In today’s medley of notable posts from the NHL blogosphere: Wondering what Predators GM David Poile’s next move will be…The enigma of Tyler Myers…What will the Canadiens do with Scott Gomez?…The Blackhawks puck possession problems…The Devils after the first week of November…The date for the Derek Boogaard memorial is announced…An illustrated guide to NHL realignment since 1967…Success stories (in a humorous vein) of the first month of the NHL season.
SMASHVILLE 24/7: Ryan Porthat muses on what Predators GM David Poile could do to re-sign Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, suggesting keeping them, along with recently re-signed Pekka Rinne, may not be as difficult as the pundits suggest.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The punditry come by their doubts honestly. For much of their existence, the Predators have been a budget team. In recent years, they’ve kept payroll close to the salary cap floor as possible. Rinne is costing $7 million per season starting next season. It could cost at least $7.5 million per season to retain Weber, and at least $6 million per to retain Suter. That’s over $2o million invested in three players, for a team which, this season, currently has a payroll under $50 million. Even if the cap is lowered next season, even if salaries are rolled back to accommodate the lowering of the cap and the reduction of the players share of revenue to accomplish this, it’s still going to cost the Predators around one third of their payroll to retain three players.
Poile can get creative and heavily front-load the contracts for Weber and Suter over lengthy periods, something he hasn’t done before, to get a friendlier cap hit, but it’s still going to eat up a considerable chunk of their payroll. So, unless the Preds are planning on spending more than in the recent past on payroll, or are going to go cheap with pretty much everyone else on their roster, it’s going to be a very expensive proposition to retain those three, and still ice a competitive roster. That’s why the punditry expects either Suter or Weber to be playing elsewhere next season.
DIE BY THE BLADE: Trying to figure out why Tyler Myers, the 2010 Calder winner, has been struggling this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with the conclusion that Myers is still a talented young defenseman with a lot to learn, but also a lot of potential. The kid is going to experience some growing pains, but once he reaches his prime in the late-twenties, I expect he’ll become a potential Norris contender.
HOCKEY INDEPENDENT: Fred Poulin on what to expect the Montreal Canadiens to do with expensive, under-achieving center Scott Gomez in the short and long term.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He’ll probably be used as a third line center in the short term, as he’s better at center than on the wing. I also concur with Poulin that Gomez is untradeable this season. If the next CBA contains another one-time-only, penalty-free buyout period, the Habs will be all over that to shed Gomez and his contract.
SECOND CITY HOCKEY: The Blackhawks are struggling with their puck possession game, in part because they no longer have puck-handling Brian Campbell patrolling their blueline. Unless young Nick Leddy can improve, their problems could force them into the trade market for help.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting take on the Blackhawks current situation, one worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks.
IN LOU WE TRUST: A look at the Devils ups and downs for November 1-8.
HOCKEY WILDERNESS: The Wild will hold Derek Boogaard’s Memorial night on November 27th.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boogaard was beloved by Wild fans, and his untimely death hit their community hard. Nice to see they’re going to honor him this way.
PUCK DADDY: presents an illustrated guide to NHL realignment since 1967.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m so old I remember the first one! Ah, those were the days, when there were only twelve teams and it was easy to know who all the players were on each team.
DOWN GOES BROWN: presents the success stories of the opening month of the NHL season, done in their usual hilarious style.