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Messages - IJustLurkHere

#1
General NHL News & Views / Re: 2023-24 NHL Thread
November 16, 2023, 06:22:56 PM
Quote from: Nik on November 15, 2023, 11:16:32 PM
Quote from: L K on November 15, 2023, 03:06:40 PMConnor McDavid is never going to be Mr. Personality.  He might be fun behind closed doors but in front of the media McDavid is someone who sucks.  I think you can get that kind of marketing from the Hughes brothers, Tkachuk, etc. and the league needs to do a better job of promoting that. 

...

And that's the real thing. The NHL used to sell teams. The Habs, the Oilers, Penguins. Even if your team sucked, they were fun to watch. Then they decided that, for their financial stability, it was important that all teams were as tightly bunched together talent wise as possible. Now every team is fielding mediocre players for at least 30 minutes a night. What's the big marquee matchup you'd tell a casual fan to watch right now? Vegas vs. Boston? What's the sport's last champion in a big, hockey crazy market? Probably the Blackhawks which is going on 8 years now. The league can't on the one hand be like "It's crucial for the future of the sport that Carolina and Ottawa are on even terms with Toronto and New York" and then turn around and wonder where the fans are at when that's exactly what they get. 

...

If you're after a clash of the best teams, then yeah, Vegas vs Boston is a pretty good place to start.

Way back in Moneyball, the thing that let the Oakland A's be an innovative team by acting on strategies that had been around since the 70s was the insight that selling on star power was one dimensional. If you want to sell your product, you have to win. If the Oilers suck, then Connor McDavid won't save you. If you win, then your 3rd line grinders get big contracts at Free Agency and the fans are actually sad to see them go.

Expansion doesn't prevent marketing the sport (it should enhance the capability... they have expanded the market). The NHL just aren't really interested in doing it.
#2
Quote from: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on November 09, 2023, 02:44:42 PMAs for the bolded part, that was Rasmus Sandin.  What a pissaway that trade was.  There's a fair bit that I miss about Dubas, but he sure made some glaringly stupid moves.

I haven't been paying a whole lot of attention to Sandin in Washington. The stats say 1 assist in 11 games. Is there something more to this which says we didn't get fair value?
#3
Toronto Blue Jays / Re: 2023 Blue Jays thread
October 08, 2023, 05:22:35 PM
Quote from: Bender on October 08, 2023, 12:58:30 AM
Quote from: IJustLurkHere on October 07, 2023, 09:05:51 PM
Quote from: Andy on October 05, 2023, 10:12:49 AMYea, I mean I always cringe when I hear the term "Analytics" negatively thrown around and mocked by people who don't understand that it's basically just the idea of looking at more, in-depth information. You should always want to have more than less information. It's the interpretation and utilization of that information that's the problem. If the data says that the more a pitcher goes through a lineup the more susceptible he becomes, that is good information to have and you can act on it accordingly. It absolutely never means take out a pitcher who is dialed in and mowing through batters after 47 pitchers because its the 2nd time facing a lefthanded batter.

Interesting how this has become a narrative. Honestly... Berrios wasn't pitching THAT well. He'd struck out the side the inning before, but that was 8, 9, 1. Boosted his Ks to look good. He'd given up a hit every inning, including to Correa who was on deck when they made the change. He'd just walked the leadoff man.

Don't love the change, but I get giving the ball to Kikuchi in the situation.

Some would argue walking the leadoff player who is probably their best power hitter isn't really a problem though.

And that's a valid argument. My point is really only that following the media, you'd think this was a repeat of Blake Snell in the World Series and it isn't. You've got a man on first, nobody out, Kepler and Correa (who already has a hit) coming up and a pregame plan that says you're going to piggyback Kikuchi. I don't necessarily love the plan itself (though I'm entirely willing to believe that the Jays have numbers that say the percentages fall better than way), but if that is the plan, I don't think Berrios was throwing so well that you had to abandon it.
#4
Toronto Blue Jays / Re: 2023 Blue Jays thread
October 07, 2023, 09:05:51 PM
Quote from: Andy on October 05, 2023, 10:12:49 AM
Quote from: Arn on October 05, 2023, 08:17:39 AM
Quote from: OldTimeHockey on October 05, 2023, 05:30:56 AMNote: John Schneider's decision to pull Berrios in the bottom of the 4th is an absolute headscratcher.

Everything I'm reading seems to suggest this was a pre-planned move agreed with the wider management group based on data.

Now, I'm all for using data to help. But you know, I was watching the game and could see how Berios looked as well...

Yea, I mean I always cringe when I hear the term "Analytics" negatively thrown around and mocked by people who don't understand that it's basically just the idea of looking at more, in-depth information. You should always want to have more than less information. It's the interpretation and utilization of that information that's the problem. If the data says that the more a pitcher goes through a lineup the more susceptible he becomes, that is good information to have and you can act on it accordingly. It absolutely never means take out a pitcher who is dialed in and mowing through batters after 47 pitchers because its the 2nd time facing a lefthanded batter.

