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Talking Amnesty

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

And so it should come as no surprise that owners might ask again for a mulligan and to toss aside the gold-plated anchors that are weighing down their hockey teams. The question is not which teams will take advantage of such a thing — every team has a Gomez messing up the books — but whether there will be a maximum limit on how many contracts teams can shelve.

Following the 2004-05 lockout, teams were given six days to terminate and buy out contracts. Close to 14 players lost their jobs as a result. This time, there could be many, many more.

Here is a team-by-team look at who might be buyout bound if the owners and players’ association agree to let teams erase their mistakes. For our purposes, we have limited it to one player per team:

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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Detroit Red Wings: Todd Bertuzzi

I wish. But Holland signed him for a reason (whatever that was) and I can’t see him backing out on that deal.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/08/12 at 01:05 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Buffalo Sabres: Ville Leino

Hahahaha

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/08/12 at 01:08 PM ET

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It’s a testament to how well the team is built that the big question mark contract on it is a 2 year 4.15 mil deal to a guy who had 38 points in 71 games.

As an outside the box bit of musing… what about amnestying one of the huge deals like Franzen or Zetterberg?  Assuming the ‘send him to the AHL to avoid the cap hit’ loophole is closed and that Z’s got 8 more years left on his deal (depending on how the tolling of this season ends up working) it’s something to ponder.  Franzen’s got 7 or so years left to, IIRC.

The payroll being as low as it is makes it mostly a moot discussion, but that’s about the only kind around nowadays.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/08/12 at 01:42 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

As an outside the box bit of musing… what about amnestying one of the huge deals like Franzen or Zetterberg?  Assuming the ‘send him to the AHL to avoid the cap hit’ loophole is closed and that Z’s got 8 more years left on his deal (depending on how the tolling of this season ends up working) it’s something to ponder.  Franzen’s got 7 or so years left to, IIRC.

Franzen is a ~4M cap hit.  There’s no value in paying him that to not play as opposed to keeping him in your lineup.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 11/08/12 at 02:05 PM ET

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But Holland signed him for a reason (whatever that was) and I can’t see him backing out on that deal.

With the way Brunner has played with Zetterberg and the way Nyquist, Andersson and Tatar are playing in GR, I would drop stupid Bertuzzi in a second.  Any of those fellas being on a line with Datsyuk would be preferable, but if you take Bertuzzi off the line with Datsyuk then he’ useless except as a shootout specialist.

But then again I don’t have the inexplicable hard-on for him that the Wings brass seems to have (My hard-on is completely explicable).

Posted by Garth on 11/08/12 at 03:12 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

but if you take Bertuzzi off the line with Datsyuk then he’ useless except as a shootout specialist.

Bertuzzi has always had good chemistry with Helm and I think he could work on a lower line if pushed there by consistently-playing youth.

The really big problem with that is Bertuzzi’s propensity to take penalties (whether truly deserved or part of his reputation isn’t important). Being with Helm should help balance that, as nobody on the Red Wings drew as many calls as Helm did last season. There’s also the consideration that the Red Wings have an overload of middle-to-bottom six talent at forward right now and Bertuzzi is one of the higher-paid among them (although in fairness, he’s also one of the most-skilled as well).

I can’t say I’d amnesty the guy I expect to be the team’s next captain or a low cap hit who leads the team in goal production, but I probably wouldn’t buy out Bertuzzi either.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 11/08/12 at 03:24 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Detroit Red Wings: Todd Bertuzzi Johan Franzen

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 11/08/12 at 03:56 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

With the way Brunner has played with Zetterberg and the way Nyquist, Andersson and Tatar are playing in GR, I would drop stupid Bertuzzi in a second.

I have to agree.

Yes, we’d all love to see Franzen hit the road, but at a 4.15M cap hit I’m sure the Wings’ brass still has hopes that he’ll eventually be worth that much. Personally, I think the chances of The Mule being anything but a Horse’s Ass is slim to none. But I don’t get a vote. Crazy, huh? smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 11/09/12 at 12:37 AM ET

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Bert is what he is.  Cheap, competent, marginally effective.  The thing you want to avoid when putting together an NHL roster is in having to rely on too many people in too many places who haven’t gotten it done at the NHL level before.

Not that they are comparable players, but a lot the anti-Bert stuff reminds me of the anti-Raffy stuff that floated around over his last year or so.  I don’t think Bert is as difficult to replace as Raffy proved to be, but the Wings already have one moderately sized offensive hole to fill with Hudler.  Adding a second (if slightly smaller) one with Bert puts a lot more pressure on one of the younger players to be able to step up.

I don’t worry too much that the Wings can find a young kid that can step up and play right away.  Brunner and Nyqvist aren’t both going to flame out.  Counting on both of them to hit the ground running?  With Bert being as cheap as he is, I don’t see the upside in taking that risk.

Besides, if it turns out whichever kid comes up second between the two of them still beats out Bert, there’s nothing wrong with having a guy that big down on the third or fourth line either.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/09/12 at 05:06 AM ET

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Yes, we’d all love to see Franzen hit the road,

I’m mostly ‘meh’ on Franzen, but it’s pretty tough to argue with a 4.15 mil cap hit when it gets you 101 goals in 251 games.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/09/12 at 05:15 AM ET

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Adding a second (if slightly smaller) one with Bert puts a lot more pressure on one of the younger players to be able to step up.

Good points, but as it is the Wings still have too many forwards (and too many bottom six forwards) and Bert is both relatively expendable and takes up enough cap room when the cap is finalized and the Wings need to shed salary (assuming that happens), Bert is the easy choice, IMHO.  I don’t hate him, but I don’t think there’s anything he does that makes him essential, and I’d rather have Nyquist in Detroit and Bert playing elsewhere than Nyquist playing in Grand Rapids because Detroit has too many forwards.

Posted by Garth on 11/09/12 at 03:01 PM ET

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Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/09/12 at 04:15 AM ET

Same here and if the Wings were to get rid of him I’d rather they get something in return via trade than pay him to go away.

Posted by Garth on 11/09/12 at 03:03 PM ET

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Good points, but as it is the Wings still have too many forwards (and too many bottom six forwards)

Detroit has 16 guys under contract.  Two of them are Eaves, who isn’t going to play because of his concussion and Emmerton, who is completely irrelevant to any discussion regarding ‘talent’.

That leaves 14.  Of those 14:

(5) Cleary, Helm, Miller, Abby and Tootoo are obvious bottom 6 guys.
(4) Datsyuk, Z, Franzen and Fil are obvious top 6 guys.
(5) Sammy, Bert, Brunner, Nyqvist and Mursak are the tweeners fighting to establish their position on the roster.

2 of that last group will need to play in the top 6.  The other three will push the 5 guys in the first group down to the 4th line or into the press box if possible.

I really like the composition of the forwards.  I don’t know if they are exactly good enough to make the Wings dangerous and to compensate for a comparable lack of power from the blue line, but I like the striation of talent between the forwards that provides opportunity for young guys to slide up if they deserve it while not logjamming things with borderline vets.

The thing I would be loathe to lose with Bert is his size and his edge.  Other than Bert our physical forwards are Helm, Abby, Tootoo and Miller.  Those guys aren’t poor physical players per se, but Helm and Miller are fairly slender guys while Tootoo and Abby aren’t what I would call accomplished actual hockey players.

Bert provides some size and crunch while not being a completely useless player elsewhere.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 11/09/12 at 05:02 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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