CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH? Regarding Free Agents like Steven Stamkos

CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH? Regarding Free Agents like Steven Stamkos


According to some fans and writers, we can afford ANYTHING this summer! Let’s all get excited!


How? Well that is where it gets interesting…

The current mantra is that everyone wants to “dump” contracts.


How exactly do you do that? Reality is if you trade Bailey whomever takes him will want you to take a contract back or keep $$ to get a pick of some sort. THAT IS REALITY. Kulemin? Same exact thing but harder, because he has less value. How about Grabovski? Forget it. He has a serious concussion history… No trade possible.


Here is another dose of reality…  if you waive them you are likely to have to place them in AHL, but still paying the $$$ (aka: still on budget). This organization will not/can not pay dead $$ like NY Rangers or Chicago can do. So, this just won’t happen. These are items that simply are missing time and time again from those “dumping” magic pill solutions.


So this $$$ saving dream is simply incredibly naive and totally incorrect. Not so easy at all.


But the biggest item of just pure fantasy is going on with the rumors and unrealistic notions of the Isles being a player for Steven Stamkos this summer.


Stamkositis seems to be the same affliction as what fans are using for the contract dumps. Just not realistic with the money the Islanders have in their young forwards, defense and with the John Tavares contract coming up in 2 years.


Same is happening in regard to those who are in love with Milan Lucic’s size, despite nowhere near his numbers from the Bruins a while back.
Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but the next team that gets Milan Lucic (who has said he wants to stay in the West, by the way) will not get in the next  2-3 years what output he had in last 2-3 years. All you have to do is look at any player aging chart and follow his age and numbers. They decline.


In fact, that is the giant fallacy of counting on UFA’s in summertime. The entire list is flawed with aging veterans who will be overpaid for … because that is what happens this time of year.


So what we get is unrealistic spitballing and conjecture from pundits, bloggers, writers, and fans without actually doing the math.


The stories and rumors will fire fans up….and then, invariably, like clockwork, when it doesn’t happen fans will see the absence of these unrealistic notions just plied to their own narrative as proof of failure on the Isles. All when the entire enterprise wasn’t realistic in the first place.
Don’t like hearing we can’t afford Stamkos?


Isles have several players locked into long-term contracts that matter over the next several years. Tavares comes up soon.


So… if you give Stamkos $12/7 years, what do you give JT? Trust me, JT will get more, folks.


So JT then gets $13/8 years?


So now we have 25 million dollars locked into just 2 players.


Even if cap ceiling was $80 million in two years (which is optimistic), a little less than 1/3 of cap is now gone.


We are now left with  $55 million for 22 players.


Want to start adding up salaries? Or is your head starting to hurt?


Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk’s long-term contracts hit in two years at $11.5 million in 2 years. Travis Hamonic is just under $4 million. Anders Lee? Just under $4 million as well.


So that is just under $20 million for 4 more players.


Starting to sweat a bit? Adjust your collar a little and keep going. It gets worse…


We are $35 million now for 18 players. Do you think these players are less than $2 million each? They better be. because that would put us over the cap at $36 million.  Guess what.. many will be making more than $2 million, folks.


BUT WAIT… we forgot Brock Nelson!


Actually, I didn’t forget. I had him in my back-pocket for you to take out and hit you on the head. He is RFA that year.


Oh, and Ryan Pulock is over his ELC, and now an RFA. Adam Pelech? He was a RFA one year before.


Is the room spinning at this point? Math sucks, right?


Also want to resign Frans Nielsen, this summer? Must you have Matt Martin because of all those hits? Those contracts $$$ add up and add up quick. And nobody wants to bother with all these clear-cut items. Remember… even if you dump a player out from above, you still need to fill his roster spot!


Yet fans talk about us doing all this and also signing Milan Lucic at 6 mil, ha!!  Just think it through. The whole thing is fraught and flawed from the very start.


The math simply doesn’t add up because nobody is thinking or talking about the specifics. The specifics matter.


Only way signing Stamkos makes sense for the Isles is if they REALLY believe he puts them over top in next two years before JT mega bucks contract. Because once JT comes due, it is a giant hot mess with not enough cash to go around. If there is one thing that is clear from this past season or round 2 of the playoffs, is that they aren’t quite there yet.




The next time the talking head hockey guy or rumor hound is making these fantasies, do everyone a favor and send them a calculator.













Next blog we will address those players who can fit or be traded for. Stay tuned.

About B.D. Gallof


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