Jul. 12, 2018
Toronto Maple Leafs
2nd Favourite Team
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Well it's no sweetheart deal, but this is still good value for the Avs, and I think it was important they kept Mackinnon an Av for life, so good deal for both sides.
Contrary to what a lot of people suggest, I don't think Mackinnon intentionally left massive money on the table last time, I think he just took the guaranteed money after a semi-disappointing couple of seasons following a very good rookie campaign. It ended up being one of the best value deals in hockey, but it didn't look that way to start. The Avs invested in potential and got rewarded for the risk.
I do think it's important that this deal seems to acknowledge that Mack is amoung the very best players in the league and deserves to be paid like it, while keeping at a point where the team can be very competitive around him. Players of his caliber making big money isn't what kills a teams cap, it's the waste in the middle of the line up, and for the most part the Avs have been good at avoiding this, so they are going to be a contending team for quite a bit longer. Rantanen and Makar's deals are absolute steals right now, and outside of Manson's contract, they have a pretty tidy cap situation too.
These are my favorite types of gambles, because they will be a little divisive in terms of whether they make sense from an analytics type of view, but the strategy here is sound.
Dach's uneven NHL start probably makes this an overpay, but Montreal can handle an overpay, especially in years 1 and 2 while they aren't likely to be ultra competitive. What they get in return is to buy what could be a couple of years as a steal, and hopefully, buy some goodwill going into the next negotiation where they won't have a tonne of leverage, but he will be young enough, that pairing him even remotely fairly on long term deal at the end of this one, likely still is a very solid deal overall.
Montreal's risks all lie in years where they likely don't need the cap space that badly, and the rewards are getting him on the cheap for the first year or two they may start contending and setting themselves up for easier decisions on a 3rd contract.
Even if the downside of this contract is more likely than the upside, the reality is that the downside barely hurts the Habs if it occurs, while the upside can turn into quite the windfall.
Did they just wait out Puljujarvi and make sure Yamamoto got a little more ?
Not sure who goes. Pulijujarvi is a good player, young, good underlying numbers, so no idea why it seems they want to push him out the door (He screams Nichuchskin vibes to me), but he would at least be easy to move. Barrie and Foegele are names that I have seen suggested as having to go, and normally I would think either player would move for a positive return, but the marketplace seems ground to a halt, so I can't imagine those are easy moves.
Barrie could fit as a PP1 specailist on a team who can shelter him on the bottom pair, but that's a specific fit, and I am not sure there is going to be enough teams with that specific need and the cap space to drive up the price, and could easily be a team like Seattle deciding they want something for taking him, or just wanting it to be a trade for "future considerations".
Foegele is a player that has started a lot of years hot, makes me think he's capable of being a 20+ goal grinder, but then you look back at the season at the end and feel like the offense dried up. He's the definition of a solid 3rd line player, but teams almost want those guys making next to nothing now, so I think he will be moveable as well, but I doubt it's for any real return.
Gonne be interesting to see the outcome of a bunch of teams needing to make trades with how little cap space is available out there.
This is one of those price points that is never going to be "fair". Realistically, if he's a decent top 4 D, this is a good deal for the team, and he's being underpaid by at least a bit. If he's actually better suited to the bottom pair, then this is an overpay. I like the bet by the Sharks for sure, and the player guarantees himself some money, so I think the deal is good, just that when it's said and done, nobody will be looking back at it and thinking the player was worth right around this, it will either have been a significant overpayment, or a steal. Normally I just answer these based on whether or not I think the player will deliver more in value to the team than the cap hit costs them. I would say that is a fair for any deal where the player is very likely to be worth more than they are being paid. There is very little argument to where it can be a bad idea to sign a player who is willing to accept less than they are worth, so that works pretty cleanly in those cases. However I do think in cases where it's borderline or possibly unlikely the player is worth the value, I think it's fair to consider the context and overall strategy of the team, and this is one of those cases.
I think it's actually pretty likely John Klingberg isn't a top pairing D anymore, so there is a good chance he doesn't deliver $7M in value to Anaheim next year, since you expect top pairing quality for $7M. However Anaheim wants to make a bit of a push toward playoff contention, and wants to insulate their young stars. If Klingberg helps this team get to the playoffs, then regardless of whether or not he was worth $7M, it's worthwhile since Anaheim had nothing better to do with that cap space for just 1 year. If they don't, and they flip him at the deadline for any asset what so ever, they basically just bought a pick or prospect for nothing but cash, while getting a veteran presence to help mentor some of their younger players for part of the season. The risk is virtually 0, and the rewards, while likely modest, are still worth the gamble, and they literally had nothing else they could really do with that cap space for just a year. They probably couldn't commit to using the space to take on multi-year cap dumps, so I think this is a good bet.
Even when this type of gamble doesn't work, similar to Hall in Buffalo, it still kind of worked because Buffalo managed to get a Hall for part of a year and a 2nd, which is still better than just sitting on the cap space.
