I think when you've had 2 40 goal seasons at the OHL level, it means you've developed to the top of the league. I think he should definitely be in the AHL next year and take the next step. These articles say his shortcomings are that he needs to work on foot speed and bulk up. Get him with our pro trainers.
If Kovalchuk is making $10,000,000 - Datsyuk will be making more than $5,000,000 - and this is why:
My very good friend played in the KHL for 2 years and was paid more than he would have made in the AHL/NHL on an entry level contract)... His bonuses were structured to pay him per goal, per assist, per regular season win, and per playoff win - and when all was said and done he actually tripled his base salary at the end of post-season...Apparently every player has an incentive plan that doesn't get compared in the dressing room, meaning it also isn't compared in the newspaper... Unfortunately, this league has also been prone to paying North Americans less than what they were promised - and good luck fighting the mob in a foreign country. Point Being: Don't trust any financial data the KHL put's into the press.
So yes, Datsyuk's salary might be close to what his NHL salary would have been next season ($5,000,000) - but he is also the KHL's highest profile player now (captain of the world championship/Olympic team) and will incur bonuses that far and away exceed this figure. I'm sure he will also do better with endorsements as well. Last year, he made $7,000,000 and maybe the $2,000,000 decrease was close enough to KHL money to say forget it... Which makes me question his character.
Kovy's contract was made when the league was at a high for financial success and before the implication of a hard Salary cap (it was a soft cap). KHL President is now lowering the cap by 50 mill rubles (764,377 USD) each year 2015-2017. There's a reason Radulov is leaving.
Add to that the fact that Datsyuk will be 38 while Kovy was in his prime, and I think you'd be wise not take Kovy as a comparable.
Datsyuk's already a national hero and a big star in Russia. If he wanted Russian endorsements I'm sure he already has them. I don't see why playing in the KHL would make much of a difference. Anyway, it does take him away from US sports endorsements which are much larger because it's a much bigger market.
A new bit of info I found in a Detroit Free Press article, is that Pav also missed out on a 2 million dollars of this past year's salary by not fulfilling his contract. (in the notes at the bottom)
I've got little time so I'm just gonna respond to the center thing. So you want our centers to be Larkin, Athanasiou, Sheahan and Glendening? Correct? If your answer is "yes" then I got no more questions. We wouldn't even be able to compete with the Leafs with even one of them as a top6 Centerman. Nothing against Larkin but he had a protected role and quality icetime. To me he's a winger. If Blash wants to switch him to Center he'll need more protection...at least for a few months with solid wingers as 3rd line Centerman.
Another thing is that only Glendening would be winning anywhere close 50% of the faceoffs. With those 4 we wouldn't be competitive at all.
The 3rd reason why it wouldn't work is our System. Blashill isn't gonna change it. With the centermen having lots of defensive responsability it would be a shame not to make use of Athanasiou's and Larkin's speed. As Blashill always protected those two and hardly ever used them in the defensive zone let alone shorthanded, it's not likely that they're anywhere close of being able to play a bigger role as a centerman in our organization. When Larkin had a chance to play center he wasn't great at all.
I'd either switch Abdelkader, who's a proven and natural centerman and maybe our best 2-way forward or acquire somebody in a trade...which will be difficult enough. Quality centermen are really tough to get.
With Pavel gone Z won't go anywhere else. We need his experience, his faceoff skills, his defensive qualities and his play making skills at center. Anyway he doesn't seem to be skating as he used to earlier and Blashill is really into speedy wingers. What you're suggesting is never ever gonna happen.
Don't know why you think Abby is a proven centerman. I think the last time he played center was AHL so that would make AA as proven as him.
I think centermen always have more defensive responsibility than wingers. Wingers go along the boards and get caught up with players. Centermen are in free ice and so they're the logical/reliable ones to skate back and help the D. Because of this, it is the place where the fastest skaters play because they have to go north to south. To me, having AA and Larkin at center, is how we make use of their speed.
I think we'll still see Z as the top center, which I think is fine, but hopefully Larkin gets better at faceoffs and takes over as the year goes on. I'd like Helm as the 3rd line center - He would certainly help the faceoff % - but I realize that blocks either AA or Sheahan so I know it doesn't fully make sense.
