So, the question I hear (read) asked a lot is weather or not a player is worth his contract. The last two I just read are Rob Blake (2 years @ $6 mil each) and Brendan Shanahan (One year @ $4 mil). Well, is Blake a $6 million D-man? For the moment, yes. But that could change, mostly in reflection to the rest of the league. But it’s going to take another Stanley Cup to prove it.
The Carolina Hurricanes won the cup based on a few things, one of which was team make up, but another was how that team was made up towards the rest of the league. In other words, it was the right combination at the right time. But they had a lot of things that other teams will eventually gravitate towards. Such as youth, team spirit (when was the last time you saw that?), speed, and skill. Which also, just makes sense. Of course, they would have been victims a few years ago, and the team was (not this team make up, but the canes).
But for GMs, who still have the sins of the past to shake off, the learning curve isn’t so much about learning as it is about proof. Remember how everyone was praising the Penguins for their off season moves last year (until they got Jocelyn Thibault, I mean, come on)? Then they tanked, and you would think the proof was right there, concrete evidence that spending on names and faces does not a hockey team make (like the Rangers proved pre-cap). And still, the cycle goes round.
Free agent frenzy was just a symptom of fear. Nobody wants to be Chicago, and get left out in the cold, when you have real needs. But smart teams, or smart GMs, can pinpoint what they need, and get it without having to bum rush the stage of free agents. Just get what you need, don’t make too big a splash, and fix only what’s broken.
Fear is what keeps the contracts being handed out from being reasonable. Teams who failed to make the playoffs or had awful showing are doing a lot of large dollar signings. But give it a few years, and, just like the rule changes, things will get under control.
Inactivity is not necessarily a sign of a cool hand, or a level head, But to take a step back, not be too reactionary, and really look at your needs, that may save a team, and the league.
Also, Off Topic, I just heard on XM Radio, don’t let your dog hang his head out the door. It’s unsafe. If dogs had hands, they would shoot themselves.