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MacKinnon signs extension with Colorado

Started by CarltonTheBear, September 20, 2022, 12:23:21 PM

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Significantly Insignificant

Quote from: Nik on September 21, 2022, 08:55:55 AM
Quote from: Significantly Insignificant on September 21, 2022, 08:06:00 AM
I probably should have used more words.

Those particular comments were levelled at Matthews, Marner and Tavares.  Here's why I don't really think that it's an accurate statement and hasn't aged well.

So, for what it's worth, I don't think those comments were directed at anyone on the Leafs. In the Forbes article that your link refers to the author, not Mackinnon, uses the Leafs as an example of a team that has cap problems because of how much is going to their best players and Mackinnon is quoted about talking about that situation in general. It's not clear he was even asked about the Leafs and Mackinnon is never quoted as saying anything specifically about the Leafs or any of their players. Here's the article for reference:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanhorrobin/2019/12/05/nathan-mackinnon-contract-underpaid-team-friendly-nhl-colorado-avalanche-shifting-rfa-market/?sh=15338d705c03

Quote from: Significantly Insignificant on September 21, 2022, 08:06:00 AM
On the first point that he took less so that they could build a winning team isn't entirely accurate.  He took what he was offered, which was less because at the time of him signing that contract, he hadn't lived up to his potential.  This idea that he took less because he was trying to build a winner isn't actually true.  He took what would have been considered fair market value for his level of play at the time.

This is a very fair point of view to take on Mackinnon's first post-ELC deal. It's so fair, in fact, that Nathan Mackinnon agrees with it. Again, from the above article:

Quote"I was just excited to get paid that much money at such a young age," MacKinnon said Wednesday from his visitor's room stall in Toronto. "Obviously it's pretty (team) friendly now, but I was worth that at the time ... I have no regrets."

That said, if I may be so bold as to disagree slightly with you and Mr. Mackinnon, I think the point the author is getting at is he didn't play hardball or try to negotiate a deal that paid for a lot of future growth which some guys do seem to be able to do. Mackinnon, on his ELC, averaged .70 ppg and got an extension at 8.63% of the cap at the time. Tim Stutzle, for comparison's sake of a highly drafted young player, has put up .66 ppg on his ELC and signed an extension for 10.12% of the cap. And Stutzle isn't all that isolated. Some first overall picks who signed RFA extensions for a higher % of the cap than Mackinnon got despite similarly not setting the world on fire on their ELC's include Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Aaron Ekblad, Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes.

So it's very possible that if Mackinnon had really gone to the Mattresses he could have gotten a deal worth more. A ton more? Maybe not, but the article also goes into how he didn't want to go the bridge route which is a common strategy for high draft picks who maybe haven't hit their full stride.

Quote from: Significantly Insignificant on September 21, 2022, 08:06:00 AM
Comparing what happened to him during his contract negotiations to Matthews and Marner contract negotiations isn't fair.  Matthews and Marner were living up to the hype, whereas he had not yet, and it was a gamble because he may not of.  Nobody levelled those comments at McDavid, why are Matthews and Marner held up as these players that don't care about winning because they signed fair contracts?  I mean this is a peer calling them out.

I agree. Players should be generally supportive of other players if they engage in tough contract negotiations in order to get a fair price for themselves. You know who else agrees? Nathan Mackinnon:

QuoteMacKinnon has noticed the uptick of RFA holdouts. If he had it to do over again, he might join the movement.

"I think you want to get paid what you're worth," he said. "I'd probably do the same thing. If a team isn't paying you what you think you're worth, holding out is something (players) are entitled to... I think it's going to continue that way."

Quote from: Significantly Insignificant on September 21, 2022, 08:06:00 AM
So now lets move on to Tavares.  It's possible that MacKinnon would have gotten more on the open market. I feel that the UFA contracts the last couple of years have been a little muted due to the financial situation, so it is in the realm of possibility that the deal he got from the Avalanche is pretty close to what he would have got on the open market.  It's hard to know, but he is making the most in the NHL now, more than McDavid, so I don't know how much further other teams would have been willing to go. I agree that it is possible he could have received a max deal from someone, but we don't really know what would have happened.

A max deal, as it stands now, would be more than 16 million per. I think that's pretty unlikely. But somewhere between 13-14? That strikes me as pretty reasonable considering the nature of the free agent market. Is taking between 2 million and 7.5 million less a huge sacrifice on a 100 million dollar deal? Not for me to judge but I think considering what Tavares, who I think we can all agree was a considerably less attractive UFA than Mackinnon would have been, was offered it's pretty fair to say that with a cap projected to go up by a fair bit over the length of Mackinnon's deal someone would have taken a big run at him.

Quote from: Significantly Insignificant on September 21, 2022, 08:06:00 AM
Regardless of what MacKinnon would have gotten on the open market though, we know that Tavares took less to play for the Leafs.  He did exactly what MacKinnon says he did.  So levelling that comment at Tavares seems hypocritical now.  If it's not about the actual dollars, and more about leaving money on the table, then Tavares did that to play for the Leafs, so that comment doesn't apply to Tavares.

