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Drew Stafford, the real deal ?

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Old
02-09-2011, 06:18 PM
  #76
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Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
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?
Likely not. Ruff would have avoided the question if he was on the fence, or talked around it. He would not have bluntly stated it that way.

Whatever. You have your opinion. You're not changing it. I'm not changing mine.

Ta,

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02-09-2011, 06:29 PM
  #77
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Unless the guys he sweeps out of town are the ones he should've hung onto. Like Stafford.
Sorry, but I'm not impressed by one good year when it follows a handful where he wasn't motivated enough to put in the work to maximize his talent.

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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?
The thing is that the Briere/Drury situation is nowhere near the same as what will happen with Stafford this summer, especially if the new owner brings in a new GM and a new coach.

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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.
Players seem to like the loyalty to go one way in the vast majority of cases.

Sorry, but I'm about trying to make the team better moving forward. And in my opinion, I think the Sabres will be better off for what they can trade Stafford for than re-signing him to a multi-year deal for around $4M per.

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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?
That's not how I predict Stafford will produce moving forward.

I believe that his career numbers before this season will more accurately reflect how he'll play once he gets a fat multi-year deal than how he played this season when he was motivated by his upcoming RFA status.

It wouldn't be the first time in NHL history that a player turned it up a few notches to get paid.

And that's the type of player I think that Stafford is.

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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.
I'm not railing on Stafford for his lack of track record.

I'm railing on him because of his lack of character prior to a contract year.

I don't want guys who float for years and suddenly "Get it" in a contract year.

Those types of people regress after they get paid way too often for my liking.

We might as well agree to disagree as there is no way you can convince me that Stafford will continue on his upward trajectory over the next 3 to 5 years and I won't convince you that he's a slacker who's turned it on because he's in a contract year.

And I'm not interested in what Ruff says publicly about Stafford seeing the light. I'd want to know what Ruff would say to Pegula behind a closed door.

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02-09-2011, 06:33 PM
  #78
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Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
We might as well agree to disagree as there is no way you can convince me that Stafford will continue on his upward trajectory over the next 3 to 5 years and I won't convince you that he's a slacker who's turned it on because he's in a contract year.

And I'm not interested in what Ruff says publicly about Stafford seeing the light. I'd want to know what Ruff would say to Pegula behind a closed door.
I think the 'contract year' argument like the 'no stanley cup = failure" argument is simplistic and reductionist. No matter how you dress it up with verbiage.

Ta,

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02-09-2011, 06:51 PM
  #79
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Originally Posted by joechip View Post
I think the 'contract year' argument like the 'no stanley cup = failure" argument is simplistic and reductionist. No matter how you dress it up with verbiage.

Ta,
Improvement in a contract year has almost become a mark against a player here at HF. Some players cannot win with certain segments of their fanbase, and Stafford is one of those guys for our franchise. To many, Stafford was damned if he did, damned if he didn't. To play this well was going to be chalked up to a contract-year mirage. To play poorly would have reaffirmed many's preordained beliefs that he should be on the first bus out of town at the end of the season, or earlier.

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02-09-2011, 06:54 PM
  #80
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I dont belieive in this argument of player pushing it for a contact.

Those guy work their ass of to make it to the nhl and I'm preatty sure none of them said to themself " once I get there, I'll just do nothing, except 1 year to get paid "

They all want to be sucessfull and be the start, even the guy on the fourth line.

I come back with my comparaison with the sedins, took them 4 years to get going. Could be the same for stafford. You dont get drafted 13th overall after all

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02-09-2011, 07:36 PM
  #81
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This "contract year" argument is flawed. The guy is 25. Sure, it may be a contract year, but it's crazy to label a guy before the age of 25, no matter how many NHL seasons he's had under his belt.

Stafford played a grand total of 34 games in the AHL after 3 years of college hockey. So what if he played a good 40 games in his first NHL appearance and tailed off since.

