Saturday, September 09, 2006

Team Dillinger: Guys Who are Just Stealing Money

The $2.5 mil the Canes will owe Oleg Tverdovsky will make him hard for JR to move. The invisible man of the Canes blueline; the guy who was supposed to Gonchar the Canes PP generated a mere 23 points last year, and disappeared at playoff time. Actually, I guess he was pretty Gonchar-like last season. But Oleg's theft of salary hardly compares to others in this league. Now nobody is holding a gun to any GM or owners head. They don't have to throw money at deadwood - some just choose to (Hello?...Charles Wang?). Here are some other guys I think belong on Team Dillinger:

In Goal:
Jose Theodore: Great steroid-enhanced hair; papa a real-life Piranha Brother; 40ish in the league in save percentage and goals against average; nearly $6 mil in salary this year. If this year doesn't go well, somebody is gonna get their head nailed to the floor, eh Dimsdale?

On D: (Gonchar was too obvious)
Derek Morris: Nearly $4 mil this season for the 3rd or 4th best defenseman on the Yotes (I'd put Zbynek Michalek ahead of him at this point). $4 mil for a guy says, "Has a tendency to lose his concentration in the defensive zone and give the puck away at the most inopportune moments." And he'll make more than captain Shane Doan, Cujo and newcomer Nick Boynton this year.

Adam Foote: Yeah, he's never been much of a point producer, but this former beast of the blueline just wasn't a force last year. Took over the captaincy when Luke Richardson got benched and gave up the "C", but the team never took on the old Footer personality. $4.6 mil a year for 20ish points and a -18 for a matador just ain't a good return on investment.

The Forwards:
Bobby the Missing-Holik: $4.25 mil a year for 33 points and a -6. This performance tied Herr Unibrow for 242nd in the points race last season. He'll make more this year than real difference-makers at center like Eric Staal, Pavel Datsyuk and Patrick Marleau.

Alexi Yashin: No brainer. He's still the fourth highest paid player in the league. His $7.6 mil/year averages out to around $271,000 per goal scored last season for the captain of the Fightin' Fish Sticks.

Sergei Fedorov: Over $6 mil per year for this savior of the franchise. Sergei was da bomb when the Soviet Empire still controlled Eastern Europe. Last season's number 228 goal scorer. Traded from Anaheim for Tyler Wright and Francois Beauchemin, both added a bump of grit to the Ducks lineup just in time for their playoff run. The Jackets got 12 goals for their $6 mil clubhouse leader and mentor to their now prodigal son, Nicolai Zherdev.

Team Dillinger GM:
Doug MacLean: The man who brought you two of the guys on this list - nearly $11 mil in salary to land Fedorov and Foote. With kind of money, you could buy yourself an Eric Staal, an Erik Cole and a Justin Williams. At a time when great young hockey players are doing everything possible to get out of Russia, Doug is about to lose Zehrdev back to the Russian Hockey Federation Mafia. He's had top 10 draft picks every year since 2000 (three of them top five picks), and has only Rick Nash to show for it. Yeah, Gilbert Brule might be the real deal, but he has yet to show any NHL chops. During MacLean's tenure, the Dinner Jackets have accumulated only two notable young stars, a bunch of high draft picks and a bucket full of bupkis. The big brag running right now on the Bluejackets home page proudly proclaims that the boys set a franchise record for wins and points last year. Translated, this means: "Whoooo!!! We suck a lot less comparison to.. well, just us!!!"

"Mr. MacLean, Mensa on line three..."

Your turn. I'm sure I've left somebody off Team Dillinger, or you believe there is somebody out there who deserves to replace one on my list. Let 'er rip.


Michael Turner said...

You can't really blame Brule for getting, of all things, a broken sternum last season. That definitely takes the wind out of your sails when you're trying to crack the line-up for your team. By the time he got better, it was a pretty foregone conclusion that dragging him up to the big show was probably a detrimental idea.

In any event, there's no way to argue about Foote's and Fedorov's sickeningly high salaries. I like Foote as a person, and Fedorov had great years ... but those were a good while ago. It just isn't worth over 25% of the team salary that these two take on their own.

Tom said...

Hmm, Theodore or Nikolai Khabibulin in goal? I guess Khabby has the excuse of stinking it up for the Blackhawks, but he does make more money for that burden.

CasonBlog said...

Oooh. You can make a good case for Khabby. Makes more money, lame most of last season. But he did play for an awful team. I saw him in the United Center last November, and he was awesome. So I might be biased by that one anecdotal observation.

Seems like building consenus on the three-headed Blue Jacket monster.

alyosha mcbain said...

How about Alexei Zhamnov?

CasonBlog said...

I'm banking on Alexi either retiring to the steppes of Mother Russia, or returning to Chicago where Bill Wirtz, like Comrade Stalin, has a sure-fire five year plan for success and world domination.

Kick Save said...

Your ignorance of the Jackets is awesome...Pascal Leclaire is slated to be the starting goaltender this year, and Klesla is one of the top 4 d-men. Both draft picks, both under MacLean's reign.

Additionally, why do you set up Foote for not being a big point producer then use his point totals against him?

CasonBlog said...

