Danny Markov to the Penguins?

Danny Markov, arguably the top UFA defenseman that hasn’t been signed yet, has supposedly been in talks with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Rumors have him trying to get a two-year deal. If signed, he would likely play alongside countryman Sergei Gonchar.

http://www.forecaster.ca/thestar.com/hockey/extras.cgi?fantasy-spin-aug28-2007“The 31-year-old is reportedly mulling over a two-year contract offer from the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as a one-year offer from Vityaz Chekhov of the Russian Superleague…
If he chooses to sign with the Pens, it could mean rookie rearguard Kristopher Letang will start the season with the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Or, it could possibly lead to a trade involving one of Pittsburgh’s established veterans–perhaps Brooks Orpik. Either way, look for Markov to be paired with countryman Sergei Gonchar if he chooses to remain at the National Hockey League level this season.”

I had wanted Markov before free agency even began, and wasn’t completely happy with the Sydor signing. I am shocked he is still available. However, the Penguins currently have a good mix of three offensive defensemen in Gonchar, Whitney and Letang (probably) and three defensive defensemen in Sydor, Orpik and Eaton. With Scuderi signed on as the 7th man (or 6th if Letang bombs), I’m not sure where I see Markov fitting in. Still, it would be a great depth signing in case of an injury to one of the above.

30 Responses to Danny Markov to the Penguins?

  1. habswinthecup-again says:

     I do not know why Markov is not signed by anyone yet, but he is not signing with Pittsburg.

  2. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    The Pens have 32.5 million dollars tied up in 13 players next season. If They get Markov at say 5 mil over 2 years thats 35 mil over 14 players. Leaving them roughly 15-20 mil of cap space to re-sign Fluery and fill 8 other roster spots. Thats if they are going to the cap, which they cant. Thei'r payroll next season is 45 mil MAX meaning they have 10 mil to resign Fluery and get 8 players. not a great position to be in if Fluery breaks out.

    Basically, a 2 year deal would be bad for pittsburgh. If the Pens want defensive help, go the 1 year route. Tanabe would be a better fit anyway IMO.

  3. kamullia says:

    Many still view Letang as an offensive defenseman, but that is no longer the case. By his own account, Letang said he needed and wanted to work on his own end and he kept to his promise, becoming now an entirely well rounded defenseman, and quite adept in his own end. Letang has become the complete package, and with his speed and intelect, as he has shown time and again an uncanny ability to read plays well in advance, I expect only stage-fright to be his only opposition to not making the Pittsburgh roster. I for one, I am counting on Letang on not only making the team, but working his way into the top 4 by playoff time.

    Several things about this Markov “saga”, if you will: Unfortunately The Star is well known for publishing rumors that are not rooted in solid information or reality. Thus far, no real fact-finding media has announced absolutely anything about Markov and the Penguins. The Pens did express some interest on Markov on July 1st when they saw their unsure chances at signing Hannan, but ever since then, only one source has sprung up with the Markov details, which was a blog. All these details on the offers, et al, were all included in that blog entry which has been around a month for now. Therefore many things come to mind, like the fact that no actual investigative reporter from a respected source has been able to confirm any of it, that Markov has been sitting for a month on this same offer, that the Penguins would leave such an offer open without a deadline for such a long time, that these blog has such an impenetrable source that absolutely no one has been able to corroborate such secretive transpiration. In short, I would not care to wage anything on this rumor being of any substance, and the longer it passes the more to suspect it.

    I believe Orpik will be shipped regardless, before the trading deadline. Being he is on the last of his contract and the logjam on defense that is about to occur, and the Penguins quite still possible need for a scoring center…Orpik is a likely candidate. And this Markov lullaby comes to be, then he is surely gone.

  4. kamullia says:

    This rumor is quite old by now, therefore I also doubt he would sign with the Pens at this point.

  5. kamullia says:

    You are making too many assumptions on the Penguins budget, and some facts point to the opposite. For example, on July 1st GM Ray Shero had simultaneous offers for $4M/year to Paul Kariya, and for something in the neighborhood of $4M/year to Scott Hannan, or a combined $8M/year for at least three years (Kariya’s offer was the shortest term). Shero ended up spending $3.125M/year for two years on Sydor and Sykora. That means that the Penguins (GM, Executives, and Owners) were willing to spend an approximate $5M/year more for the next three years and still sign Fleury and complementing a roster, as things stood on July 1st. That would have translate to a cap hit of at least $46.25M for this year, which eclipses your $45M figure you claim would be the MAX for the Pens.

