Friday, 8 February 2008

Essay Winner - Part Two

Yesterday, we saw CKim's essay regarding long-term contracts in the NHL, and she made some valid points. Today, Hockey Blog In Canada offers up the second winner of the HBIC Essay Contest, and her essay is also on the same subject. Same rules apply today as they did yesterday: if anyone is insulting towards the author of this essay, your comments will be deleted with little regard for anything you write. These two people worked hard on these essays, and they deserve a little credit for what they did. Her prizes have also been mailed, and should arrive late next week or early the following week.

Here is the essay from Kirsten, author of Land of Lakes and Hockey.

If I were the GM of a hockey team, I would not hand out any contracts longer than 5 years. This number is arbitrarily chosen based on the fact that my favorite Wild player was given a five year contract, the longest in Wild history. From what I’ve seen of long long term contracts, they are a bad thing. To use a baseball example, Alex Rodriguez was signed by the Texas Rangers for 252 [million dollars] USD over ten years. This was signed in 2001, and he has played for the Yankees for quite a while. As for a hockey example, Yashin was signed by the Islanders for 10 years, and that REALLY didn’t work out well at all. Yashin was supposed to be the next thing, Rodriguez too, but now A-Rod is getting shunned by the fans in New York, and the Islanders fans rejoiced when Yashin’s contract was bought out. Injuries, fights on the team with teammates and coaches, feuds with fans, age, something ugly off the ice, all of those things could get messier with a long term contract.

A young player signed to a decade long contract could not pan out the way you think it will. That player could totally pull an Emery and decide that now he’s got the contract in hand, and just do whatever he wants. A player like that would be hard to unload with the cumbersome contract and behavior problems.

As for the players on the list, Phaneuf is the player that I’d sign to the longest contract. His stats are excellent, he’s feared within the league, and the jerseys are selling. He has also been fairly durable thus far in his career, but that doesn’t mean anything, especially considering his style of play. If he has matured this much already for a defenceman, as a GM I’d be wetting myself to see what he comes up with next. I’d give him my five year maximum for an average of 5.5 million a year. My Minnesota sensibilities do not allow me to pay anyone the league maximum. My only concern with Phaneuf is that he is marketable, but he doesn’t seem to be particularly fan friendly, articulate, etc. I’ve seen the pictures of him chain smoking and hanging out with half-dressed women. Not exactly the publicity I’d be hoping for.

Corey Perry is the next player on that list I’d go after. He’s young, good, and marketable in a tough market to sell hockey in, but he lacks personality. I expect his skills to mature out with time. I do feel like he’s fragile, so maybe nothing more than a four year contract for him, at 5 million or so a year. He doesn’t make or break teams, and he doesn’t strike fear into the hearts of opponents.

Marc-Andre Fleury really has never grown on me, and I would probably not sign him at all. He’s injured a lot, streaky, and I’ve always thought not living up to his hype at all. I don’t like him as a player, but he seems fairly personable, and all the Pens fans I know love him, so as for that aspect, he’s valuable. If I had to sign him, no more than three years, and not more than 3.5 a year.

I’m ashamed to admit, I don’t really know a whole lot about Boyes, but I’d sign him ahead of Fleury. Since I know so little, I’m not going to comment on how much I’d pay him and for how long since I don’t want to make a mistake as a fake GM that would screw my team for ages.

Reading back over this, I’m a really cheap GM, but I can’t bring myself to sign anyone forever, nor for huge amounts of money. Good thing no one asked me to be a football/baseball/basketball GM, I’d fail utterly. Maybe this all stems from being raised with cheap teams.


Good job, Kirsten! Watch your mailbox for your prizes, and congratulations on winning yourself some free schwag!

As for tomorrow, I'm planning on being out in Winkler for Hockey Day In Canada. The CBC is covering a whole pile of stuff tomorrow, but I'm going to try and take you to the fan's perspective: I'm going to talk to people in the community, the organizers of the event, and try to get some time with a CBC personality. I don't know if the last one will happen with CBC doing a number of things tomorrow, but I'll try to get some audio of the people I talk to with my trusty little audio recorder.

Look for my recap of Hockey Day In Canada on Sunday. I'll try to post something fun for tomorrow so that it won't just be a day of nothing to read or comment on.

Until tomorrow or Sunday, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

CKim said...

Nice job, Kirsten! I'm glad you were cheap as well because that's the exact same thing I was thinking. I'm glad you didn't go over 4 million for Fleury even though I thought I was underpaying him.

P.S. Phaneuf chain smokes? That's disgusting!