Peter Chiarelli

Morning Skate: Chiarelli taking heat in Edmonton

gallery-peter-chiarelli-52414.jpg

Morning Skate: Chiarelli taking heat in Edmonton

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading after a rough weekend for the Justice League movie. 

 

*Radko Gudas was suspended for 10 games after slashing at the head of Mathieu Perreault, and it’s an appropriate sentence for a play that has no place in the NHL, and from a player that really deserves to get slapped around by the Department of Player Safety. Some like the Hockey News here believe it should have been a more severe suspension, but this is the right move with a player that’s headed toward a Raffi Torres sentence the next time he crosses over the line. Let’s hope the message finally gets through to a dirty player, but I’m not holding my breath given his past history.  

 

*Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is beginning to take some heat in Edmonton with a hockey team that’s performing way under expectations to this point. 

 

*All Alexander Radulov wanted was to feel like he was wanted, you guys. The Dallas Stars just so happened to say that to him in the form of money and contract years. 

 

*NHL.com does a Calder Trophy voting poll with their own staff and it looks like Clayton Keller is strongly in the lead, and that Charlie McAvoy isn’t getting nearly the mount of consideration that he should be getting right now. This is the only rookie averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game, people…c’mon now. 

 

*It’s officially over for the Montreal Canadiens just a couple of months into the season, and it may be for GM Marc Bergevin as well. I’m not sure the Habs are dead and buried quite yet, but Carey Price as a question mark certainly doesn’t help matters. 

 

*Hall of Famers Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne were both honored in Anaheim this weekend after their Hockey Hall of Fame honors last weekend. 

 

*For something completely different: Here’s a petition for fans to get a home release of the Zack Snyder cut of the Justice League movie. These people thirsting for ponderous, bombastic drudgery in their comic book movies amazes me. While I feel for Snyder and his family given their tragedy over the last year, I think his movies are god-awful and can’t fathom why anybody would be pounding the table demanding to see a cut that left the DC and Warner Brothers execs running and screaming for Joss Whedon. 

Could Peter Chiarelli have impact on David Pastrnak's contract talks with Bruins?

Could Peter Chiarelli have impact on David Pastrnak's contract talks with Bruins?

It’s been two full seasons since Peter Chiarelli was fired as the general manager of the Boston Bruins, but the former general manager still might have some say so over Boston’s salary cap situation moving forward. Chiarelli was pushed out in Boston as a result of a long stretch of poor drafts and some ill-advised contracts that edged the Bruins into salary cap trouble. 

He was almost immediately hired as general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, and it’s in that capacity with his penchant for giving out generous deals that he might just put the screws once again to the Black and Gold. It all relates to the unresolved negotiations between the Bruins and 21-year-old restricted free agent David Pastrnak as he hits among a talented pool of RFA’s that haven’t yet been signed by their teams more than week since the July 1 open of free agency.

Don Sweeney said last weekend that he continues to speak with Pastrnak’s agent, JP Barry, and the hope is that the Bruins will close a long term deal with him sooner rather than later. 

“Just had some talks this week with [Pastrnak’s] group and hopefully that will lead to a resolution at some point in time, in the near future, but we have no timeline,” said Sweeney, while speaking on the final day of Bruins development camp at Warrior Ice Arena. 

To recap Pastrnak’s situation, there is virtually zero danger of an offer sheet being extended for an RFA in the world of the NHL, so the Bruins aren’t in a whole lot of real danger of that happening with their game-breaking right winger. Furthermore, the B’s have north of $13 million in salary cap space open to match any offer sheets that did theoretically materialize as they enter the typically quiet period of the NHL offseason. 

MORE BRUINS

Sources with knowledge of the negotiations said that progress was being made on a deal that would pay Pastrnak something just shy, both in term and AAV (average annual value), of the eight year, $49 million contract signed by Brad Marchand last fall. Something more in the neighborhood of six years, $36 million was thought to be what Pastrnak was looking at prior to Connor McDavid, Carey Price and Evgeny Kuznetsov all signing big money deals over the last few weeks.

It sounds like the Bruins have gone from encouraging progress to not much happening since McDavid, Price and Kuznetsov, among others, agreed to inflated deals that may lift the waters for free agent boats around the league when it comes to elite players looking for new contracts. None of them are straight-up comparable players to Pastrnak after his breakout campaign saw him net 34 goals and 70 points last season, but the bottom line is that elite, game-breaking players are seeing spikes to their market value.  

Getting back to Chiarelli and the Oilers, one player that is a direct comparable to Pastrnak is fellow 21-year-old restricted free agent center Leon Draisaitl. The young top flight Edmonton center is still unsigned after McDavid got his $12 million plus per year contract, and there were even mild Draisaitl trade whispers that the Oil won’t be able to afford both of those talented young centers.

