July 02, 2002

The money comes pouring,: but can Holik make good on $45 million over five years and bring the Rangers to the playoffs (even if Bure and Lindros couldn't?) Is Detroit getting another premier goaltender? And, with salaries getting downright silly, will the summer of 2004 (the end of the current collective bargaining agreement) forebode a lockout season?

posted by adampsyche to hockey at 09:43 AM - 17 comments

Holik is going to do wonders for the rangers. Playoffs are a definite, if Blackburn isn't the starter. Quite a pretty penny they paid though. But imagine Holik and Lindros rumbling through opponents, with Bure finishing off in the top corner. Beauty, eh! Cujo gone. This is not good news. The Leafs liked him and knew how valuable he was. If Schwab or whats his face are Plan B, Quinny needs his head examined after the heart thing is under control.

posted by garfield at 11:00 AM on July 02, 2002

9 million is a lot for a guy like Holik. Now maybe my Ranger friends will shut up about last year's Lapointe signing, at least. Probably not, though. I'm guessing that means DaFoe ends up in New York pretty soon - Unless the Rangers continue to stockpile their team with dickheads, in which case it's Belfour for sure. I'm not looking forward to the lockout, but I can't wait for the season after it. Aside from the fact that salaries are just plain disgusting now, it's almost impossible for some of the small market teams to compete (yeah, I know, the Whalers or whatever they're called now are a big exception). The lockout is pretty much unavoidable.

posted by Samsonov14 at 11:43 AM on July 02, 2002

Well, Eddie "The Always Entertaining Eagle" Belfour is now a Leaf. I expect that he'll be getting paid around $8-9 million/year. Also, I guess that CuJo is now a Red Wing. I suppose that he's probably going to get a metric ton of money as well. I still can't believe that Holik nailed a $9 million/year contract. Brind'Amour pretty much schools that guy and only makes ~$5 million/year, and that's about right for that kind of player.

posted by NoMich at 11:55 AM on July 02, 2002

Holik is good, no doubt, but can you seriously put him on the level with Yzerman, Sakic, Kariya, Jagr, or Forsberg? If he's worth $9 million, how much is Guerin worth? I could not believe Martin the Money Man signing for $5 million per year. Remember, this is a guy who had one season with more than 16 goals: 2000-2001, his last as a Wing (27 goals, with Larionov on his line). He was back down to 17 last year. True, he is emerging as a good leader, and true, he adds a physical dimension to the game, but he also took real dumb penalties in the Detroit/LA Kings playoff series (which Detroit lost) and couldn't come up with any sort of worthy performance with the absence of Yzerman and Shanahan due to their injuries. He was slated to take over as captain of the Wings after Yzerman's pending retirement, but I guess that won't happen... I am not happy about the looming lockout, but who is to blame for the ridiculous salaries? I guess you can say it is teams that pay players way more than market value, but is a salary cap the answer? Could that even pass with the NHLPA? It will be interesting to see Cujo in Detroit. That town is so tough on their goaltenders...a list that I am on has Red Wings fans already pissed that he was crying about leaving Toronto...the poor man hasn't faced a shot yet, and already he is in the pressure cooker. Dom's shoes are pretty big ones to fill. Belfour is going to make far less than $8 to $9 million. About half that. I hear that the deal includes incentives. His value dropped with his performance last year, and GM's worry about his antics. Thank god he isn't a Wing.

posted by adampsyche at 12:53 PM on July 02, 2002

The Leafs are finished. Holik is a good player, but that's just too much, unless of course you're the New York Rangers. They'll pay any amount of money to get into the playoffs at this point. If the Leafs were willing to pay that much for Belfour, why not CuJo? Unless the Rangers continue to stockpile their team with dickheads Hehe, but didn't they get rid of Theo Fleury?

posted by insomnyuk at 12:55 PM on July 02, 2002

How much did Crazy Eddie make with Dallas? I would assume the Leafs will pay him less, given he had a bad year (worst save percentage in the NHL amongst #1 goaltenders). I can't imagine why Holik gets $9-mil - is that the going rate for a 25-goal-scorer nowadays? Shouldn't Pavel Bure be pissed, & ask for $18-mil next chance he gets? (Granted, there are a lot of 'intangibles' with Holik, and he's not there to score goals, but still.) I also don't think Cujo was worth $9-mil a year. I don't think Detroit will be paying him that much anyway. (on preview - slightly redundant, but what the hell)

posted by D at 01:08 PM on July 02, 2002

"The 37-year-old goaltender was 21-27-11 in 61 appearances with Dallas this past season. He had one shutout, an .895 save percentage and a 2.65 goals-against average. He became expendable this year when 26-year-old backup Marty Turco posted the NHLís third best goals-against average, 2.09, and fourth best save percentage, .921." [waymoresports] As a leafs fan, this is depressing news. I can only ask, what the fuck are they thinking?

