Thursday, 9 July 2015

Quick Thoughts on the Stamkos Saga

When word came out that Steven Stamkos' agent and the Tampa Bay Lightning have yet to touch base re: a contract extension for the team's captain, the hockey world exploded.  People seemed to make a gigantic leap in logic by assuming that "the sides haven't spoken yet" equals "Stamkos actively ignoring Yzerman's calls so he can sign in Toronto."

(Search 'Stamkos' on Twitter.  I dare you.)

That's right!  The 'Stamkos to Toronto' takes are back in fashion.  It's really a great thing, to be honest.  If you're bored and not overly excited by the NHL on this July 9th, why not stir up a story linking one of hockey's brightest stars to the center of the hockey universe?  Tweet it.  Blog it.  Write up an article.  It's a genius ploy, one that generates oodles of clicks and retweets.  And the best part?  Rinse.  Repeat.  Do it all over again next week.  All of a sudden you're the most popular kid on the playground at recess.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Negotiating Contracts with Young Players is Risky Business

I wrote over at HockeyBuzz yesterday that the Tampa Bay Lightning are likely going to learn that salary cap casualties are a reality in today's National Hockey League.  That's the nature of the beast when a team has so much young talent on affordable, cost-controlled contracts.  Those contracts expire, and costs skyrocket.  Players like Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Victor Hedman, Alex Killorn, and Steven Stamkos will all need new deals within the next year or two.

Unlike in the real world, where some frown upon the idea of firing senior employees and replacing them with junior (read: cheap) workers simply for the cost savings, NHL teams rely on a revolving door of talent.  A dynamite core simply can't stick together forever in a hard-cap world.  The Chicago Blackhawks, as mentioned in my HockeyBuzz piece, are a perfect example.  Older, expensive workers (i.e. players) are shown the door when a new crop of cost-controlled talent is ready.  The Lightning know this, as they've worked those aforementioned names into the lineup over the last few seasons at the expense of guys like Vincent Lecavalier, Marty St. Louis, and Teddy Purcell, among others.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Marty St. Louis and the Tampa Bay Lightning are Linked Forever

Martin St. Louis, the man who defined everything Lightning for 13 seasons, announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Lightning Find Value by Signing Erik Condra to Three-Year Contract

The Tampa Bay Lightning signed former Ottawa Senators forward Erik Condra to a three-year contract worth $1.25MM per season this morning:

The 28-year-old forward spent the first five years of his NHL career in Canada's capital, after being drafted by the Senators in the 7th round of the 2006 draft. Playing largely in a bottom-six (fourth line) role over the last few seasons, Condra performed admirably for an Ottawa team that consistently surpassed expectations.