July 25, 2014

Thomas Drance

2014-07-25

Yesterday I predicted that Thursday, July 24th would be one of the slowest hockey news days of the year. I was wrong, ultimately, thanks to Lars Eller’s extremely interesting four-year, $14 million settlement.

 

Eller was also my prediction for “the most likely scheduled salary arbitration hearing to actually occur,” but he’s now the 12th settlement from the 20 originally scheduled hearings for this summer. There’s now just eight remaining scheduled hearings, and really, only James Reimer stands out to me as having any chance of facing an actual hearing. It’s much more likely that this summer, like the previous offseason, will see zero arbitration eligible players actually face an arbitrator.

 

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Lars Eller’s new four-year contract carries a $3.5 million cap-hit. The way it breaks down, Eller will make $2.5 million in actual salary in the first two years of the deal (his RFA seasons) and then take home $9 million in the final two years of the deal (his UFA seasons).

 

That’s an extremely interesting salary structure. The Canadiens had over $15 million in cap-space, so they could afford to take on some short-term pain for some potential long-term gain. It’s also pretty nearly an identical contract to the one the Canadiens gave to David Desharnais, so this might be a standard internal organizational contract-type.

 

Overall, I think Eller’s a good bet to outperform his cap-hit in the latter stages of this deal and Marc Bergevin’s wager is sufficiently modest that it allows the Canadiens to preserve the flexibility they’ll require to sign the likes of Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk next season.

 

A tidy bit of business, really.

 

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LIGHTNING! MAPLE LEAFS! STAMKOS! This saga is going to get an awful lot crazier if Stamkos doesn’t sign a long-term extension next summer.

Really enjoyed Greg Wyshynski’s sharp take on the overblown kerfuffle.

 

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Excellent piece by Travis Yost, who interviewed Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill about a whole host of topics, including the analytic utility of reading the blogosphere.

Also, Jim Nill wants the NHL to adopt SportVu tracking. Fingers crossed!

 

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The Boston Bruins hired Joe Sacco, who is a BU grad and Massachusetts native, to join Claude Julien’s coaching stuff. It’s not clear exactly what he’ll do yet and he didn’t have a lot of success in Colorado (to say the least), but, yeah. This happened.

 

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The Bruins are pressed against the salary cap, still have key young pieces to re-sign, and lost some veteran forward depth in free agency, so they’re going to be counting on Loui Eriksson to step up next season from a hockey perspective. From a fantasy perspective, it’s probably worth noting that Claude Julien used the line “<