Wednesday, July 14, 2010

rodent redux

Absolutely fascinating, this approach to determining to what extent one should give bigtime dollars to aging players. While I'm not completely sold on the details, because these names are all from what now seems a bygone era, there's super food for thought here. And I muchly applaud the qualitative and comparative approach used by the rodent. While there's much to update, the information he extracts and highlights is infinitely preferable to the anecdotal nonsense that most of us, as fans, gravitate towards.

Except for the anecdote about how Sutter had a shitty overpaid Jokinen, banished him to Gotham, and then brought the fucker back completely on purpose. That anecdote is acceptable. Also acceptable? The one about how the Canucks gave Demitra a shit-ton of money for more or less zero production and are probably gonna do it again. It's funny every single time.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

goddamnit you're just making it worse

Because I grew up in Colorado, and because I can recognize good things, I am an Avs fan. Because I lived through the 90s, and because I am friends with Macajew, I hate Chicago as a city and every franchise involved with it.* Which is why Jibblescribbits' latest opus is flat-out fucking terrifying.

His main objective is to demonstrate again that the Avs could fit Kovalchuk in under the cap without giving anything substantial up. I was convinced the first time that it could happen, and I was convinced the first time that it should happen: it comes down to a couple very, very simple questions.
  • Do you think that you've got anybody in the system who's going to be a better winger than Kovalchuk?
    This one is pretty easy to answer.
  • Do you think your team could use 15 PP goals a year for the next 6/8/10 years?
    Even if you think of Kovy as an overrated, soft, defensive liability power play specialist, he's easily good for that many PPG a year. And, for the record, last year he put up 1.29 points/game against the west, versus 1.06 against the east. This isn't conclusive, but it's at least somewhat reassuring.

So, to me, it's a no-brainer. You've got a team that was sixth in the league in scoring last year, but that probably can't repeat their very high shooting percentage. You've got a truly world-class goal scorer on the market. Maybe he doesn't make his teammates better--I don't really know how to quantify that**--but I absolutely guarantee his linemates spend more time not getting doubleteamed than most other guys' linemates do.

However, the way Jibblescribbits lays it out makes a superb case that the Avs are going cheap in all the wrong ways. He acknowledges, and I agree, that there is a hockey-based case for not going after Kovalchuk. Fine. I think this case is spurious, but I'm not the expert here.

But with his Colorado-based vantage point, he's able to sketch out all the ways the team's doing everything on the cheap. And that scares the hell out of me. I'm spoiled by years of big budgets, poaching veterans, and more national media attention than is warranted; I'm used to thinking my team is first-class and first-rate, even if we're not legitimate Cup contenders. So whether or not we get Kovy (we won't), I'm a little depressed***.

--Collision, clearing waivers

*The. Stupidest. Thing you will ever read about Chicago fandom is about the agony of rooting for franchises that just don't win, about how Chicago fans have some kind of championship drought. Most of these drooling, incoherent whiners are around my age, 35. Which means their sports memories probably start inthe middle 80s. Which means that they have the Bears in 86, 6 expansion-era Bulls rings in the 90s, a steroid-fueled 05 Sox team and now this 'Hawks 4-million-over-the-cap Cup win.

Where does this patently absurd drought notion come from? At this point, I think it's just cashing in on Simmons' once-interesting positions--this is why it's interesting that all these "long-suffering" poltroons are sub-40.

**Short of being pretty sure Joe Thornton gets his wingers well and truly paid, son. And I can't remember where I read it, but I recently read somebody decrying Foppa as overrated, b/c he "only put up assists and didn't score enough goals". Riiight. Because without him, Hejduk's putting up 50 goals like every single year.

***I'm also a little depressed we're not bringing Stephane Yelle and Darcy Tucker back. Low-cost veterans who are good in the room and who bring a little bit to the ice--Yelle defensively, and in the face-off circle, Tucker by driving Duchene to work--are okay to have around, and would, I think, have helped this young team fight through what I predict is gonna be a brutal opening to the season.