A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Allison's starting to happen

Allison's starting to happen.... to Toronto.
Sorry, but I couldn't resist the temptation to quote the Lemonheads.

After an unbearably long period of silence, and presumably an extremely thorough physical examination, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed center Jason Allison to a one-year $1.5M deal. Fans everywhere are screaming about the injustice of this. Surely their club could have offered more than 1.5 for a potential 80-point guy. There's so many different things going on with this free agency market that the fans (including myself) don't know about. The reasons the players have for rejecting offers, the reasons they have for wanting to take less money to play for a certain team, the different performance based clauses included in offers, all sorts of different things. Apparently the bonus clauses in this contract make it worth up to $4.5M.
There's some word that the Leafs found a loophole in the CBA which allows them to make what would be an illegal contract with Allison. The loophole is that he's been injured for more than a year. Please don't quote me on this, because I'm just repeating what I read on a message board, and I want to clearly state that it's merely speculation at this point.
This is a very risky move, but the price is definitely right. The Leafs really needed to do something, and this is a good move. Losing Roberts and Nieuwendyk was going to hurt their offense. The addition of Jeff O'Neill is probably going to help them, provided O can turn over a new (pardon the pun) leaf. Still, though, they needed something else, and this is probably going to work out. Actually, both of these guys are risky, but the payoff could be really nice in both cases. On the defensive front, they've still got some work to do. Re-signing Domi was a good move, but they need to do something really big to make up for the loss of Brian Leetch.

The Nashville rumors turned out to be true. They signed Paul Kariya to a two-year, $4.5M contract. This is an incredible move. That's a tremendous price for a guy like Kariya, who made $10M with the Ducks back in 2002-03. I'm not sure what happened between Anaheim and Denver, but apparently his joints turned to glass, forcing him to miss 31 games with various DIFFERENT wrist and ankle injuries. Maybe it was the altitude. Yeah. The altitude. If healthy, he could score 25 goals and twice as many assists. If not healthy, they still got a good price on him. Preds fans will be holding their breath every time the little guy gets knocked down.
Actually..... Don't look now, but the Preds could be kinda nasty this year. They've got a good thing going there.

The Capitals have done something!!! As expected, they signed Alexender Ovechkin to a three-year contract. The terms of the contract were not released, but we do know that his salary cannot exceed $984,200 in the first year. I don't know the particulars about how incentive-laden contracts work within the new CBA, but if they are allowable with draftees, his is probably packed with incentives. Okay, that's a start, but someone ought to alert them to the fact that they need to start signing players. They now have exactly four players with NHL experience under contract, plus Ovechkin, plus some clown who won't even play on their AHL squad. It would be a crushing blow if someone snags Jeff Halpern from under them. There's already rumors that Bates Battaglia is interested in returning to Carolina. Not that he's a key part of the Caps system, but any loss at all would be huge at this point.

Speaking of which, I wouldn't mind seeing ole Batesy back in Raleigh. His dad owns a couple of restaurants in the area, and Bates likes this area. The ladies really liked him when he was here, and when the Canes made their improbable run at the Stanley Cup back in '02, he was a huge part of this team. The Battaglia/Brind'Amour/Cole (BBC) line was absolutely en fuego throughout the final months of the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs. He's kinda struggled since leaving Raleigh, but the fans that I've talked to would be excited about welcoming him back. He'd certainly come cheap, which seems to be the way we need to go. All indicators are that Jim Rutherford is looking to come in at under $29M, so our team can qualify for revenue sharing. As a business plan, not bad. However, there's some concerns that we won't be able to field a competitive team.

There were a significant number of signings around the league Friday which involved players from the minor leagues. There were also a load of re-signings for close to the league minimum. Frankly, I don't think any of them are worth mentioning.

The dust, my friends, is starting to settle. We should see some of the "inactive" teams become very active in trades. That should also be fun to watch.

1 comment:

greatwhitebear said...

Ah, Jimmy Rutherford! A really good goalie. Unfortunately, it was for the Red Wings when we used to know them as the" dead wings". And he learned his front office craaft when the Wings were still owned by the Norris family, who made Bill Wirtz in Chicago seem extravegant. Trying to come in at 29M? I'd better check my Compuware stock, because Pete must be suddenly hurting for money!


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