht, Connolly, Drury, Redden, Gomez, Campbell, Giguere, Vanek, and on and on.
It's hard for me to believe you need to overpay for most of your roster in order win the cup. I think it can be done differently. Smart signings,reasonably priced leaders, very few hype players. Some teams have won that way, some have won the other way.
For Stafford, what exactly do you consider to be a huge, bloated contract?

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02-09-2011, 02:06 PM
  #66
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Ruff addressed the 'contract year' vs. 'light going on' issue with Stafford directly yesterday on WGR. Stafford got himself in good enough shape to finish his shifts at the same energy level as the beginning of the shift and that has given him the tools he needs to succeed in this league.

If he continues to play like this through the end of the year he's going to get a Derek Roy like contract from the Sabres. They asked him to step up his game and he has. I have no issue with him getting something like that. He's 25, hitting his prime and is, right now, nearly a PPG player. Thankfully, no one is talking about him in the Toronto media to raise his price.... yet.

Not only does he have 20 goals in 34 games (a 49 goal pace btw), but he's scoring big goals at key times. 2 goals in the final minute of regulation to force OT this year... that's huge. And, he's done this while fighting injuries and ever-changing linemates due to injury.

Ta,
Stafford is also benefiting from the Sabres' lack of organizational depth at RW beyond Pominville - and even Pominville often doesn't perform like a first-line winger. The opportunity has been there for Stafford to step in and become the clear-cut 1st liner he's playing like now....

Of course, as soon as he lands a big contract and gets installed on the 1st line, who knows if he'll fall backwards again to his past ways......

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02-09-2011, 02:28 PM
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Stafford is also benefiting from the Sabres' lack of organizational depth at RW beyond Pominville - and even Pominville often doesn't perform like a first-line winger. The opportunity has been there for Stafford to step in and become the clear-cut 1st liner he's playing like now....

Of course, as soon as he lands a big contract and gets installed on the 1st line, who knows if he'll fall backwards again to his past ways......
Fair enough. Both Ruff and Hamilton have said in the past two days that this is not a contract year issue. He's getting the opportunity and he's taking advantage of it. If anything Stafford has been hurt by the lack of RW depth in the organization, handing him a position he wasn't mature enough to handle.

I'm laying long odds that he's going to regress at this point. YMMV, but I say sign him to a 4/5 year deal for Roy money.

Ta,

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02-09-2011, 02:56 PM
  #68
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Stafford has been playing very, very good hockey lately. Now here's a different thought:

Stafford has played on the PK before at other levels, including Team USA at the WCs. Why not try him on the PK? The way he is playing, I think he could do pretty well in that role. Granted, it's not like the team is in dire need of more PK'ers, but a part of me is curious to see how he'd do.

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02-09-2011, 03:06 PM
  #69
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This is a realistic offer that I'd throw at him in the off-season:

---
2011/12 - $3,600,000
2012/13 - $3,900,000
2013/14 - $4,000,000
2014/15 - $4,100,000
2015/16 - $4,100,000
---

TOTAL CONTRACT: 5 years, $19,700,000
CAP HIT: $3,940,000

He's 25 years old, so he's gonna be looking for a contract that's long, but not too long. He probably wants to be a free agent during his prime years (29/30 years old), so 5 years would most likely be what he's looking for. I gave him a steady increase every year to ensure he'll get the money he deserves when he hits his prime. Some may think the price is a little steep, but a team like Buffalo has to overpay a bit to keep their younger players. I highly doubt most of these guys dream about playing for a city like Buffalo, so you have to compensate.

About 3.9 cap hit. That's the same as Patrick Sharp. I could see Stafford becoming a similar player to Sharp in the future. Around 25-30+ goals, 55-65+ points, not a defensive minded type of guy but is still responsible in all areas of the ice. Not a power forward, but always tries to get involved physically. A solid 2nd line player, and a 1st liner if we have any injury troubles.

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02-09-2011, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Barr View Post
This is a realistic offer that I'd throw at him in the off-season:

---
2011/12 - $3,600,000
2012/13 - $3,900,000
2013/14 - $4,000,000
2014/15 - $4,100,000
2015/16 - $4,100,000
---

TOTAL CONTRACT: 5 years, $19,700,000
CAP HIT: $3,940,000

He's 25 years old, so he's gonna be looking for a contract that's long, but not too long. He probably wants to be a free agent during his prime years (29/30 years old), so 5 years would most likely be what he's looking for. I gave him a steady increase every year to ensure he'll get the money he deserves when he hits his prime. Some may think the price is a little steep, but a team like Buffalo has to overpay a bit to keep their younger players. I highly doubt most of these guys dream about playing for a city like Buffalo, so you have to compensate.
I think that's pretty close. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that would buy three UFA years, which are the expensive ones. I think I'd go:

2011-12: $3.0 (RFA Year)
2012-13: $3.4 (RFA Year)
2013-14: $3.8 (UFA Year)
2014-15: $4.2 (UFA Year)
2015-16: $4.6 (UFA Year)

Total: 5 years, $19.0m ($3.8 cap hit)

Stafford gets lock-step raises. His salary should be highest when he's in his prime. He locks in two years of $4+ mil salary, which is pretty solid. He eliminates some of the risk if he takes a step back in the next year or two while he's on a short-term deal.

Buffalo locks him in at a reasonable cap hit and buys three UFA years. At $3.8, with a rising cap, he could still be traded because his cap hit isn't prohibitive.

It works for all parties.

