Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Gerber problem

The Globe and Mail's David Naylor has a nice post pointing out the real problem with the contract the Ottawa Senators signed Martin Gerber to in the off-season:
The untold story of Ray Emery's season is that he as quietly played himself into the range of a $3-$4 million goaltender. (Consider that Cristobal Huet, who re-signed with Montreal last summer is making $3 million this season.)

Emery at $3.5 next season would be very decent value since he has performed consistently all season like a top-10 goaltender.

The problem is that his back-up, Gerber, will be making $3.7.
Emery is a restricted free agent this summer, meaning his big raise will be due mighty soon. And given his strong play this season, he's not a guy you can simply dump — especially if you consider that Gerber may hit another swoon if suddenly handed the starter's role.

But can you move Gerber? Or are you stuck, as Naylor points out, paying your netminding tandem more than $7-million the next two years? Given the Senators' struggles to squeeze under the cap this season, that's not a promising proposition.

One would think there might be a struggling team desperate enough to take Gerber — and you have to think Senators GM John Muckler would move him for simply the cap space at this point.

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At 2:31 p.m., February 15, 2007, Blogger Nick said...

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At 4:11 p.m., February 15, 2007, Blogger Hockey Amor said...

I don't believe any team is desperate enough for goaltending at this point, especially since the Sens can't take a hit on this salary dump.

At 4:20 p.m., February 15, 2007, Anonymous JTE said...

Emery has played well this season, and I don't mean to doubt his abilities, but he is not a stone cold lock to perform like a $3.5M goaltender in the future. I don't think the Sens should pay $7M at the goaltending position, but I think they would be better off selling high on Emery shortly after inking him to a deal.

Then acquire a less expensive, younger goaltender with potential (maybe in the Emery deal) and let him battle with Gerber for #1.

If they deal Gerber, they won't get much value back and may be stuck with a Ray Emery not earning his money either.

At 4:47 p.m., February 15, 2007, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

Don't discount Gerber's knack as a good-luck charm either.

Here's a guy who since 2003 has won a western conference title, an eastern conference title, and a Stanley Cup ring, and he barely had to leave the bench for any of that.

Hey, luck's got some value too, perhaps.


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