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

Monday, August 15, 2005

Canes re-sign St. Jacques, Brendl

The Canes have re-signed defenseman Bruno St. Jacques and right winger Pavel "Krispy" Brendl. It was these same two guys who were obtained in a February '03 trade that sent Sami Kapanen to the Flyers.
I like St. Jacques. Like a bunch of guys we have, he makes up for any lack of talent with a surplus of effort.

Krispy, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. He is blessed with a ton of talent, but is the classic under-achiever. When he played junior hockey for the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, he tallied an incredible 73 goals and 61 assists for 134 points in 68 games during the 1998-99 season, leading his team to the WHL Championship. He also had 21 goals and 25 assists for 46 points in 20 playoff games that same year. That summer, he was selected by the Flyers Rangers with the fourth overall pick in the 1999 entry draft. Two more impressive seasons in the WHL, then a trade to the Flyers and a very good season with the Flyers AHL affiliate (which is also in Philly). Once he moved up to the bigs, though, it wasn't there for him. He has such tremendous upside, and all the coaches can see that, but one thing that holds him back in the NHL is his work ethic. I've ranted about this before, so I'll try to avoid sounding like a broken record, but I just don't get it with this kid.

Here's where some explaining will be necessary. You might see that Krispy's contract is for one year at $899,745. If you're not a Canes fan, you might ask, and a lot of casual Canes fans might "why pay an under-achiever so much?" Well.... The provision in that contract is that if he ends up in the AHL, he'll only make $35k. Talk about forcing a guy to achieve! Dangle that carrot doughnut in front of him, and he may perform to the best of his ability. I know the coaches have faith in him to have given him the two-way contract, and I'd like to be proven wrong about this kid. Something tells me that he will make the opening night roster.

St. Jacques' contract is for the league minimum $450k, with a provision that if he ends up in Lowell, he'll make the AHL league maximum of $75k. There's no doubt in my mind that Bruno will make the big club, but it's a classy move to offer him the AHL league max if things don't work out. The same was done for a number of the other young guys, but obviously not for Krispy.

... STILL waiting on Big Joe.


Davis Helms said...

This is just being nit-picky, but Brendl was actually drafted by the Rangers in '99. He was traded to Philly in '01 with Jan Hlavac & Kim Johnsson for Eric Lindros... So that's two teams who've already given up on him...

d-lee said...

Okay, I stand corrected on the Rangers thing. I was sloppy on that. But it's not exactly fair to say that a team is giving up on a guy just because he's involved in a trade. Lots of really amazing players have been traded multiple times in their careers.
What does stand out, though, is that Krispy was kicked off of four European teams during the lockout. They were, indeed, giving up on him.

Before folks start blasting me,.... I'm not in love with Krispy. I'd like it if he played in Lowell this year (and he probably will), but I don't think it's fair to say that the Rangers "gave up on him". In that specific trade, they really wanted Lindros, so they bundled three young players and a pick. In Philly's case, when they traded him and St. Jacques to Carolina, I think it was more of an attempt to obtain Sami Kapanen than to "unload" those two players.

Maybe I'm wrong though. Maybe those clubs were trying desperately to get rid of him.


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