Domebeer-aholics, we are happy to announce the birth of a new feature here at Dome Beers. Starting next week, we will have a panel of experts to tell you who to bet (gambling is a sin nobody do it) on when Sunday comes around.
Our expert panel is better than anyone else's, nah nah nah. So come to Dome Beers and make some cash, why don'tcha?
Who is on this panel? Why, we are glad you asked. The panel features our main poster, AZR, sometimes poster DeathHammer (of the Harvey The Hound stories) as well as FAN960 superstar Pat Steinberg. We also have Jared Ramsden (of New Jersey HF fame) and, drumroll please...Doug Kirkwood. For reals.
Actually, we were suppose to have the panel up for week 2 of the NFL season, but we here at Dome Beers decided we would rather drink all weekend over updating the site. The follies of youth and all that. We will have the panel up for week 3, and we are trying to get it up for Thursday. No promises on that, though.
Now, before we move on, we would like to address the following: We asked Nik Lewis if he would want to be on the panel, and we received no response. Shame on you, Nik. And look what happened: he promptly went out and got his knee hurt, and then fell on his face, straight up tripped like a two year old who was learning how to walk, on a route that would have won us the game on Friday. Coincidence?
And finally to finish up this little section, we have to announce that our deal with CNS fell through. We were trying to get them to give us a free all-in-one-home-gym thing for us to give away as a contest, and they wouldn't do it. We remain advertisement free. Ya'll dodged a bullet.
The Flames, as presently constructed, are an interesting bunch. The team missed the playoffs last year, so the need to improve is obvious. However, the team is also filled with veterans on one way contracts, many of whom were here last year, when they stunk up the Dome so spectacularly. Clearly, in order for the team to improve, it will have to shake up its roster. This has put a lot of those veterans with one way contracts on notice, and has them watching their backs. With the team over the salary cap and in need of some new blood, one of the veterans is sure to go.
So what does one do if one is an NHL veteran who has gotten quite used to the perks of the professional game, and has no intention whatsoever of going down to ride the bus at the AHL level? Why, shove a stick through the face of one of the rookies, that's what!
And that's exactly what happened a couple of days ago, when a nameless (Adam Pardy, according to the Calgary Sun) player decided he was up for some Swedish shish kabob and stabbed Mikael Backlund in the face. Looks like someone else is also a little peeved that the team is handing The Kid an unearned roster spot.
But if we could be so frank, we would like to have a few words with Adam Pardy (who, we hear, is from Bonavista, Newfoundland): Mikael Backlund isn't the guy taking your roster spot, Steve Staios is. Stab Staios, Stabby! And stay away from the rookie!
A final thought on Backlund. A young, Swedish NHL hockey player, who now sports a wicked scar over his eye? That guy is going to Dyson when he hits the bars, he is going to absolutely clean up. Inquiring minds want to know how the hell do we get on the playa playa's wingman list?
Moving on, we hear that the Flames are toying with the idea of playing Moss at centre, you know, because with Stajan, Jokinen, Langkow, Conroy, Backlund, and Stone on the team, centre depth is, really, a huge issue for this club.
Actually, once we remove our tongue from our cheek, looking at a squad that has Stajan, Jokinen, Conroy, and Backlund available to it to start the year, adding one more centre probably isn't that nutty an idea. Using Moss as that centre is, but at least the Flames heart is in the right place.
Finally, in Flame-ish news, we would like to point out something that Robert Cleave caught. In this terribly written piece we are told, breathlessly, that because Matt Stajan signed the biggest free agent deal ever awarded in the history of the universe, he is now to be looked at as a point a game player.
Umm...all together now, on 3. 1, 2, 3: What the fuck?
Does anybody with a functional brain think Matt Stajan is a point a game player? Does anybody with a functional brain think you can sign point a game players for $3.5 million dollars a year?
Robert points out, correctly, that if the author of this piece had taken 5 seconds to look at the contracts of point a game players they would have discovered just how off base they were in the assertions that the article presented. Point a game players sign for $14 million dollars? Maybe in 1995, maybe.
Who the fuck wrote this story? When you look at articles and see that they aren't attributed to an author, you should raise your eyebrows. Why? Because the author obviously knew he just wrote a steamy pile of bullshit, and doesn't want anybody to know he (or she, it could be V Hall) wrote it.
