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Monday, June 23, 2008

6 million for Malone?


Not sure whom else caught Michael Arace's column about Ryan Malone and the Jackets. This is certainly the part that stood out to me the most:

If Malone is Howson's guy -- and I suspect that is the case -- then Malone might be looking at an offer from the Jackets worth something in the range of $6 million annually.

6 million?

Look there is overpaying for a guy you like and then there is boarderline insanity.

I like Ryan Malone, I would like Ryan Malone on the Jackets. Better yet I'd like Ryan Malone on the Jackets riding shotgun with Rick Nash.

...but not for 6 friggan million! Not for a 51 point winger-maybe-center who has great character. How in the heck do you fill all those other holes in the lineup when you pay a Malone that kind of scratch?

Malone isn't going to take over games. He isn't much of a playmaker. His career best in goals is 27 playing next to guys like Crosby and Malkin.

Please don't get me wrong. I want Malone. He'd be a great fit...but not at the expense of filling our other holes and not for 6 million a year.

Put it this way - there are 32 players in the NHL that are slated to make 6 or more million next season:

Ovechkin, Crosby, Richards, Chara, Heatley, Lidstrom, Gomez, Thornton, Vanek, Drury, Iginla, Spezza, Lecavalier, Lundvist, Khabibulin, Niedermeyer, Luongo, Datsyuk, Boyle, Briere, Jovanovski, Phaneuf, Kovalchuk, Timonen, Gaborik, Marleau, Smyth, Pronger, Elias, Havlat, Kariya & Rafaslki.

Does Ryan Malone deserve to be in that group?

For me I'd be willing to go to 5 and would consider that a pretty big overpayment for Malone. If he wants or gets 6 from someone else I say thanks for considering us and wish him luck. I think take my 6 million and spend it elsewhere -- with as many holes as we have we could get two servicable players at 3 mil per.

Here is a good read from TheFourthPeriod.com in regards to the Blue Jackets titled "The Blue Jackets are on the right track":

Calm down, Blue Jackets fans. The fact that Umberger can play center isn't code for "we've found our No.1 guy."

Umberger will step in on the second-line and the Blue Jackets are hoping his 10 goals in 17 playoff games will translate to more than the 50 regular-season points he tallied in 2007-08.Howson will be actively pursuing a top-line center between now and, well, until he gets his hands on one. But more on that in a little bit, as there's another player the Blue Jackets added to their roster that people seem to be a little upset over.

Some compare Filatov to Nikolai Zherdev, without the drama, and while that's partially true, this 18-year-old appears to have more upside, and Zherdev hasn't come close to his peek yet.

The Blue Jackets made two solid additions to their team this weekend. Umberger, once signed, will make an immediate impact, and when Filatov's ready for the big leagues, he'll add great skill to a team in need of some.

The Blue Jackets kicked off the summer with two quality additions. Keep the faith, Blue Jackets fans; they're not done yet.

Also in the Puck-rakers blog Portzline comments about Brian Campbell and the Jackets interest in the soon to be UFA:

The Sharks did not deny the Jackets permission to speak to Brian Campbell and his representatives prior to the start of the July 1 free agency period. The Jackets did not ask for it.

I've heard conflicting reports on this one. We have what Portzline is reporting here but I've also read that San Jose did not give permission to anyone in the Western Conference.

Giving the lack of puck movers on the Jackets blue line, the dollars they have to spend and Campbell apparent willingness to test the free agent market they have to have some interest right....right?

As Tom Reed metions in his blog this afternoon the Jackets need to spread the wealth. With so many holes to fill can they afford to throw 8 mil a year at Brian Campbell and still address their other needs?

So perhaps the Jackets do have interest -- they'd have to -- but at the same time they are realistic and know what its going to cost to bring him to Columbus. I think they'll definitely kick the tires but connecting the dots here I wouldn't count on Campbell being a Jacket July 1st.

My quesiton is if not Campbell then who are we interested in to fill those blueline holes? As I stated yesterday I expect someone in that UFA defensive pool to be signed and at least one trade to be made.

Check out this article on the Umberger trade. If you weren't that excited about adding this guy it will certianly make you feel better about that trade:

Yet, the loss of R.J. Umberger stings — a lot more than the Flyers are letting on. Umberger was the most versatile forward on the roster. He could play all three positions. He could play on the power play and he could kill penalties. He was adept at taking faceoffs when needed and even could be used in a shootout if necessary.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are thrilled to add him to their roster, and coach Ken Hitchcock has said he wants to see Umberger center Rick Nash.

That’s top-line duty in the Buckeye state.

However, the Flyers found themselves in a real bind. With so much money locked up for next season, it was a foregone conclusion that they wouldn’t be able to re-sign restricted free agents Jeff Carter and Umberger, not to mention defenseman Randy Jones.

Holmgren and the rest of the organizational brass had to decide who was more crucial to the franchise’s future, Carter or Umberger.

Carter is more of a scoring threat, so they went with Carter, but it was much closer than one might think.

