Thursday, June 26, 2014

News And Views Leading Up To The 2014 NHL Draft

Welcome to the time in the NHL calendar year where fans and media alike lose their fucking minds. The summer transaction period and draft only pale slightly in comparison to the trade deadline and even that might be questionable. It has become a "trade everyone / sign everyone" war cry from fans, and everyone is an expert. The entertaining part is watching fans completely ignore things like the salary cap, which is what brings us to this glorious day. There are two main subjects at hand, other than the obvious Draft tomorrow night in Philadelphia. The first development was that Patrick Sharp was reported to be on the trading block, and then was reportedly promised the opposite, according to his agent (who is employed by said player). The second development is the extensions of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Both of which will determine the face of the franchise for the foreseeable future. Let me touch on both of these, if I may. If not, tough, because "This is my house, Eddie!"

Patrick Sharp. The most handsome athlete in Chicago. Sharp is coming off a career year; one where he completely disappeared off the face of the earth for the final 2 months. He is also quickly wheeling his chair towards 35, and has 3 years remaining on a deal that tows a $5.9 million cap hit which also has a modified no trade clause. Details on the rink aside, there have been several whispers that Sharp is having some personal issues, possibly domestic, and it was also floated that Sharp had physical confrontation with an other Hawks player that may or may not be mentioned in this piece. These off ice issues would certainly explain why sharp was invisible for this year's playoffs. I cannot even begin to knock a player that has personal drama tumbling around in his head. All this coupled with the rumors that he has used his handsomeness to gain the company of some willing young hussies, not named Mrs. Sharp, could be a very good reason to dangle the dangler. At almost 33, he will not be able to keep up this production, and based on his accomplishments in the last 14 months, he has value. The problem here is that Sharp would probably not be a desirable return for a player like Kesler. Ottawa may be willing to bring a veteran winner, so that is a possibility. The moral of the story is that if the Blackhawks CAN get something worthy for him, they need to. It's part of the business of the game and he is not going to be any more ripe for the picking.

The second development is that, as of July first, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are in the final year of their deals. The Blackhawks do not want either player starting the season without an extension in place. Reports today said that their agent Pat Brisson has requested $12 million a year per player. REQUESTED. If I had to guess, and I will, we might expect a $9.5 Million to $10.5 million hit for these two players. $12 million per year is just too much at this point, if they want to Blackhawks to stay competitive. $24 million in cap hits for two players would be 1/3rd of the entire Blackhawks payroll, but then again this was reportedly only a request. These deals WILL happen so there is no need to worry. The golden geese are not flying away under Stan Bowman and John McDonough's watch, if they want to be employed much longer.

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