Sunday, July 09, 2006

Too good to be true indeed

Alas, my dream of seeing Mark Bell come back to Ottawa is not to be. We came close though.

A three-team deal has been completed between the San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, and our beloved Senators. It breaks down like this:

To San Jose: Mark Bell
To Chicago: Martin Havlat & Bryan Smolinski
To Ottawa Tom Preissing, Josh Hennesy, Michael Barinka, & a 2nd round pick in 2008.

Havlat, who was so clear about not signing a contract and wanting to test the UFA market next summer, turned around and inked a new deal with the Hawks that will pay him $18 million over three years. Showing that money talks and bullshit walks.

I'm going to reserve comment on the deal until tomorrow, when I have some time to digest it and, frankly, become more educated on the guys we've got coming our way, because as of right now, outside of Preissing, I don't know very much about them.

I will say, bravo to Allan Walsh, Havlat's agent, for getting his client this contract. To say it's an overpayment would be unfair to the phrase. It's laughable how crazy that contract is.

Make no mistake about it, Havlat is supremely talented, but contracts should be based on results, and in that sense, Havlat is not a $6 million player now nor do I ever expect him to be. He's not worth as much as Patrick Elias, Marian Hossa, etc., and certainly not more than Peter Forsberg, but that's where he's situated.

I would say Hawks fans will see that contract's absurdity when Havlat disappears in the playoffs, but the truth is, I doubt Chicago will be appearing in those kinda games anytime soon.

See Marty. Can't say I'm sad to see you leave.

I'm bummed Bell isn't coming to Ottawa, but I should have known better.


At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

I can't say I'm thrilled with the deal, but I'm definitely glad to see Havlat and Smoke off the Ottawa payroll and out of the Senators' lineup. Both players would have been well overpaid had they remained in Ottawa. Good riddance.

Frankly, I'm intrigued with the acquisition of Preissing. He's only making $600K and I can see him easily being a third or fourth defencemen. We can never replace Chara, but I think our defensive group is becoming a lot more rounded in terms of its skill set. Let's just hope we can defend. Heh.

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Nick said...

I think Muckler pulled off a tour de force here. I hope Mucks said to himself "That's what you get for shipping me that bum Arnason." Smolinski's contract was far too heavy and I thought we'd be stuck with it forever. With a bunch of arbitration cases on the way, it should make things a bit easier for Mucks over the next few weeks. Preissing is ready to break out after a great year in San Jose. The other prospects I know nothing about. But Havlat's new contract really says it all. $6M/year? See ya later, Marty, and enjoy another ten years of futility, Bill Wirtz.

At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Could you, perhaps, provide an updated chart of the Ottawa payroll as it stands now? My current estimations has the Senators committed to approximately $35.1M in salaries, with Schaefer, Vermette, Neil, Kelly, and Schubert still to sign. That leaves only $4.9M to sign the guys presently left to sign,.presuming Muckler sticks to a self-imposed cap of $40 million. Is there any room for a guy like Peca, Perreault, or Carter? It would seem it's not likely.

At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Hondo said...

This deal is crazy in my opinon. I know very little about the players we're getting, but this is kinda looking like a scaled down version of the Thorton trade and we all know how that turned out.

At 11:28 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Thorton wasn't asking to be traded and neither was it a salary dump. The circumstances surrounding Havlat's contract (or lackthereof) were completely different. Anyone who expected equal value for Havlat would be kidding themselves. Ottawa couldn't afford to get another player earning much more $1M.

At 12:33 AM, Anonymous said...

I don't think Smolinski was not overpaid but he wasn't really needed in the Sens lineup and was expendable. He just didn't bring anything different than half the other forwards in the Sens lineup.

Priessing is a good offensive defenseman and with Preissing and Corvo they will more than offset the offense lost by Pothier and Chara leaving. The Sens will miss Chara's size, strength, defensive ability and 28 minutes of ice time. Corvo and Preissing won't make up for that.

An updated salary chart can be found at and I am sure Chris will post and updated one tomorrow. On top of the ~35.2 million already committed I expect Schaeffer to get close to $2 million, Neil and Vermette to get around $1 million each, maybe a bit more, Kelly around $750,000 and Schubert around $500,000. That would bring them close to $40.5 million with probably another 2 forwards to be picked up via free agency.

At 12:35 AM, Anonymous David Johnson said...

That should be my name, not my website, listed above as the author.

At 7:12 AM, Blogger milan said...

Havlat would meke a perfect sense for Sharks but if I understand it correctly S.J. wouldn't pay him that kind of money.
How do you think Bell would fit in Sharks?Is he C or LW?

At 9:09 AM, Blogger jinx said...

I do not really like this trade. Since coming to Ottawa, Muckler has allowed Ottawa's 2 great strengths (defence & wingers) to weaken consideably & he has done little to eliminate their serious weaknesses (center & grittyness). I doubt Gerber will really be a lot better than Lalime in his final year. I see a team in transition or lord help us in decline. I hope that I am wrong but I do not see a cup this year.


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