## Sunday, June 15, 2008

### Hossa and Malone

Much has been made of the recent report in the Trib and the Columbus Dispatch that the Penguins have offered Hossa a 7 year $50 million deal. While I believe most would be happy with the contract, as I would be, I still can't buy into a Hossa deal being equivalent to the end of Malone in Pittsburgh. I'm assuming Portzline and Rossi are speaking from what they've been told, and not their own look at the Pens' salary cap situation. Which means that Shero has made the call that either Malone will demand too much or that he could use the extra cash elsewhere. When we put out a call to readers to come up with contract ideas with a salary cap spreadsheet, 10 people got back to us with their own ideas. Seven out of the ten had Hossa coming back, but one spread sheet from Shawn had the closest figure to Hossa's potential contract at$7.25/year.

Click to enlarge

Shawn's idea was that if you give up on Orpik (which almost everyone suggested) and sign cheaper replacements for Roberts and Laraque, you can keep Malone for $4.5 and Fleury for$4.2 million. While this may seem low for Fleury, you could also find extra cash by getting rid of Sydor.

The general consensus ever since the Hossa trade is that Malone and Hossa cannot financially coexist. Its hard to argue with whatever Shero does, but I find it hard to believe he's completely given up on signing Malone. A hometown guy who loves the team with a chance to be a part of something special wouldn't take 4-4.5 million for 3-4 years? Even after the top 3 forwards on the team have indicated they would take less than they're worth? Both reports indicate Malone wants the cash, and you couldn't blame the guy if he chooses the extra money. When it happens, I'll believe it.

Frank said...

You can't leave yourself .02 under the cap. You have to take into account bonuses, which also contribute to the cap total.

Anonymous said...

quit throwing sydor under the bus...

also, it's cool to give Hossa and Malone pay raises, but that eats into money in later years needed for Geno, Staal, and Letang

Sid 8.7
Hossa 7.2
Gonch 5.0
Whitney 4.0
Malone 4.5
Fleury 4+

TOTAL 33.4 Million

Even with a 60 Million cap, this leaves 26 Million to spend on 19 other players or about $1.25 million per player. Any entry guys are going to make 550 to 850K, but draft pics need bonuses in some cases. Assume you will spend at least 6 Million on keeping Malkin and you are down to 18 players (including Staal and Letang) making 20 Million . Are you comfortable with lower draft pics or role players filling in? After all, Laraque, Ruutu, Roberts, Sykora, Gill all made more this year than the amount of money you have left, so you would have to find even cheaper role players than that. If it is me, I'm not signing Hossa, and I'm not overpaying for Malone or Orpik. You lay a precedent down that you come to the Burgh to win, not suck up cap space. Watch the season these guys enjoy next year. You think Malone would be so happy sitting out the postseason in Columbus with a pocket full of cash? I don't buy it. Besides I can find role players just as easily. Malone was the team's MVP. I can justify paying him fairly, but paying for Hossa is just stupid. It's like buying brand name clothes, you overpay for the name. JP Dumont put up similar numbers to Hossa and signed for$4 million a year. Brendan Morrow did the same and signed for $5 million last year. "Oh, but with Crosby he will score so much more." Maybe, but so will other people and besides Hossa was playing with one of the Top 10 talents in the league last year in Kovy. I'd rather see that money spent elsewhere. I Want To Fight Tom Brady said... If Malone took more money to play in Columbus, I would not blame him. That's all I'm saying tonight. O-H Sam said... frank- It was my understanding that bonuses average out as well. The average salary of 7.14 million for a 7 yr/50 mill deal would include any signing bonuses. Performance bonuses would be different, but are generally rare. The 0.02 is tight, but no one knows the exact cap number, plus he has an extra 100,000 from signing Hossa at a lower number than what he projected. Anon- First off, I like Sydor, but I think it is perfectly reasonable to think about trying to save his salary. Its just another option. I can see your argument, though. I'm probably dismissing our roles players too much. It looks more and more like Malone is out the door, which does seem like losing one of the locker room leaders. I've gotten to the point where I'm waiting for the first domino to fall before making any more guesses. Sam said... Anon- One more thing when I'm a little less tired: I agree that if we could pick up a player like Morrow or Dumont for$5M it would probably be the better move. Do you see a comparable player in the free agent class? I thought Michael Ryder might be a good bargain pickup since he had an off year.