Both Pastrnak and Draisaitl were first round picks from the same 2014 draft class, both had breakout third campaigns with comparable numbers and both have been brilliant performers on the international stage over the last couple of seasons. So it makes perfect sense that the hold-up for Pastrnak with the Bruins is simply waiting for Draisaitl to sign with the Oilers, and seeing if he sets a bigger, more lucrative market for his fellow restricted free agents. 

It could very well be that the talented, well-regarded Draisaitl tops $7 million in AAV with the Oilers when it’s all said and done, and that forces Sweeney and the B’s into inflating the final salary numbers for Pastrnak before it’s a done deal. Clearly the Bruins are going to do whatever it takes to lock down a player in Pastrnak that they see as a big building block for the franchise’s future, and that means paying more than they’d like to if it comes to that. 

It would just be the ultimate in hockey irony if it’s another helping of Chiarelli largesse in contract negotiations that ends up costing the B’s once again in the end.

Bean: Yes, the Seguin trade was a disaster, but let's talk about the Hayes trade

Bean: Yes, the Seguin trade was a disaster, but let's talk about the Hayes trade

Did you hear the Bruins are buying out Jimmy Hayes? Did you know he was the last part of the Tyler Seguin trade? God, that trade sucked, huh? 

Yes, it did. It was the worst, but do you know what else sucked? The Jimmy Hayes trade and the Bruins’ motivation to do it. There can never be enough bashing of the Seguin trade, but Friday’s news shouldn’t change anyone’s opinion on that front. Let’s talk about the Hayes move. 

The Bruins intended to sign Matt Beleskey at the open of free agency in 2015, but they didn’t want to put the finishing touches on anything until they moved some money. Their way of doing it: shipping Marc Savard’s contract (two more years of a $4.017 million cap hit, which they’d in the past stashed on LTIR) and Reilly Smith (entering a two-year deal worth $3.425 annually) to Florida in exchange for RFA Jimmy Hayes. 

In other words, they swapped out Smith for Hayes, hoping to receive the same offense for less money. It wasn’t a bad plan in theory given that Hayes had just scored 19 goals at age 25 and that the Bruins had obvious reservations about Smith’s consistency. 

Yet despite the move being applauded because Hayes was a local boy and Smith was maddening to watch, Smith was the better player. Then Sweeney signed Hayes to a three-year deal worth $2.3 million annually. 

Hayes was a risky fit from the jump. In his introductory press conference, a question about him considering himself a power forward was laughed off, but it should have been an obvious concern. Hayes is not a physical player and Boston has not treated players with size well unless they’re absolute monsters. Hal Gill attested to this at the time. 

Smith went on to score 25 goals with 50 points in his first season in Florida. He then got overpaid on a five-year extension with a $5 million cap hit, regressed to 15 goals last season and is now a Golden Knight. 

Hayes’ 13-goal debut with the Bruins was considered a disappointment, but it was terrific compared to the two-goal, five-point season he mustered through 58 games last season. Rather than give him a third chance or bury him in the minors, Sweeney elected to use a buyout. 

Few Bruins fans lose sleep over Smith, but his trade, like a very poor man’s Seguin’s deal, represents poor asset management. The B’s turned Smith into nothing but dead money against their cap for the next two seasons. And they did it in order to sign Beleskey to a contract they regret through two of five seasons. 

Then there’s the buyout aspect. This is the second time Sweeney has bought out a player in as many summers. Last June, he moved on from Dennis Seidenberg, who had two years remaining of a bad Chiarelli deal with a $4 million cap hit. He then replaced Seidenberg by bringing back John-Michael Liles on a one-year, $2 million deal. This was, as it seemed at the time, the wrong move. 

Seidenberg was not worth $4 million a year anymore. Not even close. Yet the move was to keep him on the roster for one more year in a diminished role (such as the one Liles had), then buy him out with one year remaining on the contract. That way, the B’s would only have two years of dead money. Instead, they spent $3.16 million on his roster spot between the buyout and Liles’ hit, plus $2.16 million in dead money next season and $1.16 million in the two following that. 

In buying out Hayes, the B’s will pay $566,667 in dead money next season and $866,667 the year after after. It’s not the end of the world -- they’d have to pay $1.35 million against the cap next season by burying him in the AHL, but free agents would take notice of that -- but the money adds up when considering the B’s will pay $2.73 in dead money next season. 

So yes, the Hayes buyout officially ends the terrible, terrible Tyler Seguin trade, but let’s not forget the Hayes trade and its moving parts are plenty worth criticism on their own.