Off-season ramblings & still waiting on Doan…..

The off-season in review:                                                                                                  Minnesota won the Parise/Suter sweepstakes.                                                                              Rick Nash was traded from Columbus to the New York Rangers, giving him a chance to benefit from offensive line-mates & have a realistic chance at playoffs.                                Weber created drama by signing a ridiculous 14 year $110 million offer sheet with Philadelphia forcing Nashville’s hand to either accept it or let him walk. 6 days after the offer sheet, Nashville decided to officially match the offer, making Weber a Predator for life(& perhaps setting a ridiculous precedent for other players future contracts).                    The NHLPA & NHL head honchos are in the thick of meetings regarding a new CBA agreement & hopefully to avoid a lockout next season(I would not deal with that very well, nor would any other hockey fan, BUT that hasn’t happened yet, so lets cross our fingers that it doesn’t!)                                                                                                                               Marty Brodeur signed a 2 year deal with New Jersey, which basically insures that he will finish his career in New Jersey, playing his whole career for one franchise. This guy is an incredible athlete.

Where oh where will Shane Doan sign? Will it be Phoenix? Or will he go somewhere else? Doan is really taking his time in signing a contract & really considering both sides, not who is trying to sway him with money but which team he will fit best with. Rumor has it that he has met with/or talked with many of the teams that have shown an interest in him. I think he’d be a great asset on any team, particularly in blue & green! But really wherever he ends will be lucky to have his experience and leadership. I would love to see Doan stepping onto the ice in Canuck jersey next year, but like everyone else I will have to wait until Doan announces his decision officially.

A big question remains for Philadelphia. If they were willing to take the plunge with that HUGE offer to Weber, what does that say about Pronger? Will Pronger be available to start the season or play at all next year? If they lose Pronger for an extended amount of time or permanently that leaves Philadelphia with a HUGE whole in their defense. I really hope that Pronger is not done, it would be a terrible way to end his career, to be forced into retirement because of his concussion. He was shut down pretty quickly last year, and his symptoms were quite severe. Pronger is a huge presence on & off the ice. Philadelphia has not addressed the possibility, but by making the offer to Weber that they did , it makes one wonder why they would go to such extremes to sign him if everything with Pronger is okay. I guess we shall have to wait for some sort of official word from Philadelphia, but I really hope that Pronger is not finished yet, that would be so unfair for him to lose the game he loves before he is .

In other news, the Canucks have agreed to terms with forward Dale Weise on a one year deal.

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Philly vs. Nashville…will they or won’t they?…game, set & match?!

Its official as we all knew that would be by tomorrow. Nashville has matched Philadelphia’s offer sheet. Philadelphia set the precedent with that large offer & now Nashville must pay the price. WOW! The ridiculous pay cheque was coming to Weber with either team , but this is really going to limit the players that Nashville can acquire over the next 10+ years, and this fills only one void on their defensive back end. By setting a standard by which they are now paying Weber, I sure hope he’s worth the $14 million! (Yes he’s one of he elite defensemen in the league for sure! but he’s making more money then Suter, Parise, Kovalchuk, & CROSBY & the SEDINS[$6.1 million! steal of a deal for those Swedish twins!]?!) If there ever was any doubt as to who the face of Nashville is, there is no more…it is Weber who (even though he wanted out) is now a Predator for life. I’m just not sure that matching the deal from Philly in order to make the point of how Weber is an integral part of their organization was the way to go. This statement now puts them in a situation that will certainly limit them financially over the first 6 years($14 million years 1-4, $12 million years 5-6…or $80 million over those 1st 6 years of this lucrative deal! not to mention the bonuses that all nearly guaranteed). However if Nashville had let Weber walk, then that not only upsets fans BUT it costs them a high calibre player & no certainty in their defensive core& the value of their franchise goes down. I suppose Nashville didn’t want to give up Weber for merely draft picks…and having already lost Suter to free agency,  they couldn’t let go of another franchise player. Now Shea Weber who stated he wanted out of Nashville(or perhaps said to force Nashville’s hand) will be a Predator for life. Or will he? Most likely yes unless some absurd crazy block buster trade were to come up but the odds are low on that one. Weber who at one time said it wasn’t about the money, clearly let the money do the talking for him this time. Signed  & settled & Weber is a very very rich individual.

