Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Backstrom an Offer Sheet Candidate?

A couple days ago I had suggested, at MC79's site, that a team (not necessarily the Oilers but some team) might be interested in signing Capitals C Niklas Backstrom to an offer sheet. I had been thinking that Washington would be pinched to the cap and might not be able/willing to keep Backstrom at a price of, say, $8,500,000. I can't speak towards their willingness to spend that much on Backstrom, but a quick look at their cap position for next season suggests they could indeed fit Backstrom at that price, but probably not while keeping everyone they'd like. WSH currently has 36.7 mil committed for the 2010/11 season, on 7 F, 5 D, and Varlamov. So, including Backstrom at 8.5 mil, they would have 45.2 mil committed while still needing to sign 4 F, 2 D, and a G, with notable unsigned players including Fleischman, Fehr, Morrisonn, Jurcina, and Schultz. So they can keep Backstrom, but it would cost them a chunk of that depth (barring other moves they might like to make). So, I don't think the Capitals are as vulnerable to an offer sheet as I had thought before really examining their cap situation.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bring Paajarvi over to end the season?

There has been a lot of talk of bringing Eberle up for 9 games or less this season, but I think it would be good idea, if Paajarvi is interested, to sign Paajarvi and bring him over to the NHL/AHL for the remainder of this season. Paajarvi's season could potentially be over this weekend; Timra needs to win its last game to qualify for the playoffs. Provided you can play him in the NHL or AHL without exposing him to waivers, it seems like a no lose proposition to bring him over for the rest of the season if Timra's season is over shortly.

Article 13 of the CBA is the section discussing Waivers. 13.1 says that there are three kinds of waivers: Regular Waivers, Re-Entry Waivers, and Unconditional Waivers. 13.4 of the CBA has a chart explaining which young players are exempt from Regular and Re-Entry waivers. If Paajarvi (and Lander, for that matter) were to sign NHL contracts tomorrow, then according to this article they should be ineligible for waivers. However, perhaps contradicting this is Article 13.23, which says, more or less, that players who have played in Europe during the NHL season must clear Waivers before they are eligible to play in the NHL, where "NHL" is specifically written (not NHL or AHL). This section does not distinguish between the three waiver types, it merely refers to "Waivers". I think it's reasonable to guess that they mean "Regular" and/or "Re-Entry" waivers in this context, since "Unconditional" waivers seems to be a formal step taken only before completing a buyout of a player's Standard Players Contract, but it is just a guess.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tyler Seguin's Shooting Percentage

In July of 2009 I wrote a post musing about Magnus Paajarvi Svensson's shooting percentage. Paajarvi recorded a 6.8% shooting percentage (SH%) in 2008/9*, and I hypothesized that the scouting reports suggesting he had "an inability to finish" could have been mistaking "bad luck" for such an inability; it was possible that Paajarvi's true talent for finishing was higher than it appeared based on last season's SH%. This season's shooting percentage* of 7.8% isn't suggestive of Paajarvi having a much better true talent SH% than his 6.8% from the previous season (although it doesn't conclusively disprove the theory either), but quickly revisiting this topic for Paajarvi allows me to point out an opposite possibility for potential Oiler Tyler Seguin.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Trade Deadline 2010 - Visnovsky and Staios

"Analysis" of the Grebeshkov trade and the Jones waiver claim are found here.

(3) To ANA: Visnovsky
To EDM: Whitney, 2010 6th round pick (ANA?)

Never let it be said that the Oilogosphere is overrun by like-minded group-think; there are those both satisfied and unsatisfied with the deal. Myself, I don't really understand the trade. I can see some advantages to it, but I see more disadvantages; I wouldn't have made the deal at this point unless there is some reason to believe Visnovsky is unmovable this summer. And even that assumes I'm set on moving Visnovsky, which I'm not, although I can see the arguments for such a position.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Trade Deadline 2010 - Grebeshkov and Jones

(1) To NSH: Grebeshkov
To EDM: 2010 2nd round pick (NSH)

This is a bit of an odd deal to me, in that I'm surprised Grebeshkov could only garner a 2nd on the trade market. Like MC79, I'm not as opposed to this trade as many seem to be. I don't think the value is actually that far from Grebeshkov's "true" worth (if such a thing exists), I'm simply surprised someone wasn't willing to pay more in the (sometimes) seemingly irrational NHL trade market.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I'm coming around on the deal because I think it is beneficial for the Oilers in potentially unintentional ways. First of all, I don't precisely know how much it will/would cost to buy a replacement for Grebeshkov on the UFA market , but I don't think it would be sizeably more than Grebeshkov's 3.15 mil QO. For that matter, maybe they'll get lucky and find a Jan Hejda? Secondly, dumping Grebeshkov for a pick hurts the current team which should help the team finish last, ensuring a first or second overall draft pick. They probably will finish last anyways, but the marginal drop in expected points must have some indeterminate value to the Oilers. Lastly, replacing Grebeshkov with Peckham for the rest of the season saves the team ~$530,000, which is obviously valuable in and of itself. But, instead of depositing the money in the bank, the savings could be spent on the signing bonuses for a couple additional NCAA UFA prospects. This seems like a reasonable use of money for a rebuilding team. Alternatively, the money could be spent on a couple other high priced AHL veteran talents to help the AHL team improve next season, if you think that improves the development of all your AHL prospects enough to be worth the increased spending.