For the loyal readers of BOWC, there are three things you know that annoy me:
1) Brian Burke
2) Really long contract extensions (9 years and up)
3) A dull trade deadline/ free agent frenzy
Two of these issues are benefited because of the recession and let me explain why.
To get down to the bottom line, we first got to discuss the problem.
On the March 4th trade deadline day was really lame unless you were a Flames fan (in which case it was better than Christmas and as equally exciting as getting Big Bert) there were no big moves, nothing exciting. The only bright spot was that Brian Burke didn't get anything he wanted which is pretty sweet though. This was somewhat due to the situation of teams, and also because of expensive contracts and deals that were too long. I honestly think we would've heard much more discussion about Vinny Lecavlier if he hadn't just signed an 11 year extension worth millions of dollars. No Buyer during the trade deadline can absorb that type of contract, and the Lightening would lose face if they sold. If it was a 4-5 year contract, Vinny would probably be a Montreal Canadien right now. You can't change my opinion.
Anyways, after the day, I was already getting excited for July 1st and Free Agent Frenzy. I went to www.nhlnumbers.com to see if any superstar UFAs were there and was extremely disappointed. The top 3 UFAs of next season are :
1) Marion Gaborik
2) Martin Havlat
3) Henrik and Daniel Sedin
I counted the Sedin Twins as one signing since there is no way they will be split up. Martin Havlat is sort of a bum and will get injured, and don't even get me started on Gaborik again.
Looking at 2010-2011 UFAs, there are two megahuge superstars that will be all the talk:
1) Rick Nash
2) Ilya Kolvachuck
This is going to be a good summer where anything could happen. We might actually see those two players go to decent teams and realize their full potential. The bad news is that AFTER 2012 (which is the Chuck Kobasew sweepstakes and probably the most anticipated free agent signing since the new Pope) there are no big names moving. Since all the contracts have been increased to ridiculous lengths, all the superstars contracts have been saturated and all extend into the beyond, leaving us fans with no signing until say, 2018. All the teams want to keep their star players for as long as possible, and once they are all signed, there will be limited movement during the summers ... this will happen in three years.
But thankfully, because of the recession, the NHL can be saved.
Since the cap is probably going to go down for the first time since the lockout, GMs will have to be wary on how they spend their money. GMs like Glen Sathers will be fired for being incompetent bums and NHL players might actually be making the money that reflects their play on the ice. Ever since Kevin Lowe effed over the league by signing Penner to 4 million a season, players have been getting increasingly overpaid.
They say to their agent 'Look at that big fat floater making 4 million dollars and getting 40 points a season. I got 55 points a season and I'm not chunky. I want 5!' and then Glen Sathers signs Marcus Naslund.
So now that GMs won't be throwing around dough, the proper balance will be somewhat restored. As well, they will be hesitant giving out massively long contracts to certain players. Even superstars will probably only sign for 5-6 years instead of 11-12, which benefits the team, the fans, and the players. Obviously you want to keep your star player for as long as possible, but signing a player for over 10 years has too much variability and too many things can go wrong in that time and then you are stuck with Scott Gomez's and Chris Drury's immovable contracts and messes up your team's capology for the far future.
With the shorter contracts, hopefully most superstars can be moved/traded/signed and the fans and BOWC can thrive off of it. No one likes a dull trade deadline and and July 1st.
All in all, this recession will make GMs think through their actions and not overspend for an average player. They won't sign a player to a six year deal worth 40 million dollars because of past accomplishments even when all the experts know that player is really bad now (Wade Redden to New York) The contract length will be decreased and free agent frenzy can continue on to being one of the best days in the year.
Maybe I should add Glen Sathers to the list of things that annoy me.