bekim

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About bekim

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  1. 2015-16 Training Camp Thread

    For those who have watched the majority of the pre-season games, how would you letter-grade each Devil of interest? Ie, A+, B-, C, D, F, etc. I haven't gotten to watch enough of it. Specifically, how do people grade the following this pre-season: Tlusty Josefson Palmieri Boucher Zacha Stempniak Matteau Kalinin Larsson Merrill Severson Moore Gelinas Schlemko
  2. I really can't wait for TOR to sign Gomez.
  3. Your Thoughts About: #19 Travis Zajac

    All those things are true. And yet, I'm unconvinced anything catastrophic would have resulted in the Devils having cut ties with Zajac. The team would have had to turn elsewhere for its marginal play driving. NJ was basically Buffalo-bad last year. At any rate, I am not advocating that NJ should have absolutely not re-signed Zajac. At the time, it seemed to make a lot of sense to make sure one of our guys was locked up, and after losing others, it was a calculated risk. LL calculated the money a little too highly in Zajac's favor, and that's all any of this is about - assessing Zajac as a team asset within the confines of his cap hit and actual team value. Had I been the GM at the time, I would have also tried to keep Zajac. But most posters on this forum view the Zajac question in black and white, which annoys me. As I said, he's a good player, who just doesn't happen to be worth his current contract for what he brings, which subsequently means that his contract is negative value. Many teams have these kinds of contracts. It's unavoidable in the cap era. All the same, it's still better not to have guys signed to overpayments, because cup teams are built on cashing in on player-value before the player cashes in on dollar value. With Zajac, we're starting from the rear, knowing his contract isn't a "good" one, ie, one where the player outperforms the dollars and nets us additional "value". Anyway, I like Zajac. I hope he has better fortunes. I hope he logs big minutes, can pot 40+ points and play well defensively. It is what it is. But on the question of value... his is a diminishing return, and it has been from the moment the contract got signed.
  4. Your Thoughts About: #19 Travis Zajac

    That's an opinion I can respect and say "sure, that makes sense." But may I ask a follow-up question (that isn't meant to be incendiary or anything)... can you define what you mean by "catastrophic"? What would not having Zajac meant for the past 2 years or the next several? For me, those types of exercises are difficult to prove out. Would NJ have been the worst team in the league last year? If so, would they have had a higher pick? Would Schneider have demanded a trade? Would NJ have signed an over-rated free agent center or traded for Mike Richards to fill the hole? I don't know. But catastrophic is a strong word, so I'm curious to know what it means. The Devils have lost several key players over the last two decades. I don't know that any of their losses produced an immediate catastrophe - ie, no tickets were sold, fans stopped coming, and the Devils had to move to a new city (which is how I would define it).
  5. Your Thoughts About: #19 Travis Zajac

    Didn't realize this was a discussion of speculative future bad contract or every other team's bad contracts. Thought it was a discussion of the corporeal Zajac in the here and now. My bad. I dunno that I ever said it was a "big deal." But 1 bad contract is something. 2 bad contracts is something worse. 3 bad contracts is worse still. Etc. Less bad = more better. That's the only point. Zajac's contract is not the worst in the league for what he brings. But it is an overpayment. I think this horse is dead though. People want to defend Zajac to no end and I guess that's fine, if that's the objective. But my objective was in discussing Zajac's value, not whether or not "it's okay to have a bad contract."
  6. Your Thoughts About: #19 Travis Zajac

    2 years in, it's a mistake. If the cap goes up by a crazy amount, the mistake doesn't seem as bad. But it's a mistake, and players over 30 don't generally get better than they were in their 20s. I think Zajac can salvage it if he can be a top defensive player and pot 50 points, but it's going to be hard to see it as anything but negative-value within the context of the cap. Is it impacting us now that we're gutted and rebuilding? No. Not at the moment. We'll see how it looks in a few years. But I believe contracts can be judged at any point. With the caveat that they should probably be re-judged annually. And since this discussion is taking place in the summer of 2015, that's when I am judging it. My 2 cents.
  7. Your Thoughts About: #19 Travis Zajac