Again, unless you have access to another source besides the link you quoted or the Forbes article, Mackinnon doesn't appear to have said anything about John Tavares.

Where this all started for me was I was listening to the TSN 1050 the other day and they were talking about MacKinnon's extension and what it was going to look like.  They made the statement of underpaid players coming in to Toronto and referencing that they didn't hold out of force the issue like those "Toronto boys" because they cared about winning.  They then used the quote I started with as a reference for what they were talking about.  I searched up the quote and then I tied them together, which isn't fair to MacKinnon.

After that the hosts launched into a bit of a diatribe about how Dubas hasn't been great at negotiating contracts. That's a narrative that I disagree with.  I don't think that the Marner, Matthews, and Tavares contracts are the reason that the Leafs can't get past the first round of the playoffs.  Dubas hasn't been perfect, but I also think that if you are going to call someone out for something, then at least call them out for something they actually have done poorly.

So with that said, yes, I don't have any actual quoted proof that MacKinnon directed those comments at the Leafs players.  It was all anecdotal so not something I can say he actually 100% did.

Having said that though, the comments do contradict themselves.  On the one hand he is saying that he took less on his first deal because he cares about winning.  Then in the next comment he admits that he wasn't really in a position to hold out and that is why he didn't do it, but if he was, he may have jumped on that bandwagon.  Which one was it?
"We can't change what's done, we can only move on." - Arthur Morgan


Significantly Insignificant

Quote from: Frank E on September 21, 2022, 06:54:05 PM
Both?

I don't think it can be both.  If you took "less" then that means that there was a value that was higher that you consider to be fair.  So if you are saying that you couldn't hold out because the situation you were in, because you didn't really have the leverage, then you couldn't have taken "less" then what was fair.  You took what was offered you because you knew it was the best offer.

In my mind it was either "I could've held out for more, but I didn't because I wanted to build a winner", or it was "I didn't have the leverage to hold out for more, and that is why I took what was offered me".  I don't think you get to play both sides of the argument because you have a bunch of great seasons that then make the deal retroactively look like an amazing bargain.
"We can't change what's done, we can only move on." - Arthur Morgan

Nik

Quote from: Significantly Insignificant on September 21, 2022, 06:34:09 PM
Having said that though, the comments do contradict themselves.  On the one hand he is saying that he took less on his first deal because he cares about winning.  Then in the next comment he admits that he wasn't really in a position to hold out and that is why he didn't do it, but if he was, he may have jumped on that bandwagon.  Which one was it?

I'm not sure I see the contradiction you do and I'm not sure I agree with your interpretation of his quotes. Mackinnon doesn't "admit" he wasn't in a position to hold out. On the contrary, he says if he had to do it again he might have. It would be a strange thing to say in hindsight you might have held out if you believed you had absolutely no basis for doing so and wouldn't have been able to make more as a result. As I pointed out, it's not unreasonable, when compared to other first overall picks, to think that if Mackinnon had held out he might have gotten some more money.

But even beyond that the issue might be that you're scrutinizing the words of someone who maybe isn't super-articulate. The quote you seemed focused on is:

Quote"We have guys that we wouldn't (otherwise) be able to bring in," MacKinnon said. "On my next deal, I'll take less again. Because I want to win with this group."

Within the context of that quote, you're reading "take less" to mean that Mackinnon could have negotiated a substantially larger deal for his post-ELC deal but chose not to in the interest of the team.

But I'm going over that article and I can't for the life of me get where you see Mackinnon saying anything along the lines of "On my first contract I took less than I could have gotten because I wanted to help the team win". He's acknowledging that he's currently playing on a team-friendly contract and, resultingly, the Avs had more cap space than they otherwise might have if they'd had to pay him significantly more on his first post-ELC deal., He then says he will take less than he thinks he's worth on a future deal because he cares so much about winning and he's aware of the advantage the Avs had having him on the deal they did.
I wish to hell I'd never said "Winning isn't everything it's the only thing". What I believe is, if you go out on a football field, or any endeavour in life, and you leave every fibre of what you have on the field, then you've won.
- Vince Lombardi

Significantly Insignificant

Quote from: Nik on September 21, 2022, 11:24:09 PM
Quote from: Significantly Insignificant on September 21, 2022, 06:34:09 PM
Having said that though, the comments do contradict themselves.  On the one hand he is saying that he took less on his first deal because he cares about winning.  Then in the next comment he admits that he wasn't really in a position to hold out and that is why he didn't do it, but if he was, he may have jumped on that bandwagon.  Which one was it?

