Free Agent Week Post #1: Ciphering

We know Kevin Lowe has a shopping list (he’s stated a need for top 3F and grit) and it may be longer than what he’s stated in public.

We know he has some extra bodies and we also know the organization has management people who have expressed interest in two of the team’s UFA’s (Reasoner, Glencross).

We know this organization has tremendous injury concerns at important positions (LW, D).

Here are the cap numbers for 08-09, by position.

GOALKEEPER: Mathieu Garon (1.1M), Dwayne Roloson (3.67M)
  • Both men are unrestricted free agent’s at the end of 08-09. One of the things we’ll probably read about after July 1 is a need to sign Garon to a long term deal.

LEFT DEFENSE: Joni Pitkanen (4M-EST), Sheldon Souray (5.4M), Denis Grebeshkov (1.5M), Ladislav Smid (.886M)

  • The poorest return on investment position on the roster, Souray needs to be way better this season. A huge positive is the development of Grebeshkov who could be a solid top 4D this season. The Pitkanen number may be a little high but it’s a moving target.

RIGHT DEFENSE: Tom Gilbert (4M), Steve Staios (2.7M), Matt Greene (1.15M)

  • Gilbert’s emergence was a key element to this group last season. Although he faded in the second half, the long term contract given this spring is an indicator of just how important he is to the future. Staios remains a rock on D and Matt Greene should be healthy.

CENTER: Shawn Horcoff (3.6M), Sam Gagner (1.625M), Jarret Stoll (2.2M-EST), Kyle Brodziak (.497M), Marc Pouliot (1M-EST)

  • All of a sudden some very nice depth up the middle (and Cogliano also a part of the mix). There’s likely to be some movement at this position before the end of the summer, with Stoll the likely candidate for a new address. Pouliot’s future depends on Reasoner not re-signing and his ability to gain traction in TC. Gagner’s role will only increase this season and the “Kid Line” lasts only long enough for him to show chemistry with the other elite skill players on this roster.

LEFT WING: Dustin Penner (4.25M), Andrew Cogliano (1.133M), Raffi Torres (2.25M), Ethan Moreau (2M), Curtis Glencross (1.5M-EST)

  • Penner spent some time at center (189 FO’s) and Cogliano played most of the year in the middle. The key to this position is health. Although Raffi Torres has been injured for periods over the last two seasons, he brings a lot of things to the roster when he’s healthy. Ethan Moreau can also help in several roles, but his career is in a little danger based on how few games he’s played in the last two seasons. Glencross is not signed, but Lowe had some encouraging words this weekend and he would hide a multitude of sins on LW if he signs.

RIGHT WING: Ales Hemsky (4.1M), Robert Nilsson (1.833M), Fernando Pisani (2.5M), Zach Stortini (.700M-EST)

  • If this team makes the post-season, Hemsky has to explode offensively. It seems as though we’ve been waiting for it since 2002, but he has had fine numbers since the lockout ended and isn’t that far away from the upper echelon. Nilsson will need to build on last season in order to hold off the other skill options on the roster, Pisani’s role will be as important as ever and Stortini has a job sewn up entering camp.

  • TOTAL COST: $53,819,000
  • CAP ROOM: $1.1M-3.1M
  • GM’s KEYS TO THE WEEK: Scoring forward, gritty forward
  • POSSIBLE ACQUISTION: veteran defender

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17 Responses to "Free Agent Week Post #1: Ciphering"

  1. Ducey says:

    Kevin P. had mentioned they might carry three goalies – Deslauries would eat up another $900 K. On the other hand, Roli will likely be gone at the trade deadline, saving about $1 Million.

    I imagine that nothing will really happen with the Oilers. Rumours of Redden and Spezza, maybe a GlenX signing. Thats about it.

    What do think about Eric Nystrom if they can’t sign GlenX? He is a cheap UFA (I think) and might fit the 4th line well.

  2. Lowetide says:

    Stauffer said on his show today that nothing isn’t a bad thing and I agree.

    I don’t tink Lowe will stand pat, though. This team hasn’t made the playoffs in a time and you can’t ride ’06 spring forever.