    On top of it all, Penguins tickets have become priceless since then. The organization first stopped selling full season-tickets, to ensure fans of all incomes would be able to have a chance at a ticket. Later on, however, they also had to stop selling partial-season tickets and promotions, to ensure there were at least 2,000 single tickets available for those who could not afford any type of season-tickets. This then turned into a waiting list being created, by popular demand nonetheless, in order for people to attain future season-tickets. In short, Penguins economics are as good as they can possibly get, and all this compounded with NHL merchandise having higher sales than ever before, only spells a solid base for the Penguins to spend from. To add to it all, Ron Burkle has a new found interest upon the team, and the talks are that he is willing to take a hit in spending in order to support the team, because he believes the future return will make up for it in the new arena or a possible sale.

    In short, Ray Shero will limit his payroll to a point in order to sign his most precious players, but I believe he has been given promise from the owners to be willing to spend up to the maximum of the cap if necessary. In essence, throw away the pencil, paper, and abacus, and make way for the checkbook. These Pittsburgh Penguins are a different economical beast than the one of old.

  6. kamullia says:

    By the way, why would the Penguins be interested in Tanabe? I can see how economically a less expensive player is better, but from the playing/scheme/needs point of view I do not see a fit. With all their present offense from the blue-line plus the prospects lined up waiting for a spot in the same fashion, why would the Pens be interested in a veteran offensive defenseman with documented flaws in coverage in his own end?

  7. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    I have read a fair bit about Penguin ownership, and other teams, and would say 45 mil is being generous. Consider Pittsburgh recieved revenue sharing money last season. If they make enough to pull themselves out of revenue sharing, then overall their revenue stays roughly the same.

    Lets forget that the Pens are leasing their arena(whereas other teams have bought their arena's), that 2 ownership groups have dropped out in the last 2 years(showing the team is losing money, even with a low payroll), and the city doesn't love sports enough to have an NBA team(and has an MLB team with very little fan support).

    Cap spending wise, if they pull themselves out of revenue sharing, their ranked at 11-20, which is around 43 million dollars of cap space.

    In response to what you said, I dont see a group of owners(led by majority owner Lemieux) who were a few months ago trying to sell this team, suddenly opening up their wallets and telling Shero he can spend what he likes.

    Ray Shero is a smart GM, and he knew that there was a very small chance that even one of Kariya and Hannan would accept his offers. BOTH accepting was out of the question.

  8. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    Well its kind of a shame then. Tanabe is a fast defenseman, with good puck handling skills. He wont put up points, but he'll do wonders to any teams transition game. you wont play him on the PK, but compared to a few years ago he has become fairly strong in his own zone.

    I would want him on my team ahead of Sydor, who the pens paid 2.5 mil for.

  9. BruinsDude says:

    He is coming to the Bruins

    I can almost gaurantee it

  10. Williams1505 says:

    and what if he would….

    ps. alright my man BRU is back!!!!!!!!

  11. kamullia says:

    If he would, it would only mean Orpik’s faster exit from the team.