I'm not sure I see the contradiction you do and I'm not sure I agree with your interpretation of his quotes. Mackinnon doesn't "admit" he wasn't in a position to hold out. On the contrary, he says if he had to do it again he might have. It would be a strange thing to say in hindsight you might have held out if you believed you had absolutely no basis for doing so and wouldn't have been able to make more as a result. As I pointed out, it's not unreasonable, when compared to other first overall picks, to think that if Mackinnon had held out he might have gotten some more money.

But even beyond that the issue might be that you're scrutinizing the words of someone who maybe isn't super-articulate. The quote you seemed focused on is:

Quote"We have guys that we wouldn't (otherwise) be able to bring in," MacKinnon said. "On my next deal, I'll take less again. Because I want to win with this group."

Within the context of that quote, you're reading "take less" to mean that Mackinnon could have negotiated a substantially larger deal for his post-ELC deal but chose not to in the interest of the team.

But I'm going over that article and I can't for the life of me get where you see Mackinnon saying anything along the lines of "On my first contract I took less than I could have gotten because I wanted to help the team win". He's acknowledging that he's currently playing on a team-friendly contract and, resultingly, the Avs had more cap space than they otherwise might have if they'd had to pay him significantly more on his first post-ELC deal., He then says he will take less than he thinks he's worth on a future deal because he cares so much about winning and he's aware of the advantage the Avs had having him on the deal they did.

It could be the articulation thing.  For example, from that article that you posted he says:

"I was just excited to get paid that much money at such a young age," MacKinnon said Wednesday from his visitor's room stall in Toronto. "Obviously it's pretty (team) friendly now, but I was worth that at the time ... I have no regrets."

And then later on the quote that I have the hardest time with is:

"We have guys that we wouldn't (otherwise) be able to bring in," MacKinnon said. "On my next deal, I'll take less again. Because I want to win with this group."

I think the issue I have with it is the "again".  I will admit that "again" in this context probably references the way things worked out and not the actual initial contract negotiations.

I felt that the "again" part though referenced taking less on the initial contract by design, and that is not what he did. As he said in his first quote, he took what he was worth at the time.

The article you posted frames it as something that just worked out really well for the Avalanche, which is what it was, but when people take the MacKinnon situation and then apply it to the Leafs, it is frustrating because the situations are different.  This isn't MacKinnon's fault (so my original post about the comment aging poorly is wrong), but it doesn't help that people can twist that quote when it is applied to the Leafs to make it seem like Matthews, Marner, and Tavares should have been paid less by the Leafs in order to build a winner.  It's an apples to oranges comparison.  The stars just aligned properly for the Avalanche.   
"We can't change what's done, we can only move on." - Arthur Morgan

Nik

Quote from: Significantly Insignificant on September 22, 2022, 08:09:06 AM
I felt that the "again" part though referenced taking less on the initial contract by design, and that is not what he did. As he said in his first quote, he took what he was worth at the time.

I think we mainly agree outside of what I said about him probably being able to get more if he had taken a tougher stance in negotiations. Lots of players on their post-ELC deal don't just get paid what they're worth at the time but get teams to invest in their future growth. So it is possible to both get paid what you think you're worth and think you could have negotiated more.

Quote from: Significantly Insignificant on September 22, 2022, 08:09:06 AM
The article you posted frames it as something that just worked out really well for the Avalanche, which is what it was, but when people take the MacKinnon situation and then apply it to the Leafs, it is frustrating because the situations are different.  This isn't MacKinnon's fault (so my original post about the comment aging poorly is wrong), but it doesn't help that people can twist that quote when it is applied to the Leafs to make it seem like Matthews, Marner, and Tavares should have been paid less by the Leafs in order to build a winner.  It's an apples to oranges comparison.  The stars just aligned properly for the Avalanche.   

As a general rule I'm sort of tuned out from Leafs media and hockey media in general so I'm not always aware of the bad arguments that go on in sports radio(but from what I remember there are lots! Most sports media thrives on generating conflict at the expense of reasoned discussion and makes us dumber! Don't listen!) but I agree the two situations are not very similar.

If this iteration of the Leafs doesn't achieve the success we all hope they do I think the big, and fair, questions regarding how Dubas put the team together will be:

1. Should Dubas have tried to sign Matthews/Marner to extensions after their second seasons rather than after their third?

2. Was signing Tavares a good decision?

The first one is hard to gauge as he very well might have tried to sign them but if memory serves that would have been in his first off-season as GM so that may have been a lot to tackle. The Marner contract though, especially, was one where not signing him to an extension and then letting him play his third year on the 2nd line with Tavares seemed like a recipe for Marner to see his value jump a ton, which it promptly did. Matthews was probably going to be in a position to get what he wanted regardless but I do think that if Dubas had locked up Marner before signing Tavares he very well could have got him for considerably less than what he did sign for.

The Tavares one...well, that's probably a topic for another time.
I wish to hell I'd never said "Winning isn't everything it's the only thing". What I believe is, if you go out on a football field, or any endeavour in life, and you leave every fibre of what you have on the field, then you've won.
- Vince Lombardi