directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Don't get hopes up for Meszaros

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Don't get hopes up for Meszaros

According The Hockey News's Adam Porteau Ottawa defensemen and restricted free agent Andrej Meszaros has agreed to an offer sheet worth 5 million a year from another NHL club. The team has yet to be confirmed.

Meszaros, a 22 year old 6'2" 220lb defensemen out of the Czech Reuplic, notched 9g 27a for 36p and finished a +5 for the Sens last season. Here is's take:

Plays a very heady game and is mature beyond his years. Owns sound hockey sense and the ability to lead the rush in transition.

Is not big, nor a very physical blueliner, so he must rely heavily on sound positioning and hockey smarts to get by at the pro level.

Career potential
Power play quarterback.

Sounds like something the Jackets could use right?

Don't count it and here's why:

The Jackets already have a payroll in the 48 to 50 million dollar range and even though they have the cap space I can't see ownership green lighting another 5 mil at this stage. That's not to say ownership would be unwilling to spend more come the deadline to put the Jackets over the top.

I think the Jackets want to sit tight and see what they've got with their current defense. Meszaros, while bigger in stature, plays a very similar game to Kris Russell and I think the Jackets want to give Russell the chance to continue his development and he comes with a much cheaper price tag.

I absolutely cannot see Howson willing to not only pay Meszaros 5 mil a year but give up the picks in the process. Here is the offer sheet compensation chart:

Compensation Due

$863,156 or less

$863,156 - $1,307,812
3rd round pick

$1,307,812 - $2,615,625
2nd round pick

$2,615,623 - $3,923,437
1st and 3rd round pick

$3,923,437 - $5,231,249
1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick

$5,231,249 - $6,539,062
Two 1st's, one 2nd, one 3rd round pick

$6,539,062 or more
Four 1st round picks

So at 5 mil Howson would have to be willing to give up a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick. Ain't happening.

Really the only way I could see this going down is if Howson has a deal in place to move salary out to make room for Meszaros. For instance maybe a guy like Backman and his 3.5 million along with maybe a guy like Novonty and his .800k would clear enough room. Problem is who is going to take our left overs -- nobody. Even then Howson would have to be willing to part with the picks which I don't think he's at all prepared to do at this point.

So if not the Jacket then who made this offer sheet? My money is on Montreal. They are going for it in their bicentennial season and rumor has it that if Sundin falls through -- which it looks like it will -- then they are going to go hard after an offensive d-man. Mathew Schneider's name has popped up but I think Mezsaros makes a lot of sense for them as well. There system is also well stocked so they may be prepared to part with the picks. Right now according to they've got the 6+ mil in cap space to make this move.

Stay tuned.

Also a good nugget
from Bob Hunter today in his rumblings. According to him Jakub Voracek has gained 23lbs while both Brassard and Russell have added 12.

Using as a guide that would put Voracek in the 213 poung range, Brassard at 192 and Russell at 189.

Keep in mind that these kids aren't putting on this muscle to be bangers -- they just need their bodies to be able to withstand the daily grind of being in the NHL. Receiving the hits, grinding it out in corners, winning the lose puck battles, a little more jump on back2backs, etc.

Hunter also had this to say
about the roles amongst the coaching staff being shaken up:

Some duties have been shifted on the NHL club's coaching staff. Claude Noel will take over the power play this year from Gary Agnew, who will now be in charge of postgame analysis. Gord Murphy will still work with the penalty killers and defensemen.

Considering the Jackets had the 26th ranked PP last year this news can only be taken one way -- good!

I'm not one to get into political debates
-- and I certainly don't intend to do that here -- but I did want to point out that John McCain has just announced his running mate. Her name is a Sarah Palin and she is Alaska's governor. From

Palin, 44, is a self-styled hockey mom and political reformer who has been governor of her state less than two years.

There you have it!



Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, who made the offer sheet. LA?? Tampa could definitely use a decent defenseman, but I don't think they have the cap space do they?

What about Buffalo? It is surprising that a team would be willing to give up that many pick for that player. He had an off year, but so did everyone else in Ottawa last year so I don't think that is the real Mezaros.

The Islanders are a mess and I could see Snow doing that.

Why in the world is it such a secret? Has the deal been done or is it still speculation?

213 lbs for Voracek and Brass in the 190's and Brass nudging close? That is great! Start the friggin' season already!!!

LTL said...

Just read that Montreal does not have their 2nd round pick next season so that rules them out.

You certainly never can tell with Buffalo.

*thinking out loud*

It will probably be a team nobody is even thinkin of like a Floriday. Acquire Meszaros and then trade Bouwmeister and you can easily make up those picks you lose and then some.

Gives us something to talk about anyways!


Anonymous said...

Yeah, good point about Florida. It could also be LA since they are suspect on their blueline and I think are also below the floor.

markislander said...

Being an Islander fan i could see Snow doing that but we are rebuilding this year and most likley are not going to make the playoffs, so he is not going to give any picks away,next years draft is suppose to be really good and we have a good shot at the first round pick.

markislander said...

I mean first overall

DRU said...

This offer sheet reaks of the Habs. Gainey looking to make a big push and Mez is more than a replacement for losing Streit. They both are left shooting defensemen and the Habs are one of the few teams who don't really need the picks and have the cash on hand.

DRU said...

Meszaros wiki page says he plays for the Bolts:

"On August 29, 2008 Meszároš signed a 4 year $20 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning."

DRU said...

Meszaros wiki page says he plays for the Bolts:

"On August 29, 2008 Meszároš signed a 4 year $20 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning."

Erik said...

My money is on LA and Atlanta... these teams need to add $$$ and Players and have enough young talent (or too much) that they can afford the draft picks... In fact I personally think the picks are too big a hit for almost any franchise to consider.. let's face it he's not that good of a player.. 5 mil is pushing it... The bottom feeders make complete sense... if it's not LA or ATL.. that franchise is CRAZY...

LTL said...

Whoa -- nice find Dru. How in the hell do the Lightning have room to sign this guy to an offer sheet?

If true these owners aren't building a team they are playing fantasy hockey.


LTL said...

It looks like someone is just screwing around with the Wikipedia page as its changed multiple times.

I guess we'll all continue to stay tuned on Mez-gate.


LTL said...

I was asked this quesition and I have to agree -- why is this such a big secret?

The more I think about it the only source to come out with this news is The Hockey News. Usually they are very reliabe which makes it strange that none of the other big hockey news orgs like TSN have broke this story as well.