In yesterday’s Salary Project post, I took a look at Nick Foligno (as well as Scott Hartnell and Ryan Johansen). In it, I advocated for letting Nick Foligno walk after this season. That isn’t sitting particularly well with me right now. See, I love Nick Foligno. He’s probably number three on my list of favorite Jackets players (behind Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Murray). He seems like a great guy, he works hard, he does a lot of little things pretty well. So looking at comparable players around the league in terms of his age and offensive production, and seeing what the market was for those players was a little disappointing. I wasn’t expecting anyone outstanding to show up, but wasn’t expecting the kinds of guys still sitting as unrestricted free agents either. Continue reading…
Ahhhhh the doldrums of the offseason. With one major exception, everything in CBJ-Land is settled for the coming year. Even considering Ryan Johansen‘s lack of a contract, we still have a very good idea of what the Blue Jackets roster will look like for the coming year. The exact lines and defense pairings are still up in the air, but we can deal with that closer to when we actually get to see them. Right now there is one thing (almost) going on in the NHL: arbitration hearings. I say almost, as hearings basically NEVER happen anymore, with all the scheduled hearings getting canceled so far after the players and teams have come to agreements. However, I know a thing or two about arbitration in the NHL, having penned this article at the Score, this MUCH longer in-depth paper, as well as first hand experience working on NHL arbitration cases. I figured I’d take the arbitration approach to the current Blue Jackets roster. By looking at what players around the league would be comparable to the current CBJ roster based on their current seasons, we can see if their salaries (and by salaries I mean cap hits) are commensurate with what they contributed last season.
So how did I do this? Well I used a 15% filter (with exceptions noted) for goals and assists, a 25% filter for time on ice, a plus/minus two years in age filter, and of course a positional filter (although all forwards are lumped together). Those sets were used for every player, with a 25% filter for special teams play for players that warranted it. This was done over the last two seasons to find a group of five to ten players who best matched the CBJ player in question. Players on entry-level deals weren’t considered, as their contracts are not merit based (at least not NHL merit). I then looked over the resulting list and figured out where the CBJ player fit. That gives us a nice little range for what each player should be paid based on their market value (from last season), how they compare to players of similar ilk, and what kind of contract to expect for each player moving forward. For today’s post I’ll be taking a look at Cam Atkinson, Matt Calvert, and Brandon Dubinsky. Why didn’t I start with Ryan Johansen? Well the outrage from some mainstream media folks over the Dubinsky project is what initially led me to this idea, I wanted to do them by lines (more or less), and I can only do so much in one post (these are VERY research intensive). Don’t worry, Johansen will be in part two. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Late last week the Jackets announced the signing of 2012 3rd round draft pick Joonas Korpisalo. This is a bit of a surprise as Korpisalo had a up and down season that included missing time with injury. This signing also got the little hamster wheel in my head spinning because the Jackets goalie depth will be an interesting development this summer. I say this because after the top cop in Columbus, the Jackets only have two goalies under contract for next season whose only experience on North American size rinks is in international competition. Those two are Anton Forsberg who could see a game in Springfield before the playoffs and the just signed Korpisalo. Columbus backup Curtis McElhinney and Springfield 20 game winner (so far) Mike McKenna are unrestricted free agents while Jeremy Smith is a restricted free agent.
I and others originally thought Smith would push McKenna and earn an extension to serve as a mentor to either Forsberg or Oscar Dansk who, as of this writing, is still unsigned. I was surprised that Korpisalo was signed before Dansk but Korpisalo’s season ended before Oscar’s. I don’t see McElhinney being brought back and that means the CBJ will be going after a backup either by trade or signing a UFA.
After Marko tweeted that he had signed with the club last Thursday, it was finally announced today that the signing was official. The Blue Jackets have signed the 19 year old to a three year entry level contract. Dano is the third 2013 draft pick joining Oliver Bjorkstrand (still don’t understand that signing) and Kerby Rychel. Once his immigration paperwork is finalized he will head to Springfield to join the Falcons (if you think he’s heading to Columbus you stop that right now).
After a practice or two, Marko will probably start in the team’s bottom six (that’s the type of minutes he’s used to…sorry) and then hopefully he will move into the team’s top six or top nine as his game is gritty enough to play there. After finishing the regular season in Springfield, he can play in the playoffs no matter when he gets to Springfield as there are no longer clear dates defining when a player needs to be there to be eligible.
This summer Marko will take part in his second CBJ prospect camp and hopefully take part in the Traverse City Prospect Tournament next fall. As for next season, he can play in Springfield despite being 19 until late November since he was drafted from Europe. More than likely he’ll be joining Kerby Rychel and Josh Anderson as rookies next season.