The Flyers needed to get something worthwhile for Umberger though, and Holmgren knew he needed to replenish the organizational prospects, especially in goal.

However, the goalie he wanted — a Canadian kid named Chet Pickard — wasn’t going to drop to them at pick No. 27. So knowing he needed to move up to land the goalie, Holmgren used Umberger as his bargaining chip.

Finally I wanted to post these two descriptions of Filatov and Golobouf from TSN.ca:

Filatov

PROFILE
Pos: Left Wing
Shoots: R
Height: 6'
Weight: 165 lbs.
Born: 05/25/1990
From: Moscow, RU
Team: Moscow CSKA-2 (RusDi)

RANKINGS
TSN: 5
CSB: 1 ES
ISS: 3
RLR: 2
McK: 7
THN: 4
Comparable: Daniel Alfredsson

From TSN: The Russian forward is a dynamic goal-scorer whose skill in that area draws comparison to Washington's Alexander Semin, but Filatov gets high marks from most scouts for being more of a complete package, in terms of work ethic, character and consistency. Fluent in English and the son of parents who received some education outside of Russia, the family is perceived as progressive and North America-friendly. In other words, this is a prospect who desperately wants to play in the NHL and immediately make the move to the pro game on this side of the ocean. He has quickness and a deft touch and while the "Russian" factor could cause him to slide a little lower than he's rated – this is the consensus second-best forward available after Stamkos – it's inconceivable to think he could slide as far as countryman Alexei Cherepanov did last year.

From NHL Central Scouting: A leader, has a great attitude, excellent work ethic and tons of talent. He has matured during the season and leads by example. He is an excellent skater who can change pace, even at top speed. Despite his size, he still plays aggressive, taking and giving hits.

Year Team GP G A Pts Pim
2007-2008 Moscow CSKA-2 (Russia III) 34 32 34 66 90


Goloubef

PROFILE
Pos: Defence
Shoots: R
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Born: 11/30/1989
From: Oakville, ON
Team: Wisconsin (WCHA)

RANKINGS
TSN: 48
CSB: 34 NAS
ISS: 33
RLR: 47
McK: 40
THN: 42
Comparable: Josh Gorges

From TSN: A minor hockey teammate of Sam Gagner and John Tavares with the Toronto Marlboros, Goloubef was one of the youngest players in NCAA Division 1 hockey this season. He's a mobile puckhandler who probably didn't get to demonstrate his offensive flair in a college program (Wisconsin) where defence is stressed first and foremost, but should nonetheless be a solid second-round pick.

From NHL Central Scouting: He is compact and he's strong with a wide stance. He's a good, powerful skater. He thinks the game well, has a really good shot and makes that first pass consistently. He is a solid two-way player that is going to play on your power-play.

Year Team GP G A Pts Pim
2007-2008 Wisconsin (WCHA) 36 2 8 10 32

Filatov is compared to Alfredsson here. I've also heard him compared to Datsyuk and unfortunately Zherdev. If he becomes anything close to Alfredsson or Datsyuk I think we'll all be thrilled.

-LTL

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

6 million for Malone? Yep, it is overpayment, but I'd do it. If signing a player for 6 million puts us in jeopardy of filling more holes, we are pathetic and in a worse way than management has been letting on.

I don't want two older, comparable players for 2 years--I want to start putting real pieces in place. No, not all players we sign this summer have to be 5 year guys with us, and I am sure we will likely find some of those filler guys for a cheaper price, but he could be a staple for years to come.

His numbers are only getting better, but more importantly his competitive element is much needed...when you play like that, the points take care of themselves.

I find it funny that you completely accept Umberger as a capable center, when he played his most productive hockey as a winger, yet you continue to disregard Malone's ability to go to his natural position. In fact, when RJ played predominantly center in '06-'07, he was a -32! He was so bad at it, they had to move him back to the wing.

Yes, we need skill, we need a top playmaking center, but we aren't going to get one of those guys via trade. We don't have enough tradable assets. We simply have to be competitive until guys like Voracek, Brassard and now Filitov grow into the league. It is the reality of the situation we are in and adding competitive players at this point is paramount.

The 19th and a 3rd was overpayment for RJ--5 million for Malone would have been the right price. 6 million is overpayment, but that is what we are going to have to do and I'd do it in a heartbeat.

If they are serious about getting better, they are going to have to pay the price, because this guy makes us better.

LTL said...

So Malone to you at 6 mil is worth putting in that same group as those other players I listed?

I most certainly don't think so.

5 mil for Malone is overpayment and I could live with it. 6 mil is ignorance.

You yourself have said we only have a certain amount of budget to play with. If we have 14 mil (20-6) to spend after getting Umberger and Leclaire signed and you commit 6 mil of that to a competitive 27 goal scorer how do you fill the rest of those roster holes?

Your talking about 8 mil for 3 more players...that'll get you one good free agent defensemen and a couple of Pecas..

You talk about Umberger's +/- being a -32 well you fail to mention Malone's....Malone's +/- as a center was a -45 and he was an older player... so yeah I'll take my chances with Umberger at half the price and two years younger. He is only going to get better as well.