  12. kamullia says:
    1. The Penguins are not losing money. Nowhere since the lockout except for the remote possibility of the very first year, have the Penguins ever lost money. The Penguins have correctly claimed however, that in order for them to be competitive (i.e. spend up to the cap), that they needed a new arena. Many have mistakingly taken that information as a loss of income.
    2. All teams lease their arenas. It is true that some ownerships of teams own both arena and franchise, but no team actually owns an arena. This is done on purpose so that years down the road when the team needs a new arena, they can threaten to abandon their present building to the city and selling as separate entities. The lease at Mellon Arena expired, and the Pens are now into a new lease that is more friendly towards the team. This was part of the negotiations for a new arena, where the team keeps more of the income from the arena. Considering that the Penguins are already all but guaranteed to be playing to capacity crowds for the entire season, this puts the Penguins under a different economic scenario. The Penguins have only left around 2,000/game available for sale, and you can be certain they will not last long once they are put on sale for each game.
    3. Revenue sharing is dependent upon the prior season, therefore the money received by the Penguins during last season, was due to their income on the prior season. It is doubtful that the Penguins will receive any sharing this year due to their income of last, and if they do receive the amount is expected to be minimal. Therefore this must have been already taken into account in order to be willing to spend $46M towards their roster for this year.
    4. You certainly are not familiar with the Lemieux Group and its members, or your information is well outdated. Ron Burkle, is by far the person who was invested the most money in the Pittsburgh Penguins, and hence a majority owner. A former silent and absent partner, during the arena negotiations Burkle took the reigns and was the one who orchestrated a deal and the Penguins getting what they needed. Since then, he has been much more closely tied to the organization and has prompted a willingness to invest further in the operation of the team. This is surely partly reflected in the fact the Pens were willing to spend up to $46M for this year’s roster (which is only $4M off the present cap), and is an indication they will continue and are willing to spend to the cap. The Penguins prior highest payroll was less than $38M.
    5. Ray Shero was actually counting on signing Hannan, while he was informed by the Kariya camp that they were seriously leaning on signing the contract with Pittsburgh. Shero was willing and wanting both on the team, by all accounts I have heard, and hence the Penguins made simultaneous serious offers to both players and indeed even mentioned to each players camp of their offers to the other player (i.e. Kariya knew of the Pens offer for Hannan, and viceversa) as part of enticing the players at signing with Pittsburgh. Therefor Shero was certainly willing and able to spend $46M.

    Your figure of $45M is highly speculative and you are not basing it on anything that is concrete, like the information I supply above. While it is all speculative because no one has come out publicly to state how much exactly will the Penguins be willing to spend this or future years, all recent information and indications are that the Penguins will be spending up to the cap in the very near future and all before moving into the new arena.

  13. Williams1505 says:

    yeah i'd agree….and i'm sorta not liking that…

  14. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    1. Ownership groups dropped out. You or I do not know 100% if the team has lost money, but part owners dont jump the ship if they're making money off it.

    2. MLSE Owns the ACC(and both the Raptors and leafs which play there), Ted Rogers owns both the Bluejays and the Rogers Center. In these situations, the lease value is $0.00(thus avoiding taxes). Other hockey teams in these situations are Minnesota, Philadelphia, and I would assume a few others that I don't know of. Teams with city or corporate owned arena's need a lease. The Lease is actually MORE expensive the newer the arena is(because the city just forked millions to build an arena). Most teams are almost guaranteed full crowds. Teams finances are smart enough to ensure that the ticket prices are set to have anywhere from 80% to 100% full arena's. The thing that sets them apart is ticket prices. You can get Opening day tickets in Ottawa for $7, whereas a game against Chicago in Toronto can cost up to $500 a seat. You can drive to Pittburgh, watch a game, spend the night there, and drive home for less than the cost of tickets in Toronto.  

    3. Valid point, but neither you or I know if they will recieve revenue sharing this season. Probably not because of a handful of playoff games. 

    4. I must have been misinformed, I was told Lemieux bought majority for 99 million dollars in 1999. Either way, the owners at one point wanted to sell the team, and nobody sells something that gives them a steady income. The Pens are only spending roughly 38 million dollars this season. Crosby is still paid less than 1 mil, as is Malkin and Stall. Also Whitneys contract is low high, so they only pay 2.5 mil this season.  

    5. Find me a link that what you say about Kariya and Hannan is true. Kariya signed for 2 mil more, Hannan for 0.5 mil more.

    theres no way you can say an organization that, including this season, hasn't spent a dime over 40 mil will be pusing 50 mil next season. Its like me saying Mark Bell will score 50 goals.

  15. kamullia says:

    I have no particular liking for Sydor nor do I think it was the best of signings. I certainly believe Sydor is overpaid as well, but my question to you focused on a playing and not from an economic basis.

    In that retrospect, I would rather have Sydor for the Pens, although admittedly not by a wide margin, over a more deficient defenseman in his own end in David Tanabe. The last thing the Penguins need is further liability on their own end.

  16. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    Fair point. then let me ask you this. Would you have liked Sutton or Markov ahead of Sydor?

