Yes, but there are also people in these threads that take the practice of discourse and their opinions way too seriously while at the same time not really knowing what they are talking about.
Discourse shmishcourse. I ain't come here to join a debate team. I came here to talk hockey. Don't need a Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon to do that. Just need a coupla cold Labatt Blues, the ol' eyeball test, and some homespun cliches. Just as Don Cherry intended.
I think that a lot of the success attributed to Howard AND Mrazek really belongs to Babcock's shot suppression system. I'm not saying that either guy wouldn't be good otherwise, but it's pretty clear that they didn't get challenged nearly as much as most goalies do. I think I'd wait to see how things pan out under Blashill before I start penciling in starting goalies. Might be that Howard stink worse than we thought, and Petr easily takes the job. Then again, maybe Mrazek falters under more shots every single night and the veteran is our saving grace. Who knows?
So you think the contract is bad or no? More examples: Tarasenko at 7.5 or Stepan at 6.5.
Voracek was 5th in the entire league in scoring this last season. And he's big and he's young. I'm saying he pretty much got market value.
I think he probably got paid a little too much. But not terribly so. I guess my overall point is that for negotiation purposes, contracts for guys like Kane, Toews, and ROR matter. But in determining a players actual value they don't say much. All three of those guys got paid the way they did because of externalities. I guess what I'm saying is, there's a tendency to think "Well if O'Reilly got 7.5 then Voracek is worth 8.5". Which is how contract negotiations work, I understand, but it's flawed because O'Reilly isn't actually worth 7.5. He's just worth that to a desperate team.
I agree with your overall point, but I wouldn't look too much into your examples. Toews and Kane are worth whatever they want, for the most part. You can surround them with anybody else and they win you Cups. The return on investment with those two is insane.
With O'Reilly it's just a matter of a bad team trying to put itself on the map. Any competitive team wouldn't have paid him that. But Buffalo desperately needs some legitimacy, to get it you need good players, and to get them (if you're a small market and you suck) you have to overpay. Guys like O'Reilly ain't going to Buffalo for the girls and the nightlife.
Toews is not overrated. He's like zetterberg. He's got superior
Defense, puck control skills, vision, and competitiveness, and above average everything else. He's just not flashy, which makes everybody go gaga but doesnt make someone one iota more "elite". Kopitar is the same way.
I don't hate Andersson. He's useful(ish) I guess. In the same way that Emmerton was. But he's no more physical, defensively responsible, or speedy than either of Callahan or Ferraro. Additionally, each of them have shown considerably more upside than Andersson offensively. His one big plus is that he can, in a pinch, center a line. But so can Dats, Z, Richards, Sheahan, Helm, Glendening, and Abby or Franzen (in a pinch). Plus we've got a couple real quality centers in GR who could fill in if need be. So Andersson's big plus doesn't really have as much utility as it might otherwise.
Andersson's roster spot is not even close to guaranteed. The fact that he had one in the first place has to do with the fact that A) our centers have been banged up for the better part of two years, and B) Babcock's default preference is defensive responsibility over any other skillset when forced to choose (anybody remember Nestrasil making the opening day roster last season lol?).
As far as Stepan goes, it's really not too much of a gamble though. Even if he never improves, you're still getting a 50 point, top six center, who plays great defense, for the prime of his career. And you'd only be paying him about a million more than his actual value if he never improved at all. A 50 pt. guy, at Stepan's age, is generally worth 5.5 on today's market, so it's a mild overpayment if does doesn't improve, and a quality contract if he does. It's not like they're paying for potential here, he's already a very good player, they're just overpaying slightly under the assumption that he'll take the next step.
I'm always happy to slightly overpay for a good player, rather than slightly overpay for an unproven guy. The risk seems less.
Babcock wanted Ouellet on last year's opening night roster. Before we'd signed Green, Ryan Martin said one of the kids would be making the team out of camp. Even now, with Green in the fold and one less spot "available," Kenny has indicated he'd like to start the season with Ouellet or Marchenko on the roster and that he may (but, realistically, surely won't) move someone out for the purpose of freeing up a roster spot for one of the kids. For Kenny to speak to that possibility...it means he himself realizes that starting both Ouellet and Marchenko in Grand Rapids would be pretty much inexcusable, especially given all his talk about how the young players need to take a step forward this season and how we need to get younger and faster as a team.
If both Ouellet and Marchenko start the season in Grand Rapids (and, by extension, spend the majority of another season playing against AHLers), it will be because 1)Smith ($2.75M cap hit x 2 years for a 26-year-old third-pairing defenseman who doesn't produce points and makes costly peewee mistakes on the defensive side of the puck) and Kindl ($2.4M cap hit x 2 years for a 28-year-old #7 defenseman who's a disaster in the d-zone) and Ericsson ($4.25M cap hit x 5 years for an error-prone 31-year-old "defensive defenseman") are all pretty much untradable, and 2) it's very important that the promising and NHL-ready young player who will be replacing Legendary All-Star Defenseman Kyle Quincey next season (and is fully capably of replacing him this season) sees as little NHL ice time this season as possible, because development!
I think you mean, renegade hardass defenseman Kyle Quincey. Can baby-face Marchenko, or Le Francais, grow a beard like this? I don't think so.
If Kyle Quincey didn't already rule too much to have a nickname, I'd call him "The Outlander". Just on the strength of that beard alone.