Interesting how this has become a narrative. Honestly... Berrios wasn't pitching THAT well. He'd struck out the side the inning before, but that was 8, 9, 1. Boosted his Ks to look good. He'd given up a hit every inning, including to Correa who was on deck when they made the change. He'd just walked the leadoff man.

Don't love the change, but I get giving the ball to Kikuchi in the situation.
#5
Quote from: princedpw on August 23, 2023, 09:43:13 PM
Quote from: Nik on August 23, 2023, 09:40:33 PM
Quote from: Peter D. on August 23, 2023, 08:37:53 PMEasy.  Give him more money to secure him for more years.  As much as I think this money should be tops to give him on an 8-year deal, if they needed to give him upwards of a million more to get it done, I'd do it.

Ok but, again, what if he says no to that? And, considering the reports are that the Leafs wanted the longer term and he didn't, it seems pretty likely that just an extra million per probably wouldn't have swayed him for 4 extra years.

If the Leafs did want the eight years they would have presented the option to Matthews' camp and his agent either A) would have told them a number that's so high that the Leafs(and by what you wrote probably you also) wouldn't have agreed or B) just refused and said he was only interested in a 4 year deal.

Matthews really held all the cards here.

A 4-year deal is preferable for me than an 8-year 16-million/year deal (for example).

Personally, I think the Leafs (whether by luck or design) are better off with this 4 year deal.

I was hoping for 5, expecting 3. Watching Tavares the last couple of years (he was 27 when he signed here, and is 32 now) makes me suspect that age around the end of this deal, Matthews will be challenged to be in a the same kind of negotiating position as one of the league's very very best... and if I'm wrong, that's still a good thing for the Leafs.
#6
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: What are they worth?
August 02, 2023, 09:10:09 PM
Quote from: Nik on August 02, 2023, 12:09:03 PM
Quote from: Significantly Insignificant on August 02, 2023, 12:01:39 PMThat might be what Matthews is expecting, but this speaks to Nik's point.  Matthews is absorbing the risk that someone is going to give him that deal and that money.  So he may get a massive pay at age 30, or many teams may decide to back away due to his age, injury history, lack of winning, what have you.  In that respect, shorter term deals to work in the favor of the team. 

If there's one thing to take away from my position on Nylander or the Leafs free agents in general it would be that if your premise starts with "Well, no team in Free Agency will do something that stupid..." then you may want to re-evaluate.

If I were Matthews agent, I would absolutely be setting a balance of expectations that Matthews on the UFA market at 30 is going to see a big 7 year payday. I think I'm safely agreeing Nik's point when I say I struggle to imagine all 32 NHL GMs with the discipline to not hand out crazy UFA contracts at the same time.

If I really worried about managing a risk of GMs putting their wallets away, I could be thinking about pushing for a 2 year deal now rather than 3. To expand on Significantly Insignificant and Dappleganger's speculation, I'd be putting 3 scenarios to Matthews:

1) the Leafs "work with us" position probably is something like 3 x $13.5M (40.5M) into a potential 7-8 x $15-16M ($105-$128M) = $145.5-168.5M Total Value, he retires at 38.

        vs.

2) A "you have us over a barrel" position of 2 x $13.5 ($27M) into a 7 year $16M ($106M) = $133M. This takes him to 36, there may be one more contract in him, but whether it can bridge a gap of up to $30M+ is a big risk... but has less risk of a diminished second contract.

        OR

3) play out the current deal into a 7-8 year x whatever ($14M?) $98M-$112 + whatever Matthews can sign in 8-9 years time. Most guarantee now, but to retire richer than position 1, Matthews would need to sign a deal of > ~ $70M total value, which is either another $10M/ 7 year or a $8.75/ 8 year, which (on top of a big risk he can hit those contracts) has him playing till he's 40-41 years old.

I suspect the extension ends up looking like a 3 year deal which balances the risk between the team (Matthews may leave at 30) and player (he may not be able to sign a market shaping deal at 30). The question will be the exact AAV.
#7
Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: What are they worth?
August 01, 2023, 09:50:17 PM
Quote from: Significantly Insignificant on August 01, 2023, 11:29:42 AM
Quote from: Nik on August 01, 2023, 10:34:45 AM
Quote from: Significantly Insignificant on August 01, 2023, 09:58:03 AMIt's an interesting thought exercise.  I think longer term deals can be advantageous to certain players at certain times.  However, how much could certain superstars make if they were re-upping every two years? If Crosby, McDavid, Ovechkin, MacKinnon were going to renegotiate every couple of years up until they hit their 30's.  Subban's situation was the demise of the bridge deal being used with younger players because he went out and won a Norris.

I think hockey players in the cap era have sort of consistently established that they are, for the most part, pretty conservative and that the outright maximizing of their earning potential isn't as important to them as getting long-term guarantees. Even if the odds are against it, I bet they all know at least one guy from their careers who got a bad injury and was never the same after it so they want to insulate themselves against that within reason. There is also going to be some varying