Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Petr Nedved And The CBA

When I wrote about goalies and re-entry waivers, David Johnson comments that Petr Nedved had been helped by re-entry waivers and it is the only reason he is playing in the NHL. I disagree with this analysis.

Petr Nedved is a 34 year old on the downside of his career. He found himself playing on the surprisingly bad Philadelphia Flyers (a team I picked to win the Atlantic Division). When a team plays surprisingly poorly, it is quite common for them to want to get rid of aging players and let their younger guys play. The problem is that this CBA makes it hard to do this.

With a salary cap, when you make a trade, you are not only trading players you are also trading their contracts. That limits the amount of teams that can trade for Nedved. If a team does not have the salary cap room to take over his contract, they cannot trade for him. This creates a new class of unwanted player that never existed in the past. The group of overpaid talents who are NHL capable but may not be worth their contract. Such players can pop up for several reasons. In New Jersey there are salary cap problems that have pushed Alexander Mogilny, Vladimir Malakhov, Dan McGillis and Richard Matvichuk out of the NHL. Other players of value, such as Jason Allison, Brian Leetch and Oleg Kvasha find themselves without suitors for the season and are left on the sideline. These players can have value. One can see this with a look at Yanic Perreault, who will be in the All Star Game (though it is a poor choice). He was unsigned at the beginning of this season, despite coming off a career best 57 point season. Much of Nedved's problem finding an NHL suitor was the CBA.

In the last CBA, Philadelphia would have gratefully traded Nedved to another team and assumed part of his contract. They would have got little back in return, but it would clear a roster spot for a younger player. That is not allowed in this CBA. That is why Nedved had to wait around in the AHL for a while until a team took him.

While it is true that re-entry waivers was a mechanism where a team could take Nedved for less than his full contract, it is a much more complex mechanism then the trade we would have seen in the past. As we saw, several teams were willing to add Nedved to their roster. Edmonton wound up claiming him. Though he likely won't be a superstar in Edmonton, he will be a contributor.

The CBA created most of the problems for Petr Nedved this season. While it is true that re-entry waivers was the mechanism that put him back into the NHL, it was a more complex mechanism that likely took longer than the trade that would have otherwise occurred. If Petr Nedved remaining in the NHL (when he would have done so under the old CBA) is the most positive contribution of re-entry waivers, then they are a failure. Keeping Jason LaBarbera out of the NHL is a significant loss. Putting Nedved back in (when he would have been in anyway under old rules) is not much gain.

I'm still not sure why this re-entry waivers thing is evil. teams with three nhl fringe goalies have issues? so? the last 12 teams added to the nhl habitually caused that exact same problem with re-entry draft protection list restrictions specifically targeted to spread goalies out.

the old system of teams dumping overpriced non producing fringe players as long as they paid more forthem was good, but this same system with structure is evil? you need to look at the blues post keenan salary structure (where 25% of the team's payroll was spent on players not on the team) to realize evil is as evil does.

are their implemental hiccups? yea. are some team better than others at anticipating issues? yep. was there issues where unworthy players were called up before better players because of option rules? you bet ya!!

again, i'd say tighten the spigot, reward intelligence, promote minor league trades taht are now also about roster depth swaps, make the minds think. i'm not sure the heavenly beauty of the swinging door between the ahl (and or the echl) is something that exists.

oh and give the rules more than a year and a half before passing judgement and trying to change things. most significant changes need a lot of time to have all the knooks explored by the rule minders and benders.

the kings bit on a goalie the canucks were happy to see leave . we can be happy for burke, happy for japan, or sad for labarbera whose all-star status leaves me unconvinced, i believe the blues prospect is starting there too, and the blues also left two goalies on the long tern dl list this season, and that all star was not the one whom we played. and he was called up for sniffs.

if the kings are bad because of the re-entry system, me thinks it isn't that that needs fixing, it is where the king's crown is resting. but they were right about andy murray :)

The best possible players should be in the NHL. In this case we have a needless rule keeping one out. So get rid of the rule. Really the problem is that the salary cap keeps talent out of the NHL. I would get rid of it too, this is merely an incremental step.