  17. kamullia says:
    1. I do not follow what you mean by “Ownership groups dropped out.” If you mean that some of the Lemieux Group LLC have pulled out, that is not the case. If you meant that two groups dropped their bids for the Penguins, that is neither here nor there. And by the way, no present part owner from the Lemieux Group has ever put in a bid for the team, if that is what you meant. As to losing money, I do in fact know they did not. The Penguins would have been “glad,” in a matter of speaking, to be able to use the fact that they were losing money to further their case for a new arena. The reason they did not use it was because they could not claim such a thing.
    2. MLSE owns, as you said it, which was my point. They own both the ACC and the Leafs, but the team does not own the ACC. It might seem trivial, but there is actually a very important reason to separate both entities, and this is what I was referring to. Leasing is not inclusive with more expensive, in fact the interim lease that the Penguins were at one time proposed by the Major involved no cost to the Penguins, per se. It was more of a commitment in time, than money, and a similar arrangement is basically the present case for the Pens, although they are paying more than the first proposal. I do not see the point of the ticket sales prices, but there is absolutely no guarantee of sold out crowds everywhere as you claim, other than less than 5 teams in the entire league. And the finances are irrelevant here, when we are talking about an increase in prices that has been accompanied by an increase in attendance, as is the case for the Pens.
    3. The revenue sharing is for the entire season, including playoffs. The reason the Pens will receive none or quite a limited amount will be because of their increase in attendance from two seasons ago to last season. In other words, they will look at last years income from attendance and discover a vast improvement due to the noticeable increase in attendance, along with the income from a couple of playoff games. Next year they will do the same comparison, but with this years numbers and the Penguins will be out of the sharing for sure, unless their income is still in the lower half of the league. And if that is the case, even better. Selling out, higher profits than ever, and a profit share to boot, what can be better. But I highly doubt they will qualify for such next year.
    4. The Lemieux Group has always been several investors (hence the name), and Burkle has always been a part of it. Mario Lemieux is part of the Lemieux Group and its CEO but is not the highest investor. In fact, he did not invest anything, he merely forewent his claim to his owed deferred salary, which he was entitled to after his retirement. They have added minor investors here and there, and refused some at times. The Group did lose money in a couple of the years they operated (right before the lockout), but mostly has not lost money in most years during ownership. However, they could not afford high payrolls, hence the brilliance, which is seldom talked about, from the molding and positioning of this present team from GM Craig Patrick’s manipulations. Crosby, Staal, and Malkin’s salary is less than $1M each, however their bonuses are counted as part of cap and salary, as per the CBA. Last year, Sidney Crosby made $3.7M from the Pittsburgh Penguins, maxing out on all his bonuses. Both Malkin and Staal also made over $1M when it was all said and done from the Penguins, therefore a team must be ready to pay the amount if necessary. The only validity to your argument is when a contract in salary and bonuses comes to be less than the cap hit, that is the case for Whitney, Sykora, Talbot, and Scuderi. Total savings: $1.968M However, the opposite is true of the contracts of Gonchar, Malone, Laraque, Orpik, and Fleury. Total increase: $1.017M. Hence, net savings of $0.951M…which is hardly a difference overall.
    5. HERE is a link.
    6. You can bet on it, thanks to Ron Burkle and the high spirits in the ownership.
  18. kamullia says:

    Markov yes. Not Sutton.

  19. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    I would. Suton is an underrated player. Good shut down guy. I also really dont like sydor

  20. kamullia says:

    I have never been sold on Sutton's abilities. He does a lot for Atlanta but I consider it more because of their needs than his abilities.

    You did not ask this, but to me the perfect fit for Pittsburgh would have been Nick Boynton, from the playing standpoint. He is a good blend of all the Penguins needed. I heard Shero did inquire at one, but the price tag was too high, and the contract was considered too expensive.

  21. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    1. Losing money, gaining money, winning 10 million in the lottery, the pens needed an arena. Nothing would have affected that. By dropped out, i mean absolved their ownership equally among the group(most payouts are 1 year ago est. -5%). 2 Part owners absolved their ownership. One right before the pens went on sale, and one a couple years ago. Either way, its speculation on both of our parts.

    2. If you say tickets for $5 anywhere but the bottom few teams in the league, you'll sell out. Higher ticket prices means higher revenue. Other factors like TV contracts, advertising also play a factor. All of which i dont see changing much. Crosby is the most watched player in the NHL, if they didn't pay to see him last year, they wont this year.