    That may be - but that's an unknown. I don't think comparing 1 negative value contract (Zajac's) against future fictional contracts is a fair way of assessing a player's current (or projected) value. I hope NJ doesn't sign ANY bad contracts. Obviously they will because contracts are an exercise in negotiation and prediction. At any rate, Zajac is overpaid. He's not overpaid by 4 million or anything absurd like that. But he is probably overpaid by at least 1 million, possibly more like 1-2.
  8. Your Thoughts About: #19 Travis Zajac

    Seeing how NJ currently has 2 established NHL forwards (Henrique/Camm) outside of Zajac signed through 16-17, that's not really saying all that much.
  9. Your Thoughts About: #19 Travis Zajac

    Travis Zajac is a "good" player. But I think in the salary cap era, blanket statements about good and bad are themselves pointless. The question and discussion of usefulness should always be: "is this a positive-value contract within the construct of the team cap" or "is it a negative-value contract." And the answer to that might change even year to year depending on what kind of team is iced, how competitive they are projected to be, and so on. The internal discussion of Zajac is probably the most polarizing of all Devils' topics. Personally, I think Zajac is an excellent defensive forward and has a lot of in-a-vacuum-value to the Devils. I also think with the right amount of luck and confidence, Zajac has the skill [potentially] to be a 60 point player in this league. All that said, do I think his defensive value and his generally-unrealized offensive potential warrants a cap of his magnitude within the construct of the team and league-defined maximum? I do not. I think Zajac is a nice player with a nice skillset, but I find his contract to be negative value. It's not so bad as to be an anchor or anything, and he's not the reason NJ is an unsuccessful team, but paying him what the Devils do, he isn't worth the money. If the Devils were say in a situation like the Rangers and were inside a cup-window, then yeah, maybe the contract makes more sense. But since NJ probably won't be good for 3 years, Zajac will be 33 at that time and probably much less relevant. Overall, the contract was a mistake. It didn't ruin us, but it certainly didn't help.
  10. Right, unless it involves trading for Gionta or sending us JVR, what's to follow?
  11. Your Thoughts About: #15 Tuomo Ruutu

    Never got a fair shake. Would love to see Ruutu used in some different roles and to see what he could bring across different spots in the top 9. He scored 57 points 5 years ago playing a top role in Carolina, and I believe played center as well as the wings. Granted, he was 27 then and is now 32 or so, and I don't expect that to ever happen again. But I could easily see Ruutu being a great utility player for NJ who could be used in various situations. He's definitely more skilled than your typical grinders, and I think a spot on line #2 for different stretches would suit him nicely. Will he put up 57 points? No. But I wouldn't be shocked if this guy has 40 points in him given the right rhythm and linemates. More realistic for this coming season is maybe 15 goals and 15 assists, and then likely fades into UFA. But if he does well, wouldn't mind him back on a short-term 1 or 2 year (much cheaper) contract.
  12. Devils 2014-2015 Off Season Thread

    just for the purpose of having some nhl bodies - since our roster is scrappy at best right now - does anyone think a C/RW such as Eric Fehr makes sense? he's more a player suited for an already-good team to be a compliment. but he does seem to be capable of scoring 15-20 goals in 3rd line role (plus he can play center). i know these names have been dragged through the mud already, but after the semin signing, they are starting to fall off the list. i could see a 1-2 year deal making some sense, but i could also see shero not looking for his type right now.
  13. Is This the Patty Elias Swan Song Season?

    Thanks! I don't post often here, but I've been around for a while and try to do what I can when I have time. I do read the board every day. :-)
  14. 2 years - One way contract for Matteau

    I think if he's a cost-controlled 4th liner who can chip in for about 10 goals a year with hard nosed play, that would be fine. He's not the make or break piece of the rebuild. Sure, he's a first round pick, but it's not like he's a top 10 pick by any means. The Devils have plenty of need for talented forwards who can play scoring roles in the top 9, but expectations should probably not fall on Matteau to be one of them. Who knows, maybe he takes more of a Randy McKay path, carving out a feisty role, and maybe one day trying to move up the lines.
  15. Does Patty retire after the upcoming season, realizing New Jersey is in a true rebuild, and that his two cups and many records are both huge team and personal achievements? Or do the Devils sign him to a 1-2 year contract (after this year) to help serve as a functional any-spot player, seeing how there may be several open roster spots in 16-17 with the departures of Zubrus, Gionta, Ruutu, Tootoo? Just food for thought, as the Martin St. Louis retirement made me think about this.