See, there's this thing called a cap...

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Ohio Jones, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

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    CD - Columbus

    I had a drink with Jackets GM Doug Emerson last night, and took the opportunity to ask him about the Free Agent period currently under way.

    CD: Will Columbus be a player in Free Agency?

    DE: We've already had considerable success in the market, by being able to re-sign so many of our own potential free agents. Securing players like Shanahan, Kozlov and York to long-term contracts without having to bid against 29 other GMs enabled us to keep the core of our team together.

    That said, there's certainly lots available to interest a club. It's a very deep market, especially up front, and there's a few good names on D and in net as well, and a great crop of kids, especially from the college ranks.

    But deep market or not, I think we'll see a lot of competition out there, because of the great divide.

    CD: The great divide?

    DE: There's basially two groups of teams in the league - a group of mostly contenders who are managing right up against the salary cap, and a group of mostly non-contenders who have all sorts of cap and roster room. It's no secret that we're in the first category, while teams like Tampa and Los Angeles are in the second category.

    CD: And Buffalo?

    DE: Sure, Buffalo is one of those exceptions where they're a successful team that still has lots of money and lots of cap room. And of course they're going to be looking to defend their Cup, so they're going to be bidding. With so many teams feeling like they have lots of room, I suspect we're going to see the prices on free agents bid up beyond what would normally make sense in a cap environment.

    CD: But isn't the idea of coming to a Stanley Cup contender a draw for some players?

    DE: Sure, but there are a lot fo teams that might make that claim. At the end fo the day, though, we see time and again that the deciding factor is the dollars, and right now we're getting the sense that they're flowing pretty freely frmo a number of teams.

    CD: What does that mean for the Jackets' chances of picking up a free agent or two?

    DE: We have a pretty set roster, but there are a couple of holes we'd like to address, possibly through free agency. In this climate, though, I'm not sure that the players we'd be looking at will be in our price range, so we may have to come up with some alternative solutions. What's worse, with the cap set to increase for 2007-08, I expect we'll see several teams going through another round of Free Agent overspending next year. I'm not at all convinced that revenues will keep pace, so you could end up with a lot of unhappy teams in a year or two...

    CD: So what are the Jackets looking for?

    DE: Ideally? We could use one more HFNHL-ready defenceman, two more forwards and a goalie to backup Marty, but that said we've got a number of kids that may step it up to earn some of those spots. And we don't necessarily have to settle everything in Free Agency - there are avenues we can explore right up to the trade deadline. So I'm not concerned: while we're always looking for opportunities, I think we've still got a very competitive roster. Whatever happens, Columbus will be a contender again in the West this coming season.


    Milo Minderbinder
    Columbus Discoverer
     

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