  3. Sean says:

    Minor point but I thought Penner signed for 4.25

    I think its safe to say they could trade one of Torres, Stoll or Morreau and save about 1 million in cap space without denting the roster too much. Pisani as well but he’s still the key to the 3rd line and its hard to put a price on clutch play.

  4. Sean says:

    LT, I know its not free agent related but do you think a move with the enemy could ever happen? I was just reading on BoA that their forward depth is brutal and its right.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Sean: Right you are re: Penner.

    I don’t think CGY-EDM would ever make a trade.

  6. jon k says:

    I’ve heard speculation from individuals in the know that the cap is likely to only rise to 55.5, at most. Should be the first season where people start to worry actively about revenues no longer “increasing”.

  7. Islandlife says:

    lowetide said…
    Stauffer said on his show today that nothing isn’t a bad thing and I agree.

    I don’t tink Lowe will stand pat, though. This team hasn’t made the playoffs in a time and you can’t ride ’06 spring forever.

    I guess you haven’t visited HF today where Jokinen is being painted as the “seed of Chucky”

  8. spOILer says:

    Lowe said top 3 forward and some grit.

    I took that to mean the grit could come in another player of unstated position.

  9. Doogie says:

    I took that to mean the grit could come in another player of unstated position.

    With any luck, it’s a veteran stay-at-home D that can cover the multitude of sins committed by our earnest young two-way guys.

  10. Dennis says:

    It shocks and disappoints me that Lowe doesn’t seem to think our D needs to be addressed; but when you think about it, I guess he believes in Souray and thinks that a full season of him will really help protect the kids.

    I don’t agree with that in the least but I guess that’s how Lowe sees it.

    Everything else hinges on what they do with Stoll, Glencross, Torres, Pitkanen, Pouliot and Reasoner. There are a bunch of guys who you can put in pen and then there’s the crowd above and Lowe’s yen for this one-shot scorer; I’d imagine he’d hope to peddle some of those guys for a bad/bloated contract.

    He made a deal last Canada Day so with everyone buzzing around then, maybe he’ll do it again this year.

    Or maybe he’ll shock everyone and throw the absolute bloody bank at Hossa.

  11. Nelson88 says:

    It’s a sunny day (in vancouver) so what the hell…

    Assuming Campbell wants to go back east. Pits and Torres or Stoll for Marleau and a mid round pick next year.

    Whichever of Torres or Stoll is left over to Toronto for the best pick(s) position available.

    Trade Roli for Mcgratton. Limited skills but rids salary and gives a nuclear deterent when need be.

    sign chuckwagon boy for 1.25 X 2 years

    have roy, poo and mcgrattan as the plug and place pieces depending on game conditions.

    strong top 6. good bottom six. D is young but maturing and better than most on this board give it credit for. G is a big question mark but lots of passable G floating around for cheap if need be later on.

    overall it is a well balanced competitive team and lots of potential/options in 09/10 and 10/11 which is when it really counts.

  12. HBomb says:

    Or maybe he’ll shock everyone and throw the absolute bloody bank at Hossa.

    And I cannot say I’d have an issue with that. Question is, where does the cap space come from?

    If they could find a taker for that horrible Souray contract, giddy-up….

  13. Master Lok says:

    I’m hearing that McGrattan will be a UFA come July.

  14. MetroGnome says:

    What do think about Eric Nystrom if they can’t sign GlenX?

    Full disclosure: Nystrom can’t shoot the puck and has the offensive instincts of a boot. He gets eaten for breakfast by anyone above a 3rd liner as well. Although he’s a sophomore, he’s also 26 so I dont think the ceiling goes much higher.

    Sutter will probably re-sign him anyways.

  15. Bruce says:

    It’s a sunny day (in vancouver) so what the hell…

    Hey Nelson, sounds like you’re under one of those Left Coast High weather systems. :-D Not that I want to carve you particularly, but I am going to carve the guy you’re suggesting. (Haven’t done this for a while, and it’s fun!)

    Pits and Torres or Stoll for Marleau and a mid round pick next year.