It happens to a lot of young players. Hell, if you need proof, look at Myers this season. Guys come in and the league doesn't know how to play against them. After a year watching a guy, coaches and players around the league get a good read on a guys strengths and weaknesses.

Especially for a big guy like Stafford. All of his hockey career prior to the NHL, he probably relied on his size and talent to be successful because that combo was good enough. His first year in the NHL, his talent set was good enough because people didn't know how to play him.

The next few years, opposing teams adjusted to him and, as a young player, he didn't know how to adjust his game.

It's just as possible that Stafford took a few years to learn how to adjust his game to the NHL as it is that he's playing well in a contract year.

I, for one, would rather take the chance on him putting it all together and give him a good contract than lose out on a player of his potential because I refused to believe he turned the corner.

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02-09-2011, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
Improvement in a contract year has almost become a mark against a player here at HF. Some players cannot win with certain segments of their fanbase, and Stafford is one of those guys for our franchise. To many, Stafford was damned if he did, damned if he didn't. To play this well was going to be chalked up to a contract-year mirage. To play poorly would have reaffirmed many's preordained beliefs that he should be on the first bus out of town at the end of the season, or earlier.
Why limit it to HF? That's all they talk about on WGR and everywhere else. It's a crutch used to prop up a bias with what seems like logic or insight.

It has a place in the discussion, but not a primary one.

Ta,

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02-09-2011, 09:42 PM
  #83
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Why limit it to HF? That's all they talk about on WGR and everywhere else. It's a crutch used to prop up a bias with what seems like logic or insight.

It has a place in the discussion, but not a primary one.

Ta,
I don't think it can be discounted that this being a contract year provided an incentive for Stafford to get in the best shape of his life in the offseason. It's an open question whether he'll slack off once he gets the money. I think he has a big ego, wants to be a star, and that will provide the incentive going forward for him to put in the work.

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02-09-2011, 09:50 PM
  #84
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Totally agree with most on here that Stafford has finally found his groove and am really excited. That being said, if the offer came about, would you trade him for a top center prospect like Hodgson or Schenn? Or move him to move up and grab a guy like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Couturier?

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02-10-2011, 12:27 AM
  #85
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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.
From what I've seen of him, I don't think Sharp's goal/point totals this year fully show what kind of player he is. He's normally a 50-65 point 2nd liner, who plays the 1st line when things need to be changed up. He's a great complimentary player, mainly because he has no glaring weaknesses in his game, but he's not a star player or a game changer. I know some people absolutely love him on this forum (for whatever reason) but to be honest I'd probably take Pominville over him, The only reason why I'm not sure of that is because of Poms' contract.

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02-10-2011, 03:17 AM
  #86
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I don't think it can be discounted that this being a contract year provided an incentive for Stafford to get in the best shape of his life in the offseason. It's an open question whether he'll slack off once he gets the money. I think he has a big ego, wants to be a star, and that will provide the incentive going forward for him to put in the work.
I think it's the fact that he has a big ego and wants to be a star that makes him an appealing member of this core. For once we get a guy who isn't a mental midget or a literal midget and he becomes the most divisive player on these boards. I say offer a 2 year contract for 3 per and have some faith. At the very least than he's cheaper than that Connolly deal. At the most, he's going to become a 70 point guy if he can stay healthy who can't be physically beaten down like many of our forwards. I say go for it.

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02-10-2011, 05:38 AM
  #87
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Originally Posted by Buffaloed View Post
I don't think it can be discounted that this being a contract year provided an incentive for Stafford to get in the best shape of his life in the offseason. It's an open question whether he'll slack off once he gets the money. I think he has a big ego, wants to be a star, and that will provide the incentive going forward for him to put in the work.
Fair enough. My point was that the 'contract year' argument is more often than not over-blown and/or mis-applied. Does is provide a motivator? Yes. Is it the primary driving factor for a player? Debatable at best and very personal.

90% of the time it's used as a rhetorical bludgeon to bulwark an opinion and ignore other factors that affect the decision.