So it's an easy win for a team still working its way out of a rebuild, and the player gets paid well and a chance to prove he is worthy of a longer commitment. I am honestly not sure why we don't see more of this in the NHL.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>CSStrowbridge</b></div><div>Yes, he's great on defence, but he's got nearly zero offensive upside.
It's s good contract, but it isn't a steal like some are saying.</div></div>
Seems like the definition of solid value. Maybe a skewed a little by market value of big defensemen how are labeled as "Big, stay at home, defensemen", who can have middling results and get way too much money (Chiarot, Gudbranson, Manson), so coming in considerably less expensive than that group, buying his prime years, and being actually elite defensively, makes it look like a steal, but reality is, with no offensive upside, he will have a hard time turning out to be the value contract that some are suggesting. He probably is worth more than he got, but he was an RFA, so it's very in line with his skill set. Not overpaying for this type of defender is definitely a win, but it's not like he would actually turn out to be worth $7M or something that will turn this into one of the best value contracts in the NHL.
This is a goalie I thought made a very interesting target for a team willing to give him some extra starts.
It's actually quite crazy how much more money Husso earned by just getting more starts last year. Right up until last year, both goalies would have had essentially the same value. Both mid drafted goalies around the same age, with solid pro numbers outside the NHL. Both had only gotten small numbers of NHL starts, so hard to gauge on those numbers as there are a lot of short call ups, replacement games, an other noisy interference in their numbers. Both came in last year as a the clear backup option. Both were very very good in the games they got and showed they are at least worth a longer look in the NHL. Only real difference is Husso played with a starter on a good team that wasn't given as long a leash, so got the opportunity to play about twice as many games. Comrie was never gonna get that chance playing behind Hellebyuck but he play outstanding when he did play behind a very poor defensive team.
Husso definitely earned a little more money, and the extra games played definitely are worth something to evaluating a goalie, but considering how similar they were coming in, and both played well in the games they did get, it's kind of crazy that Husso essentially got 3 times as much AAV, and cost a pick just to get the rights to sign him.
I like the gamble on Comrie, at worst he's likely at least worth having as a back up on a team not expected to make the playoffs.
I am surprised he got this much, but it's been such a weird market for goalies, it isn't crazy, just a tad higher than expected.
Kahkonen seems like he could be a good goalie, but he's a prospect project for all intents and purposes. His advanced analytics haven't been particularly great, but no goalies are in Minnesota. Goalies traditional stats are always very good, but the team defensive metrics are always incredible while the expected save percentage is so high goalies have a hard time not underperforming it.
This makes some sense as goalies have come and gone, had great numbers, then struggled elsewhere, but at the same time, this defense just doesn't seem as strong as it used to be (but their offense is way up), and they have gone through various different coaches with different styles, so you start to get the feeling that some of it may be that the shot attempt and location tracking are biased, which makes them hard to gauge.
Either way, Kahkonen is 25, had decent traditional numbers, and certainly not enough games played as an NHL goalie to come to any real conclusions about what his ceiling is. So given the Sharks are in a re-tool, finding out what they have on a 2 year deal seems like a decent enough bet. If he's terrible, he will help them get a higher pick. If he's very good, then you have a 25 year old goalie that could become your starter. No risk really, but some decent upside potential.
There needs to be a "meh" button.
Engvall had arbitration rights, so we won't know how fair/unfair relative to market this is until we see what kind of awards similar players get. He will have had more leverage than most RFAs, but looking at this on it's face, its not likely to be a "Bad" deal, in that Engvall, based on age and history, is likely to easily live up to the amount he got.
The Meh part comes in because it's higher than many expected, and there was no additional term given, which usually is something the team wants when a player is an RFA.
I would lean "yes" it's a good deal, but entirely based on the fact that Engvall is likely worth at least the amount he signed for, and there are no future years to muddy the waters or turn it into a negative value if he doesn't continue his progression from last year, but having said that, there is nothing here to get excited about.
This trade is proof that no matter what someone will troll vote on a trade. For this trade to be good for Vegas, Pacioretty would need to get hurt enough to massively damage his ability to be effective, but not enough to just go on permanent LTIR, and even then they had to add another player who at worst is just a 13th forward/AHL call up. Even if the odds of Coughlan becoming a significant positive value are near 0, the chances of him being a net negative are actually 0, so it's still a win to get him included.
Waddell just killing it this off-season. Getting assets for TDA, then using less than you got to get Burns to replace him is a big win. But Waddell targeting a winger on free agent frenzy day, and just side stepping the entire mess to pay no assets to get a strong winger on a reasonable cap hit with just 2 years term left is masterful.
As much as people have warned of teams getting into "CAP HELL", this is it, Vegas is there. Maybe a few teams have had to accept a little less value on trades because of cap issues, or couldn't sign a player they liked, but Vegas had to give away a very good player just to be compliant, not even to make room for an addition. So far this summer they have traded away 3 forwards, and all their reward for it is having to play the LTIR dance with Weber's contract for the next 4 years. That is brutal.