A system where teams have to draft (or trade for or otherwise obtain) a young core of players to win rewards intelligence. That was the old system. Nothing was wrong with it. Now we have a new system designed to break up good teams (not more great teams anymore). A system that keeps some of the NHL calibre players out of the league. What good is that? How is the fan better off? Maybe the owners are because it increased their profits. But how does that help the fan?
well, i'd answer that by suggesting a tightened ahl spigot makes the best players play in the nhl. teams' are required to select and support a roster early and let them play. rookies need to be properly developed before being called up (and this used to be the case before the exploding salaries paid to top rookie picks created the era that the young guns had to play almost immediately and learn their craft in the bigs)

knowing that "near the end of their career" vets can not be given long term contracts or there will be significant consequences (other than having the pizza money in detroit cut back on pepporonies) IS what ensures the fans that the best teamS (that plural is the importnat part) make the nhl ice.

it is NOT about putting the best team on the ice, or even the best player, it is about putting the best teams and the best league on the ice.

is the nhl the absolute best? nope. but re-entry waivers is certainly something that is not at the top of rules that need addressing imho. and THAT assumes it is on the list at all.

The constant bettman expansion, the option rules on waivers, the second and third tier teams salary-wise (like all of canada, the "small market teams" in usa etc) always lead me to believe the best teams were not on the ice before all these changes.

the re-enry waivers system is PART of a system of money changes that has yet to see its full potential/failure.

if i was convinced the WHOLE system produces worse results than the previously bad system, then i'd be on the "chuck it" wagon. Third and fourth string goalies continuing to have problems just doesnt raise that level of concern.

I could list at least 6 major goalie moves the blues' have been involved in under the old system because a good back-up or third string goalie were being forced to leave his team against those teams' wishes (those unfortunate memories of roman turek can't help but leap to mind)

does the re-entry waivers have an effect? oh you bet ya, whenever i have to pass a player though east side hockey manager that has to pass re-entry, he usually don't come up :) and when i make the choice in training camp that my sophomore rw isn't going to make the top three lines this season, he don't come up.

again, i'd hope that makes ME smarter, and the nhl gm's, scouts, and coaches better. and that eventually i learn how to put my best team on the ice AND live with the re-entry rules.

so it isnt that i dont agree there IS an effect, i just dont agree the effect is more signifcant than the entire old system's spiraling effects on the bad on-ice product and players
Which part of your claim that the tightened AHL spigot addresses the fact that Jason LaBarbera is clearly a better gtoalie than those the Los Angeles Kings are using right now but is kept out by the rules?

You seem to be arguing for a philosophy that is blatantly contradicted by the facts.

You bring up a further problem. The restrictions on older players have prompted some still NHL worthy players to give it up and retire when they had a year or two left.

The NHL has created many places where talent can be lost and has gained nothing except higher profits for greedy owners.
the anti claim is that showing third string goalies are getting a short end now is not shocking, they ALWAYS did, even under the old rules, and if your best test case is the third string goalies, i'm more inclinded to believe your exceptions prove the rule, instead of damn it.

i said i could name 6 goalies- old school, a single team was involved in (the blues) that SECOND string goalies along with a third string, got hosed.

so here they are:

Roman Turek
Pat Jablonski
Guy Herbert (the blues had him before his name was canadianised)
Jamie Mclennan
mike luit
Jamie Mclennan part II (yep the blues messed with him in TWO draft, once having to trade a starter so the expansion them would by pass him, theyn two years later, losing him anyway).

that is again, one team, and 5 of those moves happened in a 6 year period, and NONE of them include the other goalie moves that MAY have been influenced by upcoming goalie losses (like brent johnson. dallas's "dump turek or loose him" positon was well known and officially the reason turek was traded)

again, despite a goalie or two not coming here (whihc always happens) what players are we being denied?

the early retirments and fleeing the nhl players is a result of reduced salaries, not re-entry waivers, and had been going for a while even before the new cba. i was looking at ONE del team a few weeks back [da sharks] (for complex reasons) and who is there?
nhl alum Bryan Adams, Ivan Ciernk, Aaron Gavey, adam Hauser (who would be backminding the kings today, if he WAS a king),bill lindsey, jason marshall, doug Mcllwain

eh. the world of hckey is growing even as the nhl world shrinks.

and if someone would convince me the kings made great offseason moves, and have run the team, post strike, with the kind of skill and experience that should put them at the top of the standings, i'd be more inclined to be worried about them. I think the kings have been tragically missmanaged since the strike and that mismanaged teams often see rules bite them in the butt, unexpectedly.

karma, or bad rules?

and of course, i can't prove a negative more than you can. the rule is a fix. the nhlpa and owners felt it was needed to stop potntal abuse of the intent of the new roster and salary rules, prove to me that the hole that concerned both sides being left wide and gaping would NOT have had more important and talented players than the kings thrid string goalie under used.

I fail to see how that rant addresses anything I have written.

Is your point that St Louis messed up with goalies a few times in the old CBA. Therefore anything that keeps good goalies out of the NHL in the new CBA is somehow OK?
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