One of the most interesting parts of the new NHL CBA – THANK GOD IT’S FINALLY DONE – is the introduction of “compliance buyouts.” Contract buyouts have been around for a while, but this new variety, which are designed to help teams get under the cap in 2013-14 when it falls by six or so million dollars, are different insofar as there is no cap penalty.
Under the old system, when a contract was bought out, the team saved money, but still had a portion of the deal (1/3 if the player is over 26 years old) count against the cap for twice as long as the contract was originally slated to last. The compliance buyouts are not different in terms of raw dollars going out the door, but unlike the old buyouts they come off the cap immediately.
In short, the compliance buyouts are a get out of jail free card for GMs that handed out long-term idiotic contracts (see: DiPietro, Rick). Pay the player, wish him well and forget the whole thing ever happened.
The Penguins are lucky (smart) not to have any anchors like DiPietro or Wade Redden weighing them down, but with Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Brooks Orpik up for extensions, and raises, in the near future and the cap set to fall, they will need to scrounge up cash wherever they can. So who can they cut?
I touched on this earlier on Twitter, but I wanted to put my thoughts down here as well. For some reason, a lot of Penguin fans have gotten it into their heads that the team should go after Zach Parise, which would be a colossally stupid idea.
Has everyone forgotten what happened in the playoffs? The Penguins have no trouble putting up goals, and will not lose a step by shipping out Staal. The early exit falls directly on the shoulders of the defense and goaltending. End of story. Adding another all-star scoring forward will do absolutely nothing to remedy that.
Vokoun should help shore up the goaltending, but what about the defense? Now that Michalek has been shipped out, the blueline is thinner than ever.
If Shero goes after any big name free agent, it has to be Suter. I understand that there is a ton of young talent in the Pens’ system, but that does nothing to help them win now.Even if Despres sticks in the NHL this year, the D corps is largely the same group of guys that folded like a goddamned beach chair, and fixing that has to be priority number one. More offensive firepower with a huge price tag is the last thing they need.
I defended him after Game 3, and I still stand by my assessment of those games. But good lord was Fleury awful in Game 6. I never said he was completely beyond blame in the first three losses, but in those there were other glaring inadequacies that led to the Penguins’ demise above and beyond the spotty goaltending. In this one there is no two ways about it: Fleury (or any other NHL-caliber goaltender) should have saved every single shot he faced in Game 6. I still don’t think that he is as awful as he’s made out to be by some people, but there’s no defending a performance like that. To the tape:
I saw this article earlier today and was blown away by how bad it was. I don’t expect the New Yorker to be a leading voice on sports, but good god, they could at least get someone who has watched a game before to write their articles. And since I didn’t have anything better to do this morning, I decided to break it down FJM style. (Yes I am petty, and no I don’t care.)
Hockey Without Rules
Posted by Adam Gopnik
What more is there to be said about the plague of violence in hockey this spring?
That it’s nothing new? That if you actually paid attention to the game in the past you’d know that this has been an ongoing issue that has been debated and argued to death and not a “plague” that just randomly popped up in the last couple weeks?
Last Sunday, after watching my suddenly resurgent—should that be insurgent?—Chelsea Blues come back and beat Tottenham to make one more F.A. Cup Final,
Ugh.. fuck this guy. He didn’t even make it to the second sentence in an article about hockey before he mentioned European soccer and HIS Chelsea Blues.. Oh please enlighten us with your wisdom as you are clearly more cultured and learned than we North American swine!
Wait, he was born in Philly and grew up in Montreal, so that means he’s actually just some bandwagon douche that has selected a (highly successful) team to support based, I’m assuming, on his affinity for scarves. I’ll lay 2-1 that this article was written on a fucking typewriter.
Let me preface this by stating that I am not a Fleury fanboy. I think he’s a solid but not spectacular goaltender. He absolutely has to play better. He has sucked in the first three playoff games. He is not off the hook for the Penguins struggles, whatsoever. However I think it’s completely unfair to crucify him as many people, like this guy, have done recently.
How can I defend a goaltender with a 6.34 GAA and a .798 save percentage? Good question.
I can do it by questioning the defensive play in front of him. Just like it’s impossible for a quarterback to succeed without a decent offensive line, it’s impossible for a goalie to succeed if he’s constantly hung out to dry. For every soft goal Fleury has allowed, there have been many others that were directly attributable to selfish, lazy and undisciplined play by the guys in front of him. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s go to the tape.
What a debacle. What a pitiful end to such a promising season. Yes, I know there’s one at least game left, but it’s merely a formality at this point. Dan Bylsma has lost the team. The players aren’t even bothering to pretend like they care about defensive responsibility anymore. The problem is from top to bottom and it’s time to clean house. I think it’s too early to call for Bylsma’s head, but that won’t be far off.
I’m honestly not sure who to blame at this point. Is it Bylsma’s fault for not reining in his players? Is it the players’ fault for not adhering to the system and playing some goddamn defense for a change? Or is it Ray Shero’s fault for not properly structuring the roster? I suspect there isn’t one single point of failure, but in the interest of figuring this out, I’m going to start at the top.
Let’s take a look at exactly how good of a job Ray Shero has actually done since taking over, beginning with the draft.
HELL YEAH WE FUCKING SUCK!
Absolutely fucking pathetic. I don’t know any other way to describe it. The warning signs were there, but even I never thought it would be this bad. Seriously, how did the entire fucking team forget how to play defense? Quit standing around, clear the god damn puck, quit turning it over and quit letting everyone just skate right the fuck past you. It’s not that fucking hard.
TRADE EVERYONE, FIRE EVERYONE, FUCK THIS SHIT
Finding the capacity to hate someone usually isn’t a difficult task for me, especially if that person wears the Flyers’ orange and black. I generally have vast reserves of untapped hatred available at a moment’s notice, and it doesn’t take much for me to unleash that. It’s like flipping a switch. Take for instance Danny Briere, I didn’t feel particularly strongly about him one way or the other when he played for Buffalo, but the second he put on a Flyers sweater he became loathsome despicable scum-sucking vermin. Chris Pronger is another great example, I always hated Pronger for being a dirty, smug cheapshotting prick, but once he signed with Philly my animosity became almost pathological. Eric Lindros, Bobby Clarke, Keith Primeau, Scotty Hartnell, etc etc will all forever be odious pieces of shit. But for some reason I am having a really difficult time hating Max Talbot.
The only way to get rid of a troll like Milbury is to stop reacting when he does stupid shit to get attention. And, please make no mistake, that’s all he’s doing.
First, we all need to realize that NBC doesn’t put him on TV so that we the fans can benefit from his unique insight into the game. His credentials as an expert are dubious at best. He traded Zdeno Chara for Alexei Yashin, for christsakes. It’s safe to say he doesn’t know shit about hockey. And as incompetent as they may be, even NBC has to recognize that. But it doesn’t matter to them. The only reason they trot him out there is to be a third rate Don Cherry wannabe: just another meathead dinosaur that will rile people up by being as loud as he is ignorant.
The Penguins just started playing the New York Islanders, about 20 miles from my apartment as the crow flies. But here I am, sitting on my couch watching it on TV. Why, you ask? Because the Islanders could not do a better job keeping fans away from their dilapidated, crumbling hell-hole of an arena if they were trying to. Despite being located a stone’s throw from the country’s largest metropolitan center, the New York Islanders’ arena is a byzantine nightmare to access, especially for the majority of the city’s residents, who (like me) don’t have a car.