    3. Revenue sharing has nothing to do with profit. Its about revenue. A team with MAYBE 11-20th revenue cannot spent to a 50+ mil cap. Not Unless the owners fork over some real dough.

    4. The Bonuses of Crosby, Malkin, Stall, Fleury are not paid by the Pittsburgh Penguins. They are paid by the league. HAVE BEEN paid by the league I should say. 8.5 mil for Malkin and Crosby, about 4 mill for Stall I think. Then they are averaged over the cap(a rule the Owners liked. The Players get more money, and the owners play less. Its the GM's that are screwed)

    5. All speculation, however Kariya was clearly out of their grasp from the get go. HAD they gotten both, it would have brought payroll to just over 40 mil(as Sydor and Sykora would not have been signed)

    6. Its too bad. Pittsburgh could be reaping the rewards of Backberies, or Steelback right now, but instead their owned by a group that only stuck around because nobody was dumb enough to buy the team and keep them in pittsburgh(before they got the new arena agreement)

  22. CaptainAvery says:

    If Markov signs with them, it would be stupid to not actually consider this team a Cup runner. Like come on, the talent on the Pens is something every G.M. wishes they had, and they are gonna be scary come this season mark my words, coming from a 100% Habs fan as well, the Pens are gonna be the real deal.

  23. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    eeek, buyer beware. Boyton becomes too much of a problem than an asset. He's best left on a team that is constantly at the bottom.

    Well sutton got PP time in Atlanta and did nothing with it, but defensively he was very good. yeah, maybe he looked good because the group around him was crap, but he's in the same situation in NYI.

    Again, I see Pittsbugh as a team with offense flying off in all directions. Teams like that do soooo well with a good transition game. you will not get that from Sutton, Sydor, and especially Boyton. Tanabe and Markov were better Options IMO.

  24. kamullia says:
    1. Please provide a link. This is the first I have heard of part of the Lemieux Group LLC retiring from the group. There have been people who were originally going to be allowed to invest, and then the group went against such decision and refuse to let them join up, but I have not heard of anyone simply pulling out of the group.
    2. The Blues last year put their tickets at extremely low prices and also gave away tickets and they still could not sell out. Selling out an arena takes more than just lowering prices, but I do not see your point considering it has been published that the Penguins are already guaranteed to have the most tickets sold for an entire season in their entire history!  In other words, they have already sold the most tickets they have ever sold for an entire season.
    3. Revenue sharing is a byproduct of profit because of how the economics of the CBA are spelled out, but in essence you are correct. Regardless of everything, reaching the maximum of the cap is dependent upon two things regardless of profit or revenue: The amount the cap is set at, and the owners willingness to spend. End of story. And if Burkle who has extremely deep pockets wants to fully finance the Penguins, he certainly is capable. Actually, he has deep enough pockets to finance the entire Eastern Conference for that matter.  What he has invested into the Penguins are nothing but peanut shells to him, and was originally a clear favor to help his friend Mario way back then.
    4. You need to review the CBA, as I have. There are several kinds of bonuses. Some bonuses are paid by the league, but certainly the type "A" and type "B" bonuses delineated in a contract between a member of the NHLPA and an NHL team are paid by the team. Period. The league does pay bonuses to the people who are finalists to the different awards and to the Stanley Cup finalists. It is all spelled out in several sections in the CBA, but if you want to review it, the easist way is to read Exhibit 5 of the CBA which delineates specifically all performance bonuses. Otherwise start on page 215 of Article 50 and read 50.5 (g) titled "Accounting for Signing Bonuses, Performance Bonuses, and Roster Bonuses." Last I checked the CBA is still available online at the NHLPA site, but if you want I can send you a copy.
    5. No speculation. Shero's efforts into signing Hannan and Kariya have been corroborated since that story, including some verification given by Shero himself. To date, nothing has ever been dispelled as to the Rossi's account, unlike other things he has gotten wrong. The Post-Gazette specifically loves to discount Rossi, because he is their rival and competition, and Molinari has never refuted Rossi's account. Kariya was only out of their grasp about an hour before he signed on July 1st. Up until then it has been reported at several times he considered the Penguins his favorite offer, although was looking for more. The present cap hit from the Penguins is of $41M and that is off only by ONE million in payroll (i.e. $40M), and that does not take into account having Kristopher Letang making the team. If Letang makes the team (and he most surely will), the cap hit will increase to over $42M, with roughly half of that increase being dependent on Letang attaining his bonuses.
    6. Shmuckberries. Balsillie has turned out to be nothing but a rich flake. He certainly fooled many at first, but the game is up by now with all of his stunts. I doubt he will ever own an NHL club after what he has pulled and tried to pull. Pittsburgh would have gotten no rewards from Balsillie and they are clearly better off without him. Jim has proven not just instability in his dealings, but a clear intent to put a hockey team in Hamilton regardless of the writing on the wall from the NHL that no team will be in Hamilton at any time, or at least not until other places in Canada get their NHL first. I will say this for Balsillie, he has written a clear textbook perfect system on how not to properly deal with the NHL, its owners, or buy an NHL team. What a schmuck.
  25. kamullia says:

    The Pens are actually all defense as far as their scheme.  I wrote an article specifically showing this and the need for Therrien to change the gears into a different mentality.  If the Pens change mentality, then your vision is more helpful.  But its a moot argument.  They will never invest in offensive d-men unless they trade some of their prospects first.  They have plenty mobile, fast, accurate passers, with a great gun from the blue-line to not be of any worry to them for a long long long while.

    You think of Boynton as I think of Sutton.

  26. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    ok, but thats the blues. have the pengiuns really ever had trouble selling out?? Every time the leafs visit is pretty full.

    Every owner in the NHL is a billionare. the difference is willingness. Neither you or I can be sure if he is willing to spend the money next season.

    TEAM rookie bonuses cannot exceed a certain amount that i forget, but its below one mil(and increasing next season). LEAGUE rookie bonuses have a limit of just over 8 million(spread over an entry level cap hit, which is 3 years). League first year bonuses include playing on the rookie allstar team, the actual all star team, Calder finalist, calder winner, top 9 in forwards ice time, top 4 in D, goalies playing over a certain number of games, bla bla bla.

    Letang will play some games this season, but i dont seem him becoming a regular for any reason other than injuries. The List of 20 year old defensemen who made the NHL is short. Phaneuf and Meszaros are the only ones i can think of, and Letang isn't in their league. Plus, i think letangs performance bonuses are less than 1 mill anyway(spread over 3 years). I could be wrong, the website i use is usully right though.

    HAHA, come on. the Balsille and D'Angelo attempts to buy NHL teams and relocate them were legit. Gary Bettman wants to sell hockey in the US, i.e. he's and American Patriot who doesn't want to see American teams moved to Canada. Bettman is the man at fault. There are 100x more Billionaires in the US than Canada, yet its Canadian ones who want to buy hockey teams. Would a hockey franchise do any better in Hamilton and Winnipeg than it would in Nashville and Pittsburgh??? not really. But the ownership group in Nashville will be broke in a few years, and your buddy wanted to sell his team a few months ago. Balsille and D'Angelo are Melnyk and Steinbrenner like owners. Willing to let teams spend their heart out and pay the extra. These are good NHL owners that the NHL was stupid enough to turn down. Gary Bettman creates expansion teams that can't afford to have hockey teams, thus creating the lockout, and still refuses to solve the problem….

  27. kamullia says:

    It is not just the Blues, and a reiteration that more than price is needed in selling out is Nashville. They were one of the most successful teams during the regular season, gave away tickets, reduced prices and could still not average 14,000 in ticket sales, let alone attendance. You can say all you want about the market, but that just proves that reducing the price is not good enough to sell out, which is my only point. There’s much more to it.

    I cannot affirm that every owner is a billionaire, especially when “owner” is singular. Most teams are owned by groups, which as a collection are quite possibly billionaires, but single owners within the group are not necessarily. You are correct that I cannot be 100% sure, but I sure can make a healthy and educated choice given enough information, which I believe is the case with Burkle and his intention to spend more and up to the cap, and there certainly are several indications in that respect as I pointed out.

    I know tone is hard to read on a computer, but I assure you that you are not getting any tone from me when I say that you really need to read the CBA because you are well mistaken. You are taking several different informations that pertain to different things and mixing them together when you made your statements. They are all partly true, but the statements as a whole are erroneous. You can download the CBA by clicking HERE. You will need a pdf reader (e.g. acrobat), which there are plenty free all around the web. I am not asking you to trust me, I am asking you to corroborate from the horses mouth, just so you understand where your information is mixed up.