Rumor has it CBA talks have resumed. Lets all keep our fingers crossed that both sides can come to an agreement & we do not have to suffer through another lockout(like the 2004-2005 season).

Rumor has it that the drama of the off-season is not yet done & will continue into the season(I like to think positively that there will still be a season because thinking there won’t be just is unacceptable.)

Until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Columbus Captain is now –>Ranger NASH

Wow…its official. The Columbus Captain(former face of the franchise) is now RANGER NASH! The New York Rangers acquired Rick Nash today from Columbus in exchange for Erixon(defenseman), Dubinsky(centre) & Anisimov(centre) & a 2013 first round draft pick. A lot of teams have been rumored to have been in the hunt for Nash(since last year’s trade deadline) & it has been known that Nash has wanted out of Columbus. The Rangers have acquired a great forward in Nash, and when he is surrounded by players that are also capable of being play makers & goal scorers creating a lethal combination. In Columbus, Nash was depended on to score as often as possible in order to win games with hardly any support from his team mates, but in New York he has the support of players like Callahan, Gaborik, & Brad Richards. It is Columbus that will be hurting in the loss of Nash’s offensive prowess. Columbus acquired some great hard working players who hopefully can help to bring back some excitement in hockey to Columbus(that has been missing since their playoff appearance in 2009). The Rangers with this trade have become one of the big players in the off-season, along with Minnesota(Suter & Parise), & the Weber drama still to unfold. Congratulations to the New York Rangers & to Rick Nash who finally got his wish to leave Columbus.

Its still quiet on the Nashville front regarding Weber with time quickly dwindling down & no decision has yet to be made. There is no winning this battle for Nashville either they say good-bye to the 2nd 1/2 of their defensive pair having already lost Suter, leaving no certainty on the defensive core. OR they keep Weber by matching Philly’s offer but as I mentioned before that doing so would cripple them financially & prevent them from being able to afford the pieces to build a quality team around him. Ultimately by Weber signing this offer sheet, it states pretty blatantly that he DOES NOT want to be in Nashville any longer now that Suter is gone.

Rumor has it that Ryan Kesler could be ready for the Vancouver Canucks 2012-2013  season opener October 11th. That could be amazing if it is true. As he had surgery much earlier this year(end of April rather than June), returning in time for the season opener is certainly plausible(*4-6 months recovery). However I would like to state that should he not be 100% for the opener then I would rather he waits & comes back when he is 100% & able to fully activate beast mode.If Kesler is 100 % & beast mode ready that would be AWESOME but that day comes in later October or early November that will just make his debut more exciting.

That is all for now as the NHL still awaits the final word from Nashville and any other off-season drama to unfold. October 11th cannot come fast enough for me:)!!! Until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

Still waiting….

Well the days are ticking away as the entire hockey world awaits the Predators decision regarding Weber, will they let him walk, letting him leave Nashville? Or will they match? As the days of will they or won’t they continue, this week begins the arbitration hearings for the RFA’s determining their salary & whether or not they re-sign with their current teams. Change or no changes prior to the start of the season can make or break you….look at Philly last year…they traded BOTH Carter[to Columbus] & Richards[to LA] before the season even began to 2 separate teams BUT both by the end of the year were celebrating as part of the LA Kings victory). For LA who picked up both those players….it made all the difference by June & Philly wasn’t so lucky.

