A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.
Showing posts with label Chip Alexander. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chip Alexander. Show all posts

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Staal locked in for seven years

On Thursday, the Hurricanes announce what we all knew was coming. Eric Staal signed a contract extension for seven years totaling $57.75M.

When the Hurricanes announced this morning that they would make a "major player announcement" at 2 pm, everybody with a pulse and a clue knew what this meant.

Thanks to a tip from a reader, I know that our illustrious new beat writer -- he of the encyclopedic college basketball knowledge, missed the clue. Yes, Chip Alexander jumped to the conclusion that this "major player announcement" would be that Frantisek Kaberle had been traded. I wasn't around to see it, but the word on the street is that Alexander posted the following on LSB:
The Hurricanes have called a news conference today at 2 p.m. to make a "major player announcement."

Could it involve moving a defenseman? Someone like Frantisek Kaberle, for example? No one is saying, but keep checking back for updates.


I know Mr. Alexander is busy studying the NC State media guide and defending the honour of a convicted felon (who just happens to be the son of NCSU's basketball coach), but I find it impossible to believe that our professional beat writer missed the hint on that. Just when I was starting to back off of my anti-Alexander stance. I'll put it the same way my reader put it. "Out of touch much?".

Before any real damage was done (read: before anyone could call him out), Alexander changed his post to allude to the Eric Staal contract extension.
Of course Mr Alexander has been a professional journalist for 30 years. We bloggers are amateurs, and therefore inferior. We are expected to make mistakes because we are beer guzzling, nacho eating morons.

Anyway, back to business...

Staal has been signed to a seven year deal, averaging $8.25M per season. The new contract starts next season, when he will make $6M and will culminate in 2016, when he will make $9.5M.

This contract is pretty reasonable. Although Staal isn't among the elite of the elite, he's certainly one of the top players in the league. He's certainly the face of the franchise. From a team standpoint, it's perfect. Anything beyond seven years is a major gamble on the part of the team due to insurance reasons. If a player is signed to a deal longer than seven years, only the first seven years are covered from an insurance standpoint, so injuries become a constant source of concern.

This will certainly be a load off the fans. This will certainly be a load off the front office. It will certainly be a load off Staal. Now he can just play the game. The fans won't have to ever hold their collective breath during the summer the way we used to do with Erik Cole and his impossible contract negotiations. It's done. I haven't seen all the particular bits of the contract, but I would assume that there's a NTC in there.

This has been a good week for Hurricanes fans. Camp starts next weekend, so we'll be even happier.

Monday, August 18, 2008

N&O takes two steps backwards

Late Saturday night, we Hurricanes fans got a huge shock. Our beat writer with the Raleigh News & Observer is moving along. Luke Decock, who has brilliantly covered the Hurricanes since 2000 has been "promoted" from being a Canes beat writer to a general Sports columnist.

This is a shame. Luke is a very good hockey writer who is not only worshiped around here, but respected around the rest of the league. He will continue to contribute, but will no longer be able to devote 100% of his attention to the Hurricanes.

In his place, the N&O has slotted former NC State Wolfpack beat writer Chip Alexander, who admits that he doesn't know a thing about hockey. This is a huge, huge mistake. There are other writers on the staff (I'm specifically looking at Lorenzo Perez) who are far more capable.

Alexander made an inauspicious debut by bragging about his college basketball knowledge and bashing Luke for his lack of same. His transition was going to be hard enough, but he made it about 1200% harder with this pathetic introductory post. He hasn't exactly endeared himself to the masses. I hope it gets better before it gets worse. Alexander has had a history of being an infrequent contributor to the Hurricanes coverage in the N&O, and to hear the Acid Queen tell it, he didn't do a very good job.

If I were a Raleighite and/or a subscriber to the print edition of the N&O, I would angrily cancel my subscription to the paper. As is, I will have to be a little upset about this changing of the guard.

Alexander has already taken a wrong step with his unintentional slight of his brilliant predecessor. I might be overreacting or making an incorrect reading, but it also seems like he's taking a slightly confrontational approach to hockey

There's a reason that Luke Decock is a frequent contributor to The Hockey News. There's a reason that he's well respected around the League. He's a great hockey writer. Heck, he's a great writer, period. I'm sad to see him take leave of his post. I'm skeptical about the N&O's choice to fill that void. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I'm going into this with low expectations.

As an aside, Luke wrote a great piece today about one Canes season ticket holder who took the Cole/Pitkanen trade very hard. It isn't that it's a great hockey article. It's good writing. Although he won't be out of the fold completely, we're going to miss Luke's every day articles. Partly for his in-depth knowledge of the game and the players who play it. Mostly, though, because he's a terrific writer.

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