Monday, July 02, 2007

The return of Chicken Little

There's been all kinds of goofy 'the sky is falling' stories written in the past 12 hours as people parse all of the dollars spent on free agents, but I don't think there's anything particularly calamitous (or sinister, for that matter) about what's happened thus far.

For one, a lot of it was predictable. Daniel Briere, Scott Gomez and Chris Drury getting around $7-million a year was hardly a surprise, and the contracts for defencemen were maybe just a little bit higher than I'd anticipated.

On a related note, the must-read pieces today for a sane overview of what's gone on are provided by Tom Benjamin and The Battle of Alberta, who flesh out some of the more pronounced fallacies being spread around.

I'm not prepared to buy everything Benjamin's selling when it comes to the (alleged) conspiracy behind stripping the Buffalos of the NHL of their talent (Jarome Iginla and Joe Thornton seem content, after all, to forgo their prescribed jump to the "big market" havens of Detroit and Denver), but he's certainly a lot closer to the truth than a lot of what's being put out there today.

I'll have much more on this for early tomorrow.


At 7:12 p.m., July 02, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone can assume that every small market is subject to the same pressures (as several columnists have in lumping them together). In Buffalo's case, it is a management issue, as Briere would have signed a lower-dollar deal if it had been offered more quickly. This is a case of "you snooze, you lose" and if the front office had moved with more alacrity Briere would have done the same kind of thing Thornton and Iginla are.

At 7:59 p.m., July 02, 2007, Anonymous David Johnson said...

For the most part the contracts seem reasonable. Some might question the length of the contracts but considering most of the players are 27-31 years of age they aren't too bad. I have heard a lot of people say "why did we have a lock out for this?" but they seem to forget that players salaries are capped as a percentage of revenues so even if someone has a $7 million contract that doesn't mean he'll actually make $7 million.

At 9:07 p.m., July 02, 2007, Blogger The Forechecker said...

"Chicken Little" is an apt analogy - some commentators are focusing only on a few facts rather than seeing the big picture.

Yes, the Rangers threw gobs of money (too much? we'll see) at Gomez and Drury, but are losing Nylander in exchange, which is no small thing. Philly is spending freely, but they cleared that cap room by suffering through an awful season last year.

I do find the newfound length of player contracts to be quite interesting. My bet is that in a couple years, if any sort of national TV revenue in the US pans out, this could render some of these contracts into pretty good bargains towards the back end.


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