Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Friedman talks cap conundrums, Pens, managerial compensation, John Gibson and Babs in 30 Thoughts

05/18/2014 at 8:58pm EDT

The CBC's Elliotte Friedman just posted his "30 Thoughts" column, and after wondering how the Penguins will be able to keep all of their unrestricted free agents-to-be, even with the rising cap (they won't be able to do so--a trade will be necessary or people will walk), he offers more than a few intriguing observations. Among them:

1. Just for comparison: the 2012-13 cap was $70.2 million, similar to what we're expecting next season. Chicago won with its top-three salaried players (Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews) taking 26 per cent. Kane and Toews can be extended this summer, with the new deals beginning in 2015-16. That percentage is going to go up, but by how much? They took almost $5 million less than Crosby/Malkin per season on their second deals, critical to their second Stanley Cup (and maybe more). Western Conference opponents are expecting to deal with them for eight additional years. "I hope [their salary number] starts with a nine," one rival exec laughed.

2. You can debate Ray Shero's record all you want, but he won and there are plenty of guys who should have won but didn't. How many current GMs won a Cup in that position? Six. Shero had a clause giving him final say on hockey decisions. Owners Ron Burkle/Mario Lemieux and CEO David Morehouse wished to regain control. Lemieux's extensive knowledge leads to questions of whether this will be similar to the Trevor Linden/Brendan Shanahan setups. Whoever goes in there will want to know, "How much authority do I have?"


13. In the last 30 Thoughts, it was mentioned that there likely will be a debate at the Stanley Cup GM meetings about the possibility of compensation for losing a hockey employee to another team. It sounds like the proposal will be a second-round selection, with the team doing the hiring having a window of several seasons to give up the pick. It's also possible there may some kind of age/experience limit, so veteran coaches/execs would be able to leave freely, as long as the new position is a promotion.


19. Watching 20-year-old John Gibson have his roughest night as a pro in Game 7 against the Kings reminded me of 21-year-old Chris Osgood's giveaway that led to San Jose's monumental upset of Detroit in 1994. "I remember being devastated, disappointed," Osgood said Sunday. "It was a great opportunity as a young goalie. You think you can win the Stanley Cup at a young age like Patrick Roy and Grant Fuhr. I grew up idolizing those guys...You lose Game 7 as a heavy favourite on a deciding goal where you made the mistake."


23. Mike Babcock on Hockey Night in Canada Radio about his future: "When you've been in a place nine years like I have, going into my 10th year, it becomes a mutual thing. You want to be someplace where they want you. If they don't want you, you move on. I'm going to coach in the league for a long time yet, there's going to be opportunities for me. I like what we've done in Detroit; we've rebuilt on the fly...I think we have a chance to be better next year and better in the future. So, I tell people all the time: I've got a good place to hunt, I've got a good place to water ski, my family's happy, my youngest girl is finishing school next year so I'm free that way. But there's no reason to move if you don't have to move or if it doesn't excite you to. I've always been a believer that the grass is greener right here at home as long as you fertilize and water."


28. On the Milan Lucic/Dale Wise exchange after Montreal eliminated Boston: Fans and media love the handshake line after a playoff series. I've been surprised at how many players privately say they hate it, especially if they are the loser. Maybe the only stunner is that it doesn't happen more often.

Friedman continues at length, and as usual, his column's a must-read.

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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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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