Skip to main content

Bobby Clarke, have you been reading this blog?

Normally I'm not a big fan of Flyers GM Bobby Clarke, but over the last couple days he has breathed life into a long-dead aspect of the NHL player market: restricted free agency (RFA). Back in July I mused as to whether GM's would leverage RFA to competitive purposes, and at long last, Clarke yesterday extended a $1.9 million, 1 year offer sheet to , a young centerman with Vancouver who scored all of 10 goals last season in 82 games. The salary is more than twice what Kesler was rumored to get from Vancouver in a new contract, so clearly Clarke was intent on putting some pressure on the Canucks to either let the Flyers have him, or soak up some valuable cap space by overpaying the youngster. With still available, that reduces Vancouver's ability to sign both Kesler and Carter - and Clarke would be interested in having one, if not both, in orange & black this fall.

This marks the first time an RFA has had an offer made to them since 1999, which means that at the very least GM's have an unwritten rule not to go shopping for another team's young players. Clarke's move yesterday seems to have been greeted by his colleagues as more egregious than asking for a return of the Glowing Puck. From the TSN article linked above:

''I thought the DiPietro deal was the height of stupidity but this Kesler deal tops it,'' said one NHL GM. ''Does Clarkie actually think Vancouver isn't going to match? Every team will match. You have to. You have to protect your assets no matter what. All this is going to do is drive up the cost to do business. This is going to be ridiculously inflationary, even in the cap system we have. It's crazy.''

That quote, in a nutshell, describes exactly why the league ran itself into the financial ground in recent years. Saying things like, "you have to protect your assets no matter what" belies a serious misunderstanding of how markets work, particularly in the modern salary cap era. You don't have to protect your assets - if another team comes along with an outrageous bid, let the guy go and put that money to better use. If the Canucks can't replace Kesler with a player making less than $1.9 million, then that's their own fault as an organization. In a world where NHL rosters have a fixed salary cap, there is still an area for competition at the minor-league level. The ability to develop a depth of young talent available to restock various aspects of the team is essential to the modern NHL team, and it's been overlooked by some of them so far.

Plus, you have to love Clarke's reply to his critics on this. Perhaps he'll forward my blog link to the other GM's around the league, as he also comments, "To be honest, I'm surprised more teams aren't doing it.”

Popular posts from this blog

How I'm Trying To Make Money Sports Blogging

To kick off this series of articles general sports-blogging articles here at OTF Classic, I think it's best to start with a comment that Brad left here last week, after I shared my goals for 2012, which include specific revenue targets:
I considered diving into the world of internet marketing myself, but I felt that my friends would hate me for bugging them about stuff. I mean, it's pretty low-risk high-reward, so it's tempting. I wouldn't mind reading about tips on how to maximize impact of blogging in general to make it a legitimate income source. Trying to make money at sports blogging can be a very touchy subject - for the vast majority of us, this is an activity we pursue to both exercise our creativity and share our love of the game, whether it's hockey, football, badminton, whatever, with fellow fans. Mixing that personal conversation with a commercial message can turn people off, especially if it becomes too intrusive for the reader.

It's not unreasonabl…

Canadian Baloney, starring James Mirtle

A tireless refrain from the Canadian media is that Nashville is an absolute failure as a hockey market, and failing to move the team north of the border is an exercise in folly by the NHL.

Our latest exhibit comes from James Mirtle, usually one of the more thoughtful hockey bloggers extant:
But Nashville, quite simply, has proven it cannot sustain an NHL hockey team. Even with the lowest ticket prices in the entire league (I know: I've looked into flying there for a game or two) and a ridiculously forgiving arena lease, the team has had attendance issues despite having one of the best records in the league.

It's not a matter of Canadians not wanting teams in the southern U.S.; I've argued time and again in favour of teams like Dallas and Tampa Bay that have supported their teams and really brought something to the table in terms of bringing news fans and new energy to the game. That's a good thing.

The Predators, however, are not that, not in the beginning and certainly no…

Get Your NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 Right Here!

Click here for the 2009-10 NHL Super Schedule, at my new site,!

The NHL announced the 2008-9 Regular Season schedule today, so of course, it's time right here to publish my very own NHL Super Schedule 2008-9 as well.

For those unfamiliar with what I did last year, the NHL Super Schedule is a spreadsheet that I put together and make publicly available via Google Documents*. It includes an entry for each game in each team's 82-game regular season schedule, with additional information such as how far that team has had to travel since its last game, how many days have passed since that previous game, and various statistics relative to the opponent that evening, such as 2007-8 Winning Percentage, Goals Per Game, Goals Against Per Game, etc. For example, you can total the distance that each team will travel during the upcoming season, or find who plays the most back-to-back games. Check out which team faces the toughest opposing offenses, or which power plays…