Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Logic of the Bargain

We've been listening to Brian Burke holding forth with the press in Toronto, and it is like sitting in on a seminar in long-term planning. The money quote from Burke was this...

"I'm scared to death of 2010."

And in that, you might see why the Caps did not make a deal today. Rule One of cap management these days is to get bargains, and that means guys performing -- and contributing -- on their entry or early career contracts. If you deal those guys for rentals or players with term left on their contracts, you run a substantial risk. If the cap contracts in 2010 due to bigger problems in the larger economy, and you've moved your young guys for short-term -- not to mention uncertain -- benefit, you have decimated your capacity to get bargains.

Guys like Karl Alzner, Simeon Varlamov, John Carlson, Oskar Osala, Michal Neuvirth...they and others might be contributors in 2010/2011. They will be bargains if they do so, allowing the Caps to keep guys like Semin, Green, and others without shedding other salary and becoming what Tampa became...a shell of Lecavalier and St. Louis with little else underneath.

As Burke put it, GM's aren't interested in the snapshot, they're looking at the movie. It suggests a longer view than a lot of fans have, especially when their team didn't make any deals today.

Another thing to keep in mind...NHL teams are permitted four recalls after the trade deadline. It will be something to watch.


Anonymous said...


When you say 4 recalls, is that a limit to how many minor leaguers the Caps can call up? or does it mean that the Caps are allowed 4 recalls without having to deal with waivers? Or am I way off here?

Anonymous said...

Same question.

The Peerless said...

I believe it's the former.

Christopher said...

While I totally agree with what you say, I just want to point out that the reason that Tampa started to suck was that they didn't draft for crap. Since 1998, their draft efforts have only turned out a couple players worth anything (Ryan Craig, Paul Ranger).

If the Caps are going to keep their expensive core together, they'll need to do a better job drafting than the Bolts.