Pile on me as you wish, but MacLean should have been run out of Franklin County on a rail by now. Fedorov and Foote were key guys on Cup winning teams; MacLean assessed they'd bring that mojo to the Jackets, but he was wrong. Nobody should get paid to be wrong as much as he does. What did Fedorov and Foote bring that warranted all that cash? This is the GM who paid $2.5 mil for Bryan Berard and is about to lose a top four pick back to the Russian Hockey Federation? I predicted the Jackets would be a factor before last season, but I was wrong. Not the first time, won't be the last, but I'm not flushing your season ticket money every time I'm wrong.

The guys MacLean brought in weren't difference makers, the team captain quit, and they didn't play worth spit until the season was basically in the tank.

You want to throw jarts at my observations, but to counter with a "slated to be" goalie as evidence of MacLean's mad GM skills? A guy with less than a season of work on his resume?

I've got nothing against LeClaire or Kelsla, but what's on their resume as of today? What's on Alexandre Picard's? I can tell you what's on Andrew Ladd's resume. It reads, "Stanley Cup Champion."

I like Brule. I wish the Canes had Brule right about now. He's "slated to be" a star in this league.

Brock said...

ok casonblog you got a few things right but you definitely do not have any of the Columbus things right.

First of all MacLean might actually have his team setup for a run at the playoffs this year, scary to believe, but yes. He's going to be looking at something on the top line with Nash and if they're smart they're gonna play Brule with him. I know you try to point out the fact that he hasn't played in the NHL too much yet but he happens to be probably the best player coming out of the CHL this year and I most definitely will not be surprised when Nash nets 50 goals this year and Brule pops in a good 70 points to take some flah away from Malkin's production. Also, the Jackets have a great crew of supporting guys with forever dependable David Vyborny on the roster and also recently signed Anson Carter who isnt that great but might have a good year if he gets to play with Federov.

Zherdev or not this will be a good team and due to a weaker division schedule will hava s serious chance at making the playoffs. Stick these guys in the Northwest and I agree, MacLean should be fired, but in a much weaker Central division with teams like Chicago and St. Louis in no position to make a playoff run and Detroit seemingly getting weaker as the days go bye MacLean may have this team in a spot where they can hit the playoffs. Foote will be the backbone on this team and players will respond to him as they look for guidance because they are going to win games for once. Federov could also return to 70% of what he used to be and Im pretty sure that 65 points out of him would be a great addition for Columbus (although I gotta agree that he's overpaid). As for Bryan Berard at 2.5 million, that's a damn steal. Berard is one of the only defensemen in this league who has the potential to really explode and do alot for his team. Berard has everything and if it were not for his unfortunate eye injury he'd be mentioned with the likes of Wade Redden today.
Also, your Andrew Ladd comment, I'm sorry that just doesn't fly. You think because a player won a Stanley Cup you can immediately suggest he is better than prospects in an organization that is clearly developing and getting better. I hope you aren't right otherwise I'd feel really bad for Ray Bourque at this point and also Marcel Dionne (you may not know but he scored oh about 1,771 points in his career and never won a Cup).

The Jackets have some promising talent and moving Denis was a very smart move with how LeClaire has looked and especially considering Modin will be a great addition to the lineup coming with something on his resume that says "Stanley Cup Champion".
Anyways, just please get your stuff straight before you post, because it's just plain frusterating~

CasonBlog said...

Brock - I tend towards hyperbole, and I can see how my take generated such venom. I lived in Columbus for 3 years (Clintonville), got my graduate degree at Otterbein and would love to see the Jackets turn things around.

I just think MacLean has made some dopey moves. The Anson Carter deal was made after I wrote the post. Might be a good one. I think Federov is, and was at the time of the deal, over-the-hill, disinterested and brittle. I wonder what the Foote/Federov
clubhouse dynamic is like. You are closer to the team, maybe you know.

I'm not so sure St. Louis and Chicago will be doormats this year. The signing of Havlat, the maturation of Seabrook and Keith, the return of a healthy Aucoin and Khabby make the Blackhawks (on paper) a better team.

St. Louis should enter the season more stable in goal with Legace. With Bill Guerin (if he has any mojo left), the Jay McKee upgrade and Eric Brewer coming into his own, the Blues should be better. If I'm a Jackets fan, I'd rather see my team in the Southeast and playing Florida and Washington multiple times this year.

My point about Ladd, was that the Jackets traded down and could have had him in that spot. No analysis I've ever read considers Picard the equal of Ladd.

On the Adam Foote front, maybe it takes a year for a guy like Foote to move the clubhouse in the right direction. Maybe it started kicking in late in the season. Teams, like all organizations will take on the personality of their leadership. For the Jackets, that leadership was in constant turmoil during the MacLean, Gallant, Richardson shuffle.

It sucked to be a Canes fan and to see my team tank after getting so close to winning the Cup in 02. But it made getting there much sweeter. Hopefully, you will be right and I'll be proven wrong and the reign of the Red Wing mafia will be over.

You guys want Jack Johnson? I hear the asking price is dropping. If he hates the idea of playing in Raleigh, he'd probably really hate being a Wolverine in Columbus.