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bekim

Member Since 29 Sep 2005
Offline Last Active Today, 03:06 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: How many Devils fans that post here are following Lou in Toronto?

14 August 2015 - 10:25 AM

I really can't wait for TOR to sign Gomez.

In Topic: Your Thoughts About: #19 Travis Zajac

11 August 2015 - 03:02 PM

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.  

In Topic: Your Thoughts About: #19 Travis Zajac

11 August 2015 - 08:16 AM

No, you're right in general, Zajac's contract is not good.  That doesn't mean that signing that contract is a bad decision, though.  The truth is that the Devils haven't found a better center in the 2+ seasons since that contract was signed and none of their young players/prospects look close to being better, either.  Which was why that contract was signed - losing Zajac would've been catastrophic, and still would be, even though this team stinks.

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).

In Topic: Your Thoughts About: #19 Travis Zajac

10 August 2015 - 08:12 PM

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."  

In Topic: Your Thoughts About: #19 Travis Zajac

10 August 2015 - 03:57 PM

It's too early to call Zajac's contract a mistake.  The payoff isn't always instantaneous on these long-term deals. 

 

Also have to look at the time he was signed to it and all that was going on with the Devils, and what the alternative was.  Let him get to UFA?  And replace him with who?  At what cost?   

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.