    Letang’s upside is limitless if we go by his history. Every single year he reaches a new level that no one expected. I finally became sold on him last year, and I have more faith (and information) about him than most, but I truly and honestly do believe he will brake into the top 4 by seasons end, even without a single injury on defense. I keep saying this time and again, but Letang’s only limit in my mind is possible stagefright. Nothing else has stopped him thus far. It has been a long while since someone from a lower than a 2nd round pick has made some real solid showing in the NHL, but I believe Kristopher is the one who will do so.

    No offense, but it seems a lot of Canadians and partly yourself have this whole conspiracy theory bought and paid for, and there is little proof and a lot of speculation. It’s almost like being paranoid, it seems, and it is nothing but business. Bettman and the NHL in general need a bigger US audience if the NHL is to blossom to a new level. This is the truth. And he is doing exactly the same tactic most companies use in trying to expand their selling power, by placing franchises in places that are non-traditional. McDonalds does not put a restaurant in Turkey because hamburgers are what the Turkish prefer. They do it to expand their market and introduce people to something new with a calculated chance and risk that they will sell enough to make it worth their while. That is just what the NHL did by expanding and doing so to places where there is not even a snowfall, let alone ice. And it has worked in some places, like Tampa.

    But forget the NHL and Bettman, Balsillie is just a moron for trying to muscle his way into a private club, which do not be fooled, it is essentially what you do when you try to acquire an NHL team, especially considering you have to be approved by the NHL owners. I have no clue if Nashville will make it, but I have very little doubt that Pittsburgh will not for the next 10 years at least. I will not be foolish enough to think past that. By the way, not even Steinbrenner is stupid enough to go about buying anything the way Balsillie did, and for the record, I also have a dislike for Melnyk, but to a much lesser degree than Mr. Shm…Balsillie. I meant Balsillie.

    And by the way, who is my buddy? Are you referring to Jim Balsillie? Because if you are, a thousands deaths by the sword to you and your seed stand. DEATH TO ALL INFIDELS!

  28. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    I have seen Letang play only a few times, obviously less than yourself. I admit I make many assumptions, like saying Letang is too young. My generalization is that 20 year olds have to be something special to play in the NHL at 20. So for him to get ice time, I believe he would have to be good enough to get top 4 minutes, which if he can thats great.

    I have not read the CBA, but read articles, and secondary sources on the matter, thus i could be wrong. However I do not believe the Penguins had to pay the 8.55 million dollar bonus Crosby recieved at the end of the 05/06 season. I was informed it was a league bonus by numerous secondary sources; nhlnumbers.com, hockeyanalysis.com, an article in the Calgary sun on Phaneuf a few years ago….

    As for the Bettman issue, its almost common knowledge in Canada. Gary Bettman wants to sell hockey in the US, its his number 1 priority. If you look at history he gave expansion teams to Carolina, Nashville, Columbus, and Minnesota. Two of these are thriving, one is thriving when they win(Carolina), and one can't sell a bunch of $5 tickets(Nashville). He promised an expansion team to Kansus city; A southern city that is having trouble supporting a team from america's favorite past time(baseball).

    To use you analogy, Bettman brought a couple of McDonalds to turkey, and had some success. But he was so focussed on that, he forgot a huge section of Queens had no MacDonalds. and Wendys moved in, so he's lost tones of valuable revenue trying to force McDonalds where they've never seen it before.

    Balsillie is a rich man, who can spend his money however he likes. He went up to Bettman and said I'd like to invest millions of dollars in your industry and bring a team that is way to poor to survive(In Nashville), to a place where it might survive. And if it doesn't, I'll pay for all the losses. And Bettman replies by saying, no Nashville will either stay in Nashville or go to Kansus(both offers are about 50 million short of Balsille's offer).

    Melnyk took a team that should be sitting in the cap basement, and said spend to the cap. And because of this the Sens have a team stacked with talent. Balsille would have done the same with Nashville as would have D'Angelo.

    THAT is what the NHL needs. You can try to sell the sport all you want, but it isn't a big enough sport to hold 30 teams. Not when twice as many viewers in the states watch Football and Baseball.

