June 30th, 2013

Dobber Sports

2013-06-30

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The big news out of New York so far this morning involves the Justin Falk for Benn Ferriero trade… Just kidding, it's definitely the Kris Letang extension. Earlier in the week it looked like the two sides were inexorably headed towards a divorce, but instead they've reportedly agreed on a eight year deal (the max) worth 58 M which gives Letang a 7.25 million annual cap-hit.

 

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Letang's contract will get made fun of endlessly, and I guess I understand that on some level. Fans, media and even some analysts haven't quite adjusted to new CBA realities – even though the teams themselves have for the most part – but the fact remains that under the NHL's new agreement we should all expect average cap-hits for elite players to increase.

 

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For example, Ryan Suter is going to make nine million per season right through to 2020 in Minnesota. But his cap-hit doesn't quite reflect his actual salary thanks to a couple of Kovalchuk-like cheater years tacked on at the end. With the eight-year limit on contracts and the rules on salary variance, teams can't do that anymore. The result is that Letang at 7.25 per year, despite being a pretty square deal for both sides, carries a price tag that is giving the average hockey fan sticker shock this morning.

 

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The Karlsson – Letang contract comparison being made widely on Twitter today is lazy. Ottawa bought a whole whack of RFA years from last seasons Norris winner, and RFA years generally cost a lot less than seasons of the UFA variety.

 

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Kris Letang didn't show well during the Eastern Conference final this past season but make no mistake: he's the nitrous that sets the Penguins offensive engine into overdrive. I detailed his on-ice impact over at CanucksArmy earlier this week.

 

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I’m pretty curious to see the impact Letang’s signing might have on the defenceman trade market today (and through the summer). Could Edler and Phaneuf move? I’d be surprised, but that’s what the rumour mill is churning out…

 

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The Canucks are reportedly considering keeping Roberto Luongo and trading Cory Schneider. Do you realize what that means? It means that after fourteen months Mike Gillis has finally managed to create a market for Roberto Luongo!

 

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The latest Luongo reports aside, I still think Cory Schneider stays in Vancouver on Sunday.

 

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The Leafs are reportedly considering moving up to select Max Domi, which would be just awesome from a branding perspective. Domi’s also a pretty talented prospect, and in my estimation a lot closer to holding down a job in the show than many in the industry might think. How high in the draft do they need to get in order to select Domi? Probably not top-five (though the Leafs are reportedly in talks with the Hurricanes for the fifth overall pick), but certainly into the top-10. Max Domi is unquestionably one of the drafts fastest risers…

 

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Just the sense I’ve got talking to people in Manhattan this week, but one of the drafts fastest fallers might be Hunter Shinkaruk. I could see him being available late in the first round, at this point, and what a steal that would be…

 

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