The reason we're postulating a deal in the $4 million range as opposed to $5 or $6 million is because of his history. Can you get away with $3.5? Maybe. If his history is that much of a factor, I would try to front-load the contract to get the cap number down and make the contract easier to trade if his play falls off.

Of course, that's not much of a vote of confidence to the player whose salary will be falling during his prime earning years.

For someone like Stafford, 4-5 years @ $4 cap hit seems like the right contract. Is it a risk? Sure. Two/Three months from now it may not look like such a risk. We'll see.

Ta,

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02-10-2011, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Barr View Post
From what I've seen of him, I don't think Sharp's goal/point totals this year fully show what kind of player he is. He's normally a 50-65 point 2nd liner, who plays the 1st line when things need to be changed up. He's a great complimentary player, mainly because he has no glaring weaknesses in his game, but he's not a star player or a game changer. I know some people absolutely love him on this forum (for whatever reason) but to be honest I'd probably take Pominville over him, The only reason why I'm not sure of that is because of Poms' contract.
Poms' contract is not the worst thing on the planet. He is a 25/35 guy as opposed to the 35/25 guy he was signed to be. He's also a notorious slow-starter, but strong finisher to the season and a model of consistency and professionalism.

His production is down over years past, but given the concussion, let's see how he finishes. If he finishes with 52 points that would put him (on a PPG basis) right in line with his historical norms. That means 23 points in 32 games, something he's more than capable of, and usually produces in March and April.

I would absolutely keep Pominville over Sharp at this point. But, Sharp does give you center flexibility and a bit more sand. We have the cap space (and now, presumably) the budget to eat the $700k that Poms is over-paid. With Golisano gone, the $3-4 million in over-payment on contracts for this team is less of an issue.

Ta,

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02-10-2011, 09:08 AM
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zip15 View Post
Improvement in a contract year has almost become a mark against a player here at HF. Some players cannot win with certain segments of their fanbase, and Stafford is one of those guys for our franchise. To many, Stafford was damned if he did, damned if he didn't. To play this well was going to be chalked up to a contract-year mirage. To play poorly would have reaffirmed many's preordained beliefs that he should be on the first bus out of town at the end of the season, or earlier.
I'm all for keeping Stafford on a 1 or 2 year deal to see if he's really changed or not.

And it's not that I want him to fail. I just heard too many reports that before this year he was a slacker and he was wasting his talent.

That bugs the heck out of me and one good year doesn't make me forget all that.

Looking at the glass half full gave guys like Gaustad, Hecht, and Pominville the contracts they have now, along with a guy like Roy.

I just feel like Stafford is more like the former than the latter.

But, I could be wrong. Nobody knows for sure and that's why no GM bats 1.000.

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02-10-2011, 09:18 AM
  #90
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I wonder if Roy and stafford could get us Malkin and a good prospect out of Pittsburgh..... I would even add our first, seriously......

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02-10-2011, 09:24 AM
  #91
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I'm all for keeping Stafford on a 1 or 2 year deal to see if he's really changed or not.

And it's not that I want him to fail. I just heard too many reports that before this year he was a slacker and he was wasting his talent.

That bugs the heck out of me and one good year doesn't make me forget all that.

Looking at the glass half full gave guys like Gaustad, Hecht, and Pominville the contracts they have now, along with a guy like Roy.

I just feel like Stafford is more like the former than the latter.

But, I could be wrong. Nobody knows for sure and that's why no GM bats 1.000.
This is pretty much where my head is at. The market value for his number is what it is. To me the question is: Is this a new Drew Stafford or is this season an annomoly?
Obviously, not being around the guys or getting a real chance to try and determine who he is vs. who he was, I have to take into account the body of work on the ice- and I think I'd pass. I hope I'm wrong- but whatever. An aside to this is- how is his health going to be on a going forward basis. Of course thats a guess on all sides- but is he injury prone? If so does the GM and coach think it will ultimately impact his average production (obviously- you can never account for injuries like w/ ROy's knee, but based on his history- is he the type of guy who can stay healthy w/ his new found regimen?)