Hossa had an off year on a very crappy Atlanta team. You say you can't use that excuse because he played with Kovalchuk. But the rest of the team sucked and the opposition could focus on that single line. When Atlanta made the playoffs the year prior he had 100 points, which shows his production when hes on a decent team. I think thats the more comparable number to Morrow and Dumont, who both play on two playoff teams.

I still see your point about the role players, but I think theres too much emphasis being placed on how Hossa performed while toiling in Atlanta for the majority of the season.

Anonymous said...

Sam,

What happened with the Tampa Bay model? Could you refresh my memory? I'm not sure, but I have heard you say you are against it.

Pat said...

just got in from a long trip, so I'm behind on everything. But...yes, the Tampa Bay formula thing worries me a little. And who said that malone was the "team mvp". what? of what team?

Frank said...

Sam - I was talking about performance bonuses, and they're certainly not rare. In fact, they're so common that some teams think that it's important to leave at least 4 million dollars under the cap to allow for it. If the performance bonuses exceed the cap for year 1, the cap is reduced by that much for season 2. Don't underestimate that. Shero won't. I really love this blog, but you need to understand the economics of the game.

Anonymous said...

@Pat

"Player’s Player Award – Ryan Malone

The players hold a vote at the end of the season for the player they feel exemplifies leadership for the team, both on and off the ice, a player dedicated to teamwork. Sponsored by the Local Pittsburgh Dodge Dealers"

...right off the Pens website

Wouldn't you want a guy back who the team views as a leader?

Anonymous said...

@Pat

"Player’s Player Award – Ryan Malone

The players hold a vote at the end of the season for the player they feel exemplifies leadership for the team, both on and off the ice, a player dedicated to teamwork. Sponsored by the Local Pittsburgh Dodge Dealers"

...right off the Pens website

Wouldn't you want a guy back who the team views as a leader?

Pat said...

gooooootchya. My fault - like I said, been gone a little while.

Malone grew on me a lot this year, and I can see why the team voted him as MVP. Put him on the PK, the PP, infrnot of the net, in the corners...he pretty much succeeded in any role he was asked to fill.

Sam said...

Frank - I knew the performance bonuses were different, and that if you exceed the cap with them it carries over to the following year. In any given year they can only give out bonuses that would potentially go above the cap by 7.5%, or in the case of this past year, $3.725M. This isn't the$4M you were talking about, right? I was wrong about their rarity. I was looking to see if I could find the number of players with performance bonuses but I couldn't find any data. Do you have a source? Not calling you out, I just would like to see it to get an idea.

Even if they had bonuses you would just have to factor that in on the spreadsheet. No matter what, in any given year, Shawn wouldn't give Hossa more than \$7.25M, including any bonuses.

It might actually be a decent idea in the case of 09/10 to give out bonuses that would exceed the cap, since that year figures to be the tightest. It might also be colossally stupid, but I bet Shero has explored that avenue.

Thanks for reading and commenting, though. I'd rather to be shown to be an idiot (like in this case) than not have active readers. Let me know if I'm screwing up anything else.

Rick said...

On the bonus issue

"What players may earn in performance bonuses?

Performance bonuses will only be permissible for the following types of players: (1) players on entry-level contracts; (2) players signing one-year contracts after returning from long-term injuries (players with 400 or more games who spent 100 or more days on injured reserve in the last year of their most recent contract); and senior veteran players who sign a one-year contract after the age of 35."

In other words, Hossa, Malone, Orpik and basically a lot of people can not earn bonuses. That is right off of the CBA.

Hope this helps

Frank the Tank said...

Good stuff Rick. That just about clears up that issue, although I think other Frank's desire to leave some bumper room isnt a bad idea. Just not for the purpose of performance bonuses.