To sign another centerman (unless it's Stamkos - i've heard he wants to play center) at this point just gets in the way of the future. I even think signing Richards to play center (though he played well at the end of the year and playoffs) this past year was overly cautious. We're not winning the cup next year (barring some big moves...maybe Stamkos, some surprise big trade on D and a lot of internal development) so we're continue this youth movement and get things going in the right direction for them taking over the team.
If a guy scores 27 goals, that's one every three games. If all he brings is that, then he's not helping you win 2/3 of the time. I'd rather have a guy who scored 20 and does other things.
I assume "a guy" would also put up assists. Mantha certainly does - he has talied more assists than goals almost every recorded year he's played. So even if you're making the mistake of judging impact by stats alone, your premise is false.
Also, I think you took the meaning of my comment (or other's comments) to an extreme. I said that I don't think Mantha will be a "complete" player - not that scoring is all he brings. Just don't think he'll ever win any Selkes.
The thing is, we have to have all three of Mantha, Larkin, and Vech turn into quality players. If any of those 3 fail to develop and turn into 25+ goal guys we will become a bottom 10 team in the NHL. These guys are our future stars. We can't afford a miss with any of them right now.
I think that's overdramatic. If Mantha or Svech don't reach their potential we could have other guys exceed expectations (maybe Bertuzzi). Or Stamkos, Okoposo or someone else comes in and is a big part of the team. Also, Nyquist has 2 25+ goal seasons, Tatar has 1 - this could have been a down year. I think it was due to Blashill's dealing with them on the 3rd line.
I think the bigger issue is the piss poor attitude our guys are displaying. I don't remember players coming out in the media like this complaining. Be a professional and discuss these things with the coach and GM rather than going through the media. Grow up. This isn't how the red wings do things.
He was just being politically correct. If he lambasts th coach, he knows he's a goner. He doesn't belong on the fourth line. He said h had to play differently because h as on the fourth line. I'm sure he felt like a fish out of water there.
Here's Tatar's quotes:
"My goals were way higher than they end up, but it was different stuff this year than it was last year. It was different position for me, so I guess what the numbers are saying is the way it is now."
"I think the position was way different this year than last year, after last season playing most of the time with Pav (Datsyuk) and Helmer (Darren Helm)," Tatar said. "This time I was kind of around the lines. With different position comes different responsibility. Wherever I played I tried to play best, bring the energy as much as I could."
"It was a little tougher to get comfortable, I was squeezing the stick almost all season. The goals I set were hard to end up (with), so it was kind of disappointing for me."
I don't see how any of that is really criticism of Blashill. He acknowledge that the place he was put with Pav was better for production and that being put with Shea and Nyquist and "around the lines' was "tougher," but he says "I don't mind being in that position...We can't leave everything on Pav and Hank (Zetterberg), those guys need help. I think last season me and Nyquist stepped up and helped them."
We are 11 (ELEVEN) years removed from the Salary cap being institutied.
We are 5 years removed from Rafalski retiring.
We are 4 years removed from Suter signing with the Wild.
Are people seriously still trying to throw up these excuses? That's pathetic. If you can't adjust to something in 4 years you failed. Period. Let alone 11 years. That's a joke.
We haven't realistically competed for a cup since 09. That's now SEVEN YEARS. Expecting a team to compete for a cup once in 7 years is not asking too much nor does it make us "spoiled fans". You want to know what fan base is happy just making the playoffs? The Maple Leaves. Is that who you want to be?
Buppy and Kliq covered most of what I would have responded to here.
I'm just going to put in the perspective that our cup drought is the 5th shortest. I does show us to be a little spoiled to expect to be winners again so soon after. The cap is designed so that cup are spread around and success is not suppose to be sustainable. It's like MarioCart, where all the cars in last place get all the good s*** in the ? boxes. And when you're in first you get hit by all that good s*** and try to make a go of it with your little banana peel that you receive and hold on long enough to get your prize. Or maybe I drank a little tonight...
But really, 25 other fanbases have a right to be angrier than we are. Plus I think we have a real hope of returning to the elite with Mrazek, Larkin, DK, Tatar, Nyquist, AA etc.