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02-10-2011, 09:43 AM
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i'm no fan of stafford, but as someone else pointed out, trading him for a pick or prospect that might pan out just isn't attractive. sign him, and sign him soon.

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02-10-2011, 11:57 AM
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i'm no fan of stafford, but as someone else pointed out, trading him for a pick or prospect that might pan out just isn't attractive. sign him, and sign him soon.
How about trading him for a roster player, perhaps in a move that uses some of the cap space the Sabres will have with guys like Connolly & Rivet hitting UFA and being unlikely to return?

Dealing Stafford doesn't have to be for futures.

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02-10-2011, 12:00 PM
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How about trading him for a roster player, perhaps in a move that uses some of the cap space the Sabres will have with guys like Connolly & Rivet hitting UFA and being unlikely to return?

Dealing Stafford doesn't have to be for futures.
depends on the return, obviously. is it for a solid, established center? then sure. but what are the odds of that?

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02-10-2011, 12:03 PM
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I think the 'contract year' argument like the 'no stanley cup = failure" argument is simplistic and reductionist. No matter how you dress it up with verbiage.

Ta,
It's just as simplistic to simply say "He's changed" and trust that his production will be what it is this year moving forward.

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02-10-2011, 12:10 PM
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depends on the return, obviously. is it for a solid, established center? then sure. but what are the odds of that?
Depends on what teams are shopping and what they are looking for.

It also depends on what teams have cap issues this summer and may be looking to shed some salary or are looking to shake things up.

There are a few teams that might be down with moving a center for help on the wing.

That's why you pay a GM big bucks!

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02-10-2011, 12:26 PM
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It's just as simplistic to simply say "He's changed" and trust that his production will be what it is this year moving forward.
No, it is not. JB. Stafford is on pace for nearly 50 goals right now. Barring injury this season we would be talking an extension in the $5-6 million range, not $4. You know this. Money and term are based on comps and current performance. That salary (which I think should be front-loaded) takes into consideration his past. I don't think Stafford's changed. I don't believe people change. I believe circumstances change as do incentives through time and that causes people's behaviour to change. He changed his approach to the game and it's paid dividends. He's still the same person he was 3 years ago... the difference is his circumstance/experiences and he's altered his behaviour to fit. It's worked, he's going to get paid.

I understand your position and just disagree with it. You are over-valuing the past about a contract whose value is based on the future. Commodity contracts don't work that way, insurance contracts do.

Ta,

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02-10-2011, 12:33 PM
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Depends on what teams are shopping and what they are looking for.

It also depends on what teams have cap issues this summer and may be looking to shed some salary or are looking to shake things up.

There are a few teams that might be down with moving a center for help on the wing.

That's why you pay a GM big bucks!
I would agree to trading Stafford for a legit #1 center, given our needs. I would not agree to trading Stafford b/c I think he's the next Kotalik.

Ta,

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02-10-2011, 12:35 PM
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Depends on what teams are shopping and what they are looking for.

It also depends on what teams have cap issues this summer and may be looking to shed some salary or are looking to shake things up.

There are a few teams that might be down with moving a center for help on the wing.

That's why you pay a GM big bucks!
In the abstract that sounds reasonable but lets break it down further.


Stafford will likely get 3.5-4mil per on his next deal.


What team has....

1) Enough center depth that they would want to trade away an established center for a winger? One that will be making AT LEAST 3.5mil per.

2) Has a center making enough money (4.5+mil per) so that a trade for Stafford would actually save them money?

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02-10-2011, 12:39 PM
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In the abstract that sounds reasonable but lets break it down further.


Stafford will likely get 3.5-4mil per on his next deal.


What team has....

1) Enough center depth that they would want to trade away an established center for a winger? One that will be making AT LEAST 3.5mil per.

2) Has a center making enough money (4.5+mil per) so that a trade for Stafford would actually save them money?
I'd say Ottawa, but Fisher just got moved to NSH.

Ta,

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