  29. kamullia says:

    I have actually read the CBA, and in fact I have pointed out several mistakes made at both nhlnumbers and hockeyanalysis to their authors. Nhlnumbers has been glad to learn and verify, while hockeyanalysis was completely stubborn, although for what I hear he has changed his tune since. To put it in perspective, I have a copy of the CBA on my desktop, because I use it often enough that I do not care to go looking for a folder first. This publication is to the NHL what the bible is to Christian religion, and therefore I use it often enough to keep it handy. I have also confirmed that Crosby was paid $3.7M by the Pittsburgh Penguins in salary, A bonuses, and B bonuses. Past that, I am not aware of how much the NHL has paid Crosby for last season, other than the monetary compensations that go for winning his two awards (the NHLPA award is not compensated). The CBA does delineate how much those compensations are, therefore if need be we can find those exact amounts, but I am certain they do not come up to $5.1 million. For all I have read in the CBA, I remember several statutes that would make it illegal for the NHL to compensate a player in such form…but anything is possible, I guess. However, I am very interested in your claim, so please, if you could provide a link to such an article it would be great. I suspect the writers might have done an overall computation of what Crosby netted overall from all sources, including Reebok, and not just from the Pens and the NHL. I know I have read articles from Pittsburgh that his overall take from the NHL and the Pens was not even $4M, therefore this would be of high interest if someone can refute that with an actual investigative account.

    The NHL needs more US fans, Gary Bettman or not. It is too rich of a market to ignore, and it is the logical one. However, expansion or venturing into a new market is not a precise science. Overall, the idea to spread the NHL throughout the US is the right idea, no matter what. Expanding further in Canada would be nice, but it will be inconsequential to moving the NHL to a new level, and in order to reach that level hockey needs to quit being a regional sport as it is now. And therefore they must venture into other regions. There are plenty of other success stories in markets we have not mention, like Dallas for example. Who knew Texans would go for hockey?! I say make studies, be careful, and continue to tap new markets. For now, there is no need for expansion, just relocation of certain teams. To this day it is pathetic the showings of Chicago and New Jersey, especially considering their markets. Those are not new frontiers, just very badly managed ones or unsuccessful ones. As far as I’m concerned, those need to be moved also, along with Nashville. But other places like Pittsburgh, Tampa, and Minnesota have proven they belong. We just have to find 30 markets that do just that. First time I have ever heard about Bettman conspiring with Kansas City. But if he has, good for him. Kansas City has shown enough promise to be worth a try in my opinion, and having blindly pre-sold all of their suites goes a long way to spelling financial success.

    Balsillie did not go to Bettman and ask to invest millions. First he went to Bettman, lied to him, and claimed “anything you want.” When Bettman said let’s put it on paper, Balsillie balked. Then he turned around and tried to force his way not just into a club, but in forcing the owners hands into moving a team. To boot, there were two franchises, one who rightfully opposed the site of relocation because it would directly affect its revenue and economics (Buffalo). You do not go into a private club, throw your money around, ignore its members and sit at the front steps with a megaphone yelling into the streets that you are changing things in the club. Good or bad, itt’s a good ol’ boys club, and Balsillie has a hell of a lot to learn on how to make dealings in such cases. That is if he is not arrogant enough to learn, which at this point I highly doubt, considering his showing his second time around.

    The NHL does not need him or Schmucks of his caliber. They do need a bigger exposure into the US television market and a more favorable contract towards it, but they will never get it placing franchises in Canada, and Canadian broadcasters will never give much more than they are giving thus far, and never as much as the US market can give. Hence…Bettman is on the right track, but it is a trial and error one, and so far the NHL has done a fairly good job considering the low amount of failure since the expansions started in 1967. They just need to find the right niches within the US, at least a couple more spread out enough to entice a truly national following. The NFL did it, and so the NBA, there is no reason why with such a terrific product as professional hockey is, that the NHL cannot do it.

    PS Baseball is a mystery to me. Not the game itself, but its economics and its following. I have watched and used to follow baseball and attended games (2 rows from dogout), but it is a sport that is great to play, not to watch. Why on earth Americans are still watching en masse is beyond me. And with all the fiascos about drugs, personalities, and the like, it is no longer a sport. It is a soap opera a la wrestling. Paint drying is not as amusing, but baseball is not much of an improvement upon it.

  30. intelligentscorpio says:

    Habs fan, you may be right on this one. Pens may be scary good,

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