The Hitting Zone

The NHL just makes it up as they go along, why can't we?

Adams Wants a BIG Raise – Negotiations on Hold


My #1 priority for the Penguins this offseason was to resign Craig Adams followed by Mike Rupp.  I was taken back a little last week when I learned negotiations had not started with the Adams camp.  Now we might know the reason.  According to the PPG, Adams is looking for a raise a, big one.

According to Shelly Anderson discussions with Adams are on hold, but not broken off.  Adams made $550k last season, barely above the league minimum and was arguably the linchpin for the NHL’s best PK unit.  I’d be asking for more money too.    The pay increase is something the Penguins simply cannot commit to right now because they are already up against the existing cap of $59.4 million.  That ceiling is supposed to rise, but by how much and when it will be made official is the question. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by ozman51

May 28, 2011 at 12:01 AM

My Stanley Cup Final Pick


Boston Bruins vs Vancouver Canucks

Not that it will come as a shock to anyone who knows me or has read much of what I have written over the past week or so, but I want the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup.  It’s not an easy call for me to make, but I am making it.  Bruins in 6. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ozman51

May 27, 2011 at 11:04 PM

Double J Isn’t Seeing the Money He Wanted


There is a report in FanNation this morning that former Penguins great Jaromir Jagr is “not considering any offers from the NHL at this point“. That’s a pretty vague and ambiguous statement.  It is coming from his agent, Jaroslav Zidek according to Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov.

Q: How real is the NHL option? “I hope we will only negotiate with KHL teams. We have not spoken about a move to North America yet.”

Sorry everyone but to me that confirms one thing.  JJ is not willing to play for the minimum.  The “at this point” part of the quote screams to me that they are looking for a dollar amount from NHL teams that they are simply not seeing.  Jagr will be 40 this season and it is a huge risk to think of putting dough on the table in the salary cap strapped NHL.  Jagr is likely not willing to uproot his entire life for a one season run in the NHL for 500k.

If I were a GM, I couldn’t in good conscience offer much more than that if I were up against the cap with 10 forwards to sign.

Written by ozman51

May 25, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Why Even Play Another Series?


If you ask some hockey experts tonight we should just hand the Stanley Cup to the Vancouver Canucks.  After defeating the San Jose Sharks to win the Western Conference title and advancing to the Stanley Cup final on, without a doubt, the oddest goal I’ve ever seen (watch the replay above).  I’ve seen nothing but the absolute discounting of any potential east challenger by far too many Canadian hockey experts and some hockey fans.   According to @DarrenDreger it’s simply “Vancouver’s year”.  Some fans squawking at me on Twitter are already convinced that neither Boston nor Tampa Bay has a chance in hell against Vancouver.

We should just carve their names into the cup right now.

Why even play the games then?   Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ozman51

May 25, 2011 at 12:28 AM

Salary Cap Increase Will Provide Relief


At the annual conference of the Sports Lawyers Association over the weekend NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the NHL’s salary cap, which is tied to revenue, will rise again as it has every year under the current CBA to somewhere between $60.5 – $63.5 million.  The Cap currently sits at $59.4 million so this increase would give GM Ray Shero an additional $1.1 – $4.1 million to work with this off season.  Lets hope the number is closer to the latter. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ozman51

May 24, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Mike Richards Doesn’t Get It


Mike Richards, the savior of Philly hockey and the premier leader in professional sports according to anyone wearing a Orange jersey while urinating in a back alley off of Broad Street (and Pierre McGuire), has a problem.  He doesn’t understand his role as Captain of an NHL team and it turns out quite a few people, don’t think he’s too good at the job.

After a satisfying (my perspective) disappointing sweep at the hands of Boston the Flyers Captain has been under assault from members of the media.  Most notably is the exchange between Richards and Tim Panaccio (of CSN Philly)  almost immediately after their ouster on Twitter.

Richards got some more quotes out there today talking to Flyers Files’ Chuck Gormley that simply shows he doesn’t get the job of being captain.   Read the rest of this entry »

Written by ozman51

May 23, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Posted in Hockey, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers

Tagged with , ,

End of Year Awards Picks


I’ve done this the last three years in some form for public consumption.  Time to lay out my picks for the NHL awards. Some of these are sure fire misses but I make picks based on the intent of the award not the agenda of the NHL or sports media.  I of course will not be naming winners of automatic winners like the Rocket Richard Trophy. Also note not everyone I personally select is a finalist this year.

1. Hart Memorial Trophy: awarded to the player adjudged most valuable to his team.  Oz’s Pick: Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh Penguins.  No single player was more important to his individual team than the Flower was down the stretch.  Without him the Penguins do not hold on to fourth let alone eight in th East after losing their two highest skill players and then opening a M*A*S*H Unit in their locker room for much of the stretch run.

2. Vezina Trophy: awarded to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at this position. Oz’s Pick: Tim Thomas – Boston Bruins.  Timmy played in 57 games, went 35-11-9 with a 2.00 GAA and .938 Sv%.  No one better with that volume of work. Read the rest of this entry »

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