Contract values don't determine how good a player is. How good a player is determines contract value. Darryl didn't just wake up and say, gee, it would be really cool to have a 3.5 million dollar centre on the team. Let's give that to Matt Stajan. Sutter woke up and went "Gee, I have no centre's on the team below the age of 30 except Matt Stajan, who is in the final year of his contract. Guess he and his agent have us over a barrel, as we are in cap space purgatory so we cannot sign a better centre, and lack the picks and the prospects to either trade for someone better or put out an RFA offer sheet. I guess I'm going to have to sign him to whatever contract the corner we are in dictates."
The question then becomes: Did Sutter get a good deal? Because by all rights he shouldn't have. Let's take a look.
Players who make within 1 million dollars of Matt Stajans new, 3.5 million dollar cap hit: 41 (21 above, 20 below)
Of these, how many were point per game: 1. Steve Stamkos. Who will cost a hell of a lot more than 3.5 million dollars on the cap when he signs his first real contract.
So that whole '3.5 million dollar contract makes you a PPG player' thing is completely wrong and off base. It seems to stink of lazy journalism. Or a vendetta against the player on behalf of the author of the piece.
But as to the question of whether or not Darryl got a deal:
Of the 41 players in the range, how many scored more points than Matt Stajan: 9 (and yes, we know this ignores games played. We are also going to look at the PPG, keep reading).
Of these, how many make more money: 7.
Of these, how many make less: 2. Mikko Koivu, who will command a cap hit of 6.75 when his newly signed extension kicks in, and Stephen Weiss, who commands a smaller cap hit but is signed to a bigger contract (18.6 million compared to Stajans 14).
Of the 41 players in the range, how many have a higher PPG average than Matt Stajan: 16
Of these, how many make more money: 12.
Of these, how many make less: 4. Mikko and and Weiss again, which means this number should really be 3. The other two were the older Koivu and Tomas Fleischmann.
So to conclude: 41 players are within one million dollars of Matt Stajans cap hit. Only 9 scored more points than Matt Stajan did, and 7 of those took home a bigger pay cheque, and only one of those guys, Stamkos, was a PPG player. Stamkos also happens to be a number one, first overall draft pick. Of the players in the one million dollar range of Matt Stajans contract, only 16 players had a higher PPG average, and 12 of them made more money.
So is Matt Stajans contract the albatross that say, Jay Blowmeester's contract is? Not hardly. It seems to be a middle of the road contract for a middle of the road player. Which is to say that Darryl didn't overpay too badly, if at all.
Folks, the brass tax is that in today's NHL, if you are signing an FA (which was essentially what Stajan was) you usually overpay. At best, Sutter got Stajan for what Stajan was worth, and given the situation the team was in, this is about as best as could be expected.
As to why articles like that are written about Matt Stajan and not Corey Sarich or Jay Bouwmeester? Also, last time we checked Bourque just signed a new contract. Where are the articles about how now that Bourque has signed for a cap hit of 3.333 million, he has to score at a PPG rate and play in 82 games or the fanbase will want him hung?
Why is the media writing bullshit articles like this about Stajan and not the others? Oh, that's right. Bourque, Sarich, and Bouwmeester will give the media an interview...
In short, you know the story was really shitty when we here at Dome Beers start writing articles defending Matt Stajan.
(The chart we used, in case any of you wanted to see it)
It still sucks.
Anyways, that team had a lot of players on it that had career years on it last year. You know why they call them career years? Because they only happen once.
So we are going to be interested in what the Canuck forwards do this year. Obviously, from our intro, we don't expect them to have the same seasons.
Players we think could have worst seasons? Besides all of them?
Mikael Samuelsson: 33 year olds don't generally follow up career year seasons with better ones. We don't think the Western Conference has to worry about him scoring 30 goals again. 20, maybe, but not 30.
Christian Ehrhoff: Quick, how many of you knew that this cat was a plus 36 last year? Well, you can't really be blamed, because Ehroff never finished with one above plus 10 when he played for the loaded San Jose Sharks. Obviously the improvement has a lot to do with who plays in front of him, but does anybody really believe this guy will finish next season as a plus, what with the division getting stronger this year?
We are also watching Roberto Luongo. While the Canucks did the right thing and removed the C from the teams biggest diva, the move may not work out as intended. Because they decided to give the pasta addicted goalie the C in the first place, this year we can all sit back and enjoy the story line of: Now that the C is off your, err, mask, how are you playing? That is, there will now be new pressure on Loungo to perform because he doesn't have the C anymore. Hockey markets, got to love them.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired. Preferably before the season starts.