I like competitive players...I like Malone...he could help...but just because a guy fights doesn't mean he's worth 6 mil.

Boll is competitive as well - how much should we pay him?

I'd take Brunette/Rolston/Stillman/Hagman/Ryder on two year 6 mil dollar deals any day over Malone at 5 year 30 million. Some of those guys are older yes, but they still get it done and they show up every night. They also give you good veteran presence in your lineup, productivity and flexibility in your payroll two years from now when our younger core is going to want their paydays.

That also gives you two years of development for guys like Voracek/Filatov/Legein who could easily step into top 6 roles at that point.

What if Malone busts? That would be one helluva an anchor around a team with a budget.

-LTL

Anonymous said...

You can't compare contracts that were made a year or more ago to what the market price is now. A reference point will be established when the first free agent is signed this year and it will go from there.

Arace is just picking a number out of the air anyway, and 6 million might not even be it. 5 million still could be the price, but players in general feel a great sense of pressure from the NHLPA to go to free agency. Plus, not giving the Pens the benefit of gaining a pick to stick it to them for passing on him makes sense too.

You have to look at the market and what our needs are. If he gets 6 million then he gets 6 million. If we needed to give up 1st and a 3rd to get RJ then that is what we needed to do. Who cares, we got a decent add to our core. The jackets were ready to give the 19th and 5 million to Malone--looking at what we paid for RJ, that would have been about right, wouldn't you say? What's an extra million 'for nothing' as you say?

I am sure the management has a plan and a framework to work within and if they feel that spending 6 on Malone will impede them from filling other holes, they won't do it. If it is within the confines of what they can do they will do it and should do it.

I am not the one hung up on the players numbers...you are. Kubina is a career -86 or so and you pine for him daily. The numbers are a mere indicator--how the guys play and where they fit/what we need is paramount. Malone is far better suited for the way the jackets are trying to play than Umberger. Umberger came from a very loose--run and gun system that didn't check. Malone also played vs. other teams top players and still managed to have an impact in the game. His team was also one of, if not the best defensive team in the playoffs. The flyers were one of the worst.

Do you really think that I am saying that competitive=fights and that is what makes him worth 6 million? Is this the HF boards now? Now you are comparing him to Boll? Please.

There is no reason we can't add those guys you mention in addition to Malone. We need Malone and a couple of others as well.

How do I see them filling our other needs? A. I don't really think all of our holes are going to be filled this off season, but I do think that some will get taken care of. B. I expect them to use a combo of trades and free agency to fill them. If Scott does fill all of our needs the man deserves GM of the year!

What if Malone busts? What if he scores 40 next year playing along side Nash? Then 6 million would look like a pretty good bargain wouldn't it. There are two sides to the 'what if's'.

You read what Scott says--he just wants good players to add to our lineup and will let Hitch worry about where they will play. Aren't you tired of the 'stop gap' guys? We need to add strength to our core NOW. We have an opportunity to add a solid competitive player to our core for long term and yes, we are going to have to overpay. Sucks, but that is the nature of it.

LTL said...

The basic argument between you and I over Malone is that you value him far more than I do.

What is the limit for you? Or is there one? If 6 mil then why not 7? If the 19th then why not the 6th?

At what point is enough for Ryan Malone b/c everytime I read the Dispatch the cost seems to go up?

I have watched him play a lot. Probably more than any other team than the Jackets - I mean who doesn't want to watch Crosby and Malkin play?

I just don't see him as the impact player that you do. I don't see him as a 40 goal scorer with Nash if he couldn't be next to Malkin or Crosby.

He's competitive sure -- but there are lots of compeitive guys. Darcy Tucker is competitive - why not target him?

I like him, I really do. Just not at the expense of filling other needs.

You also didn't answer my question - with 8 mil left to spend how do you fill it 3 holes including a big one at center and two giant ones on d? Do you think Ryan Malone is more important than filling those gaps?

You do recall how horrendous our transition game was and how it was a big reason for our miserable PP? Is Ryan Malone going to rush the puck, make good quick tape to tape outlet passes or gain the blueline?

I think we could do better with 6 mil and the amount of holes this team needs to fill.

Time will tell. If he comes here and puts up 40 I'll glady say I'm wrong.

History has shown that players coming off their big UFA contracts hardly ever put up better numbers than what they did in their contract year so if I'm Howson I'm not banking on a 13 goal improvement - that is HF thinking.

-LTL

Rick said...

Overpayment for a hockey player? Say it isn't so! Unfortunately, I think we will have to overpay for a player (top 6) who can contribute now.

I'd like to see Malone in a CBJ jersey as much as anyone. I'm thinking 5-5.5 million is where SH will make his offer. I also look to the intangibles, such as Malone playing on the same line as Nash. Do you think he'll show as much enthusiasm as Umberger did to play with Nash? How much does playing close to his hometown (P-burg) mean to him? And seeing as Umberger & Malone have the same agent, will taht figure into him deciding for C-Bus?

It's gonna be a loooooong week!!!