Quote:
About 3.9 cap hit. That's the same as Patrick Sharp. I could see Stafford becoming a similar player to Sharp in the future. Around 25-30+ goals, 55-65+ points, not a defensive minded type of guy but is still responsible in all areas of the ice. Not a power forward, but always tries to get involved physically. A solid 2nd line player, and a 1st liner if we have any injury troubles
Uh oh. You just know someone is now going to compare Stafford to Sharp in an effort to demonstrate that Stafford doesn't deserve that type of money.

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02-09-2011, 05:12 PM
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I'm worried that a 5-year deal turns Good Stafford into Bad Pominville.

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02-09-2011, 05:33 PM
  #72
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Stafford has been playing very, very good hockey lately. Now here's a different thought:

Stafford has played on the PK before at other levels, including Team USA at the WCs. Why not try him on the PK? The way he is playing, I think he could do pretty well in that role. Granted, it's not like the team is in dire need of more PK'ers, but a part of me is curious to see how he'd do.
I'd rather see him get more ice time by double shifting and more time on the PP. The abrupt starts, stops, turns, and twists that forwards have to make on the PK to stay in position are hard on the groin and hips. Stafford's coming back from a groin injury and missed time last season with a hip flexor. He'd also have to block shots. I don't think it's worth the injury risk unless he's exceptionally good at it. I feel the same way about Vanek.

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02-09-2011, 05:48 PM
  #73
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But, based on the comparables list, that's what they cost. So, I read your statement as saying, "I don't want to pay market value for Stafford." That number is what the market looks to be dictating. You clearly think he's a mirage this season. I fundamentally disagree. It goes back to Myllz's point that if players aren't stars by their 23rd birthday, people are quick to label them as busts or mediocrities.
It's a guessing game with Stafford.

I'm guessing that his lack of motivation will return big time if he gets a nice fat pay day.

I could be wrong.

But, I'd rather sell high and trade him as part of a plan to trim members of the rotten Rochester core and change the fundamental core of the locker room.

But, that's just me.

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Also, being that you're one of the posters who frequently talks about the importance of how the organization is perceived, I fail to understand how asking a player to work on a number of a things--conditioning, shooting more, etc--then having the player go above and beyond to do just that, and then almost immediately trading him will create a positive perception of the organization.
The organization is changing.

I doubt too many people will bat an eye if a new GM comes in and sweeps a few guys out of town to remake the roster the way he wants it.

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The message I'd receive as a player? Do everything we ask of you, and when you do, and when you start seeing the fruits of your labor, we'll ship your ass out at the first chance we get. But, hey, it's just business, right?
If any NHL player doesn't get that there is no loyalty in the business that is the NHL, then they need to wake up and smell the roses.

Stafford wasn't complaining when he was cashing fat paychecks to sleep through 30+ games a year the past few seasons.

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Let's ignore the theoretical for the moment. With whom are you going to replace Stafford's production? A free agent? A draft pick (who will be NHL-ready five years from now)? It's a serious question. Because if you're letting one of the few productive players from an already inconsistent offense walk away, I want to know how you're going to fill that void? Short of trading him for a top-6 center, Stafford not being on the team next season would be near-indefensible.
A guy with a career high of 20 goals is hard to replace?

Seriously?

I'd plug in BZK. I wouldn't be surprised if he was able to produce 15 goals and 35 to 40 pts as a rookie.

That's pretty much what Stafford gave the Sabres every year before this one and what I project for Stafford moving forward.

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02-09-2011, 05:50 PM
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Fair enough. Both Ruff and Hamilton have said in the past two days that this is not a contract year issue. He's getting the opportunity and he's taking advantage of it. If anything Stafford has been hurt by the lack of RW depth in the organization, handing him a position he wasn't mature enough to handle.

I'm laying long odds that he's going to regress at this point. YMMV, but I say sign him to a 4/5 year deal for Roy money.

Ta,
Would any coach say that a guy is only hot because it's a contract year to the media when they are counting on the player down the stretch and they are scratching for a playoff spot?

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02-09-2011, 06:03 PM
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The organization is changing.

I doubt too many people will bat an eye if a new GM comes in and sweeps a few guys out of town to remake the roster the way he wants it.
Unless the guys he sweeps out of town are the ones he should've hung onto. Like Stafford.

Quote:

If any NHL player doesn't get that there is no loyalty in the business that is the NHL, then they need to wake up and smell the roses.
Stafford wasn't complaining when he was cashing fat paychecks to sleep through 30+ games a year the past few seasons.
By your logic, then, the Sabres don't have an image problem for what happened to Drury/Briere. After all, no loyalty from any teams, right?

And, yeah, there's quite a bit of loyalty in the NHL. To say otherwise is to attempt to frame the issue in an oversimplified manner.


Quote:

A guy with a career high of 20 goals is hard to replace?

Seriously?
I'll answer a question with a question: Guys who can score 20 goals in 34 games, and likely 30+ in 65 games are easy to find? Guys who hit 30 goals before they turn 26 can be easily replaced in this free agent market?

Seriously?

Quote:

I'd plug in BZK. I wouldn't be surprised if he was able to produce 15 goals and 35 to 40 pts as a rookie.

That's pretty much what Stafford gave the Sabres every year before this one and what I project for Stafford moving forward.
Sorry, but I find this patently hilarious. Railing on Stafford for lack of a track record, and then plugging in Kassian--he of seven pointless games in his last eight contests at the junior level--and expecting him to put up 35-40 points? Are we even sure he's ready for the NHL? Nope.

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