Tuesday, August 02, 2005

More free agent fallout

The signings continued today, and I remain stratching my head.

The Chicago Blackhawks, who have about as much work to do to regain their status as a legitimate franchise as anyone else in the league, signed workhorse defenceman Adrian Aucoin to a four year, $16 million contract, which, while a lot of cash in a $39 million salary cap system, isn't an insane number.

If you read my free agent preview yesterday, you'd know I'm big on Aucoin as a player, and I'm sure he'll do well for himself, but once again, we have a player making finances his top priority. Of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, and it's pretty much been that way for as long as I can remember, but for whatever reason, it was believed things would change in the post-apocalyptical NHL world. I suppose we should've known better.

I just hope that if, in two years, salaries are out of control and teams are having trouble fitting their payroll into the cap, they don't blame the players for being greedy when, last time I checked, it wasn't Adrian Aucoin signing the check to himself.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers continue to retool after losing Vladimir Malakhov and Mattias Timmander to Europe and buying out John LeClair and Tony Amonte last week. They signed three linebacker sized defencemen, inking Derian Hatcher, Mike Rathje, and one-time Flyer Chris Therien to deals today.

Now, call me cynical, but are these three signings absurd to anyone else?

In this new NHL, where (allegedly) speed will be of the essence and obstruction at a minimum, do you really want half your defence core to be 6-5, 230 pound guys for whom footspeed is as foreign a concept as a single course meal? Throw in the fact that all are over 30, which is more of an issue for big players, and you have some very legitimate concerns.

I realize Bob Clarke, Ed Snyder, and Flyers fans have a longstanding large man fetish, going all the way back to the Broad Street Bullies of the 70's, but it's time to update your philosophies fellas. The game is changing, and you're going to be left behind wondering what happened. Again.

As for Bobby Holik going to Atlanta for $4.25 million, well, if you read this blog, you know how I feel on #16. Good luck to the Thrashers.


At 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the flyers signings make sense. They have 2 young fast guys in Pitkanen and Seidenberg, plus Kim Jonsson. They have been mikssing guys that strike fear into opposing defenders for a few years now. Big, strong, tallenteed forwards like Hossa have been destroying them and they needed players to knock them down. The mix of big guys and smaller fast guys makes sense, even in the faster NHL.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Michael said...

*lmao* Oh man! You saved my night for me to read "longstanding large man fetish".

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

Off topic:

The yellow you use for visited links is extremely difficult to read on a white background. Any chance you could change it?

At 12:50 AM, Blogger InsultComicDog said...

Hitchcock apparently does not agree with the conventional wisdom that there is no need for large, stay-at-home defensemen in the "New NHL".

Come to think of it, they can make two line passes now, how fast do they really need to move?


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