Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Good and the Bad Part IV - 1 Year Contracts

Hello again fans. This is Part IV of the Voice's ongoing debate on what is good and what is no so good about a particular subject on the New York Islanders. I will present 3 points supporting and 3 points dissenting a particular statement about the team and why. I invite all of you to "voice" your own opinions on what you agree and disagree with.


This weeks subject are the 1 year contracts now being played out by Mike Comrie, Trent Hunter, Ruslan Fedotenko, Bryan Berard and Sean Bergenhiem. The Islanders after buying out Alexei Yashin's remaining contract at a cost of 17 million dollars, signed 4 free agent players to 1 year deals, 3 from outside the organization. Lets get right to the bad -

THE BAD -
1) It shows an unwillingness on the part of players to make a long time commitment to Long Island as a hockey destination. The constant complaints about the state of the facilities, the previous problems with ownership and the lack of competitiveness of the team itself are some of the reasons why.
2) It creates all of the same problems we had this past off season - that despite the state of the teams won loss record at this point the team could lose a good portion of its roster to free agency once again. If they don't sign them to extensions, they risk losing them to richer teams again.
3) It in the future will tempt players who want to use the team to get their careers on track instead of wanting to be a part of building a stronger franchise for Long Island.

THE GOOD -
1) Retains cost flexibility in case of injury or non performance. We all saw what happens with long term contracts coupled with complacency and injury (Peca & Yashin)
2) Makes these players more attractive to other teams looking to bolster their lineups in the event of a catastrophic drop in team performance.
3) Motivates the players to perform at their highest levels to earn a multi year deal and have the satisfaction of earning it from the team that they helped build into a playoff contender.

Please offer your thoughts on these Good and Bad points and feel free to add your own to the mix. Thanks for reading as the Voice moves towards 1000 hits. Thank You!!

FCT

7 comments:

Dominik said...

I think the one-year deals are a net good. The Isles have to build this way. Sure I'd love to net the top-tier free agents for 5 years, but since that isn't happening (yet), this is a great way to go about it.

As happy as I was about the Comrie and Fedotenko signings (I felt like they were each poised to excel), I think it would have been silly to give long-term deals to players still looking to prove themselves. The key is identifying the guys in that situation who will likely deliver.

Plus, if Snow and Nolan keep doing things right, and the one-year guys have positive experiences on Long Island (and maybe even renew), word will get around that it's a good place to play. Then guys will sign up for longer.

Finally, as the effects of the salary cap era settle in, after the absolute top-tier stars who get crazy money, there's going to be a thick "middle" tier of (non super-) stars who can't get much more money no matter where they go, so they'll choose their destination based on other factors. If the Isles keep doing things right, those factors (other than facility) will weigh in their favor.

- Islander Frontier

FCT4NYI said...

I agree with most of your points except for one. If the

FCT4NYI said...

oops... If the Salary Cap continues to rise, that fact will fade away. The Salary cap has gone from 39 million to 53. What is it going to be next year? The more money these teams (Rangers, Red Wings, Blues, Flyers) have to spend, the harder it will be for teams like the Islanders, Nashville, Buffalo and others.

FCT

Dominik said...

Good point. I hadn't considered that ... though I suspect the salary cap is going to level off (James Mirtle and some others have tried to determine if revenues are growing more from inflation, Canadian dollar growth, and rising ticket prices than from "real" growth). If that's the case, they may have a ceiling.

Not that I want growth to slow, but if it does, some of those huge, seven-year deals could become albatrosses.

FCT4NYI said...

We all know what contracts of that length can do to a team.

FCT

driveforfive said...

hey voice of the islanders how about we draft some talent for a change. then we can hold onto our homegrown talent. oh yeah just like the old days when picks were kept and became stars. trots bossy potvin etc. thats why you embrace the old islander teams not only because they won but because you watched them develope.its ashame the isles have to beg average players to come here, even for a one year contract. they had the blueprint from torrey, keep your picks! bertuzzi, mccabe, dumont, connolly, brewer, luongo, heatley, spezza, chara, and so on. let them succeed or fail on long island!!

FCT4NYI said...

Obviously drafting talent is the best way to go to build a team THEN add the proper free agents to balance the team with what you need. The problem is the Islanders drafted very poorly in the Milbury/Maloney era, or traded all of thier top young talent. I dont want to get into what kind of a team the Islanders could have right now if they simply held on to thier draft picks and young talent but a short list - Spezza, Heatley, Mcabe, Luongo, Bertuzzi, Torres, Chara, Jokinen. Thats a pretty good core right there. Infortunatley through mismanagement and the necessecity to turn the team around fast led to the Islanders trading all of these players (Heatley would have been drafted if Milbury didn't trade Luongo and draft DP.). I know hind sight is 20/20 and I am not a fan of looking back. We have to look forward and hopefully the team will be in a better position to hold on and develop some more impact players. Okposo is one guy we should be seeing in the near future.

FCT