Rumor has it Doan who the Canucks & five other teams are actively pursuing(having offered him a formal contract) & even more teams that have interest in him; is taking even more time to come to a decision that best suits him. In his case when he says he’s not in for the money, I believe it unlike say with Weber who said the same thing($14 million….seriously not in it for the money??! is he serious?! mind still = boggled by that number!!). I like that he’s wanting to see where he’d be the best fit & which ever team does land him, gets a guy who can still score & play defensively but also brings maturity & experience. I’d love to see him in Canuck colours next year, but odds are high that he stays with the one & only organization that he has ever played for. Doan is the type of player that you hope others emulate, and that everybody respects. Any team will be lucky to have Doan as a member of their team.

Each day gets us a little closer to October and you know that means?!It means hockey is finally back!! (heck I’d even settle to watch a pre-season game right now!) Just a warning I will get super excited when the 11th finally arrives & might drive a few of you crazy(my family would prefer that probably!) But I digress, until next time & more drama unfolds to comment on, nuck said!

Sarah E.L.

Crazy Contracts

Well with this latest long-term deal that Weber is about to sign officially(whether with Philly or Nashville) it highlights even brighter that craziness that is these long term contracts. The last few years have brought about many of these long-term deals -Kovalchuk w/ New Jersey, Ehrhoff w/ Buffalo, Crosby w/ Pittsburgh, Quick w/ LA, Staal w/ Carolina, Suter & Parise w/ Minnesota & of course the potential Weber deal to name a few, all ranging from 10-14 years in length. These are becoming a frightening trend amongst big names & tend to be heavily front-loaded…Crosby, Suter, & Parise all will make upwards of $12 million next year whereas Weber will make $14 million….a hefty price tag for all teams involved. It blows my mind to think that Weber will not only be the highest paid defenseman in the league, but the highest paid player in the league period. Which when you compare these mega salaries to the Sedins who seem even more like a bargain @ $6.1 million per year. In the last 3 years, the Sedins combined have won 2 Art Ross trophies, 1 Hart trophy, & 1 Ted Lindsay trophy. It makes me appreciate them both even more every time another outrageous contract is revealed & if there ever was any doubt that they were not interested in where the most money will be offered but rather the team’s desire to win, that doubt should no longer exist. Crazy contracts seem to be the norm as there are more signed each year, & each year a new extreme reached such as with Weber. I’m sorry but $14 million for a defenseman?! Yes he’s one of the top defensemen in the league BUT that is more than ANY other player in ANY position! I think $14 million is too hefty a price tag for any player to demand from their team especially in this salary cap era. I think it an extreme for Weber to insure that he gets his way….and I’m sorry BUT $14 million still just boggles my mind!! I guess the absurdness of its length & worth will continue to shock until the next crazy contract comes to light(*pending the conditions of the new CBA when both sides finally reach an agreement).

Nuck said. Sarah E.L.

I must also mention that my prayers & thoughts go the families &friends of the victims of the Aurora,Colorado shooting. I cannot even fathom what that community & the families are facing right now, but I do know that the power of prayer is stronger than even we can realize.

Weber 14 year offer sheet…Philly not Vancouver…..

Didn’t I tell you that the drama was still to come in the off season?! It is official, Shea Weber has signed an offer sheet worth 14 years @ +$100 million….all I can say is WOW!!!!!! We will see if Nashville decides to match this extraordinary offer or not. This means that any thoughts people had that Weber might be in a Canuck uniform next season should be forgotten.Weber will either be a predator or a flyer until the day he retires(unless of course that contract comes without a NTC & a trade occurs at some point). Not matching this offer would give Nashville 4 draft picks as compensation.

This potential offer that Weber has signed with Philadelphia, raises the question about Pronger. What does this mean for Pronger? Does this mean that truly he is done(*possible retirement?) due his concussion & Philly desires a replacement for his on-ice abilities & presence on the team? I think if this is the case, Philly will miss have Pronger on the point & it will be unfortunate if his career is indeed ended this way.

It will be interesting to what this means for the Predators if they lose Weber, and interesting what it means for Philly either way. One thing does seem certain though, Weber will not be becoming a Canuck in the near future(*unless through some extreme circumstance of a trade that would have to benefit both sides.)

That’s all for now! Nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

p.s. I think the Canucks should re-sign/extend Edler stat!