Seriously folks. I know I seem to come across like the biggest Dalton Prout hater that ever lived, but I swear this has nothing to do with anything I’ve previously said on the man (or kid). I’ve usually had good things to say about Tim Erixon and Ryan Murray (and think Murray is legit), but those three guys have a much bigger hill to climb than you probably expect. Continue reading…
Less than an hour into this year’s unrestricted free agency word came in that the Columbus Blue Jackets had landed one of the biggest fishes in free agency (both literally and figuratively). Nathan Horton is officially a Columbus Blue Jacket. That feels nice to say. I have long been a huge fan of Horton, and he is the perfect fit for the Blue Jackets. A big skilled right-winger, Horton has no qualms about crashing and banging, brings it every night, and isn’t afraid to go to the net. Most importantly, he brings size to the Blue Jackets but in the right way to add size. Bringing in a 4th line masher who happens to be big is pointless, but adding a former 30 goal scorer who tops the scales at 230lbs while standing 6’3″ is how you need to do it. Continue reading…
Contracts, Roster Review, Roster Talk, Team Discussion / 6 Comments
This free agency preview is going to be a little different than I had planned on. I started out with the intention of putting together a lineup of the currently signed Blue Jackets players, where they fit in the lineup, and where holes still remained. The problem is that the Blue Jackets have such a versatile lineup, and enough prospects on the cusp of the NHL, that you can very easily put together a very solid looking lineup without adding a single player via UFA or trade. For example:
Nick Foligno – Artem Anisimov – Marian Gaborik
RJ Umberger – Ryan Johansen – Brandon Dubinsky
Matt Calvert – Boone Jenner – Cam Atkinson
Blake Comeau – Mark Letestu – Jared Boll
Fedor Tyutin – Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray – James Wisniewski
Tim Erixon – Dalton Prout
Sergei Bobrovsky – Curtis McElhinney
Not too shabby, eh? I think that is roster that has the potential to compete for a playoff spot in the newly designed Eastern Conference Division D (really hoping they come up with a better name than that). But that lineup does a few things I don’t think JD and Jarmo really want to do. It puts Murray and Jenner right into the NHL, something JD has only done once in St. Louis (David Perron). Usually he signs depth veterans, uses the youngsters as call-ups and makes them force their way onto the team (then flips the vets for picks later). It also has a number of players playing at a spot in their lineup that is probably above their heads. Continue reading…
The curtain rose on Draft Day 2013 with more subplots than your average bodice-ripper from the Blue Jackets’s perspective. Would Bobrovsky be signed? If not, would it be likely enough to avoid a big deal for a net minder? If not likely, how would the club fill the void? What deals could be done for scoring help? What caliber of prospects would be around for the Columbus picks? Who shot J.R.? Oops, sorry, got carried away there . . . (If you don’t get it, Google it, kids.)
Scene I — The Bobrovsky Reversals
The saga surrounding the re-signing of Sergei Bobrovsky had all the elements of a Cold War spy epic — Russian intrigue, a mysterious, little-known agent, conflicting messages and predictions of dire consequences if a negotiated peace could not be found.
As Sunday progressed, the pace of the drama escalated, waned, changed directions entirely — twice — and was then followed by a long and uneasy quiet. While the climax did not come until earlier today, by the time the draft wound down at 10:30 PM last night, the outcome seemed clear. The Coach was on top of it all the way, as documented in his Draft Day Live Blog. Continue reading…
While draft day left most looking ahead to the potential assets being acquired by Columbus, there was a story that slowly built throughout the day regarding restricted free agent and Vezina winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. Words like “optimistic” and “close” were used frequently, leading the masses to believe that a contract wasn’t a question of if, but when. A nice change from the conversations suggesting the KHL was calling and offering big money.
Monday did not disappoint, with the news slowing starting to trickle in from various media sources claiming a two year deal was made. The explanations, ranging from three million per season to six million per season, were confirmed shortly thereafter at two years, with an average cap hit of $5.625 million.
There are a lot of positives to take out of this deal, with plenty of questions left unanswered.
Exciting news out of the Blue Jackets front office in the middle of our week as restricted free agent Artem Anisimov has signed a three year contract extension. This deal will lock him in until the end of the 2015/2016 season, at which point he will become an unrestricted free agent at the age of 28.
His most recent contract, a two year, 1.875m average cap hit, saw him play to very solid depth potential. Being utilized in a scoring role as well as a defensive role, Anisimov proved that he is a multi faceted asset worth a decent raise. He also managed to impress the fan base quickly, showing that he could be a great asset to the team both on and off the ice.