posted by insomnyuk at 01:21 PM on July 02, 2002

Cujo will be paid $24 million for four years, with a $1 million bonus for winning the Cup. That was lower than a three-year offer of $26.5 million (or thereabouts) with an option for a fourth year from Toronto. A lot of players take less $ to go to Detroit, and it seems that last year's Cup made it all worth it.

posted by adampsyche at 02:03 PM on July 02, 2002

I guess I'm going to have to retract that thing about the Rangers stocking up on dickheads, because it looks like the Bruins are close to a deal with Tie Domi (scroll to the bottom). So the Bruins lose Guerin to Dallas or NY, and pick up Tie Domi? Ouch. I can only hope those "Selanne to Boston" rumors pan out.

posted by Samsonov14 at 02:50 PM on July 02, 2002

The Leafs had no control over where Cujo was going to sign. They offerred him more money (per year) than Detroit, but he still skipped off to the Motor City. I'm glad they made the attempt, and signing Belfour will ease the pain somewhat. That said, nothing would please me more than to see Detroit tumble hard from the top. Holik makes $9,000,000 a year? That's the dumbest contract I've ever seen. THE. DUMBEST. EVER. The most points he's ever gotten is 65. Sixty-friggin-five. That's like paying a .500 pitcher in baseball, like, $11,000,00 a year. Oh wait, nevermind.

posted by grum@work at 04:32 PM on July 02, 2002

As a leafs fan, this is depressing news. I can only ask, what the fuck are they thinking? They're probably thinking that Belfour's performance in Dallas last year was tied to the same team problems that led to Coach Hitchcock's firing and the team missing the playoffs. Belfour was incredible in the two years the team reached the Cup finals.

posted by rcade at 06:05 PM on July 02, 2002

That said, nothing would please me more than to see Detroit tumble hard from the top. Dem's fighting words! ;-) For real for real, look for them to either win next year, or die trying. After that, these guys are all free agents: Fedorov, Lidstrom, Yzerman, Hull, Robataille, and possibly a few more I can't think of right now. Many thought that Dom would do one more year. At current inflation, what is Fedorov worth after next year? Lidstrom? Yzerman will play one more and retire. The team was retooled after the LA collapse (thanks again, Martin) to seriously compete for a two-year period. So, you will get your wish, but it won't be next year. I am not going to predict a Cup, but they will at least come close. After that, who knows? They have the cash for the free agents, but this team gelled in a special way that simple money *cough* Rangers *cough* obviously could not have produced alone.

posted by adampsyche at 07:53 PM on July 02, 2002

Speaking of coughing at the Rangers: how many stars can you throw on a team before they actually get into the playoffs? I mean, can they gel as a team? Or will the farce continue? As for the Leafs, I'm still cautiously optimistic. I didn't think Cujo would stay; I had a mild preference for Defoe, but Belfour could turn out to be great (or not). What makes me happy is not the goalie-shuffling, but that the Leafs actually bid quite a bit on both Holik and Kasparitis - meaning they're actually ready to spend some money for once. I wouldn't mind if they held out until september and snapped up some (relatively) cheap restricted free agent Oilers.

posted by D at 09:40 PM on July 02, 2002

That's a good point rcade, and I'll have to remember it, maybe Belfour will turn it around. One can only hope.

posted by insomnyuk at 10:56 PM on July 02, 2002

I second D's optimism regarding the Leafs willingness to write the check. At least they're trying to sign big names up against the Rangers, with CDN$ no less.

posted by garfield at 07:50 AM on July 03, 2002

Speaking as a Leaf's fan, the thing that upsets me the most is that we can't scream chants of "EhhhhDieee! EhhhhDieee!" everytime our favourite goalie we like to hate plays at the ACC... as now he'll be in the blue and white. (I really can't remember when this badgering of Eddie by the Leaf fans began... I know it was way back during his Chicago days.) Anyway, I liked Cujo. But good riddance to him. He walked away from a bigger Leafs offer to go to a team that he thinks he can win the Cup with. What does say to us? It tells us that he has no faith in the Leaf organization, and that having him around would be fruitless. Belfour, on the other hand, has a lot to prove. Yes, he had bad numbers last season -- but then again, so did the whole team. With the team's under-performance, management issues, bad free-agent signings -- can Belfour be fully blamed for the Star's miserable failure? I doubt it. Besides, not having to pay an undeservadly high salary for Cujo, the Leafs have more money left over to pick up one of the few remaining big names... hopefully. (and being the 'second runner-up' for Holik or Kasparitis doesn't get the Leafs a silver medal).

posted by mkn at 02:12 PM on July 03, 2002

Indeed, it would be poetic if the Leafs beat the Red Wings in the finals next year. One can only dream. Perhaps by then my army of flying monkeys will be assembled and prepared to kidnap Gilmour and return him to his rightful home, Toronto.

posted by insomnyuk at 09:47 PM on July 03, 2002

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