    Marleau as in Patrick Marleau?! Sorry, not in the least interested. The guy played out this last season at his old rate of $4.5 MM and re-upped to $6.3 MM for the next two. For that vote of confidence he repaid the Sharks with an horrific 19-goal, 48-point, minus-19 season. In the playoffs he was marginally better but still a minus player.

    In fact he’s a minus player for his career, despite playing all of it with a pretty decent team in San Jose. And the arrows have been pointing downward for a while.

    First 5 years: 4 plus seasons, net +22
    Next 5: 4 minus seasons, net -37

    Throw in a career -6 for the playoffs while captaining a club that always comes up short, and I’m not convinced.

    I realize that +/- is Yesterday’s Stat and it’s fashionable to shit all over it. Tough minutes, own-zone faceoffs, all that stuff. But as I see it the guys who are making the BIG money have to be able to outplay and outscore whomever they line up against. I have the same issue with Patrick Marleau that I do with Brad Richards: he’s a serious outscoree. You could hire somebody at half or a third the $$$ to play the same tough minutes and he wouldn’t get beat any worse. Or (my choice) you could pay Shawn Horcoff 80% of the money and not get outscored at all.

    So let’s look at the more detailed modern stats provided by Desjardins at his great Behind the Net site. Of 12 SJ forwards who played 40+ games, Marleau ranked a very modest fourth in QUALCOMP, behind Grier, Mitchell and Rissmiller, the de facto “checking line”. He was a middling 6th in QUALTEAM. Despite playing the third most ES TOI/60, Marleau finished in the middle of the pack (6th, barely) for GF ON, and dead fucking last in GA ON. He was also DFL on the club with that horrible -19. On a per 60 basis, he was tenth on the club in GF ON and ninth in GA ON (+1.51/-2.39). Those numbers stink on their own; now consider that they were compiled on a team that finished second overall in the NHL.

    Marleau’s offensive numbers are downright, well, offensive. His 1.11 ESP/60 ranked 9th on the club, right behind that feared sniper Jody Shelley. He ranked 9th in G/60, 10th in A/60. Hey, if we want Jarret Stoll, we can sign the original for about $4 MM less; and use the rest to pay the guy you wanted to include in the trade, Joni Pitkanen.

    Marleau has pumped his stats on the PP since about 5 minutes after Joe Thornton arrived in San Jose, leading to his only two 60-point seasons before his cave-in of 2007-08. This year Marleau racked up 26 of his 48 points on the PP, where he was second on the club in TOI and led the team with a half-decent 4.27 PPP/60. But of 7 forwards who averaged 1:00 PP TOI per game, Marleau ranked a middling fourth in both +/-ON/60 and +/-OFF/60, which to me suggests “passenger”.

    As for the Sharks’ PK unit which allowed a league low 42 PPGA, Marleau was an afterthought at just 0:12 TOI/G, tenth on the club.

    His face-off percentage was a decent 52.4%, but he took only 14.9% of all faceoffs. Despite being second among forward in TOI, he ranked 7th in hits and an embarrassing 12th with just 10 blocked shots all season. Intangibles? What intangibles?

    As Dallas gambled in the Richards deal (and the jury’s still out on that one), the team trading for Marleau has to see the upside of future greatness through the mountains of evidence that suggest he’s not all that great all that often. It’s not just one bad year either, the guy is erratic as hell … the only consistent thing about him is that ungodly paycheque. Maybe he just needs a new situation (or a new coach?) to motivate himself to play up to his “seen him good” capability, but the fact that such controllables as motivation/confidence/consistency are still an issue with this guy 10 years on screams “thanks but no thanks”.

    I want a guy who is certain to be a hit in Edmonton, not just a cap hit.

  16. Asiaoil says:

    Game, set and match….Bruce

  17. Dennis says:

    LT makes a good point here about Gagner’s TOI going forward; the only thing is, though, he’ll only get more min at evens if he’s not getting killed.

    I’m one of the guys that want the Oil to stand pat and have the Horc-Stoll line play tough min; 89 will only ascend past soft min as soon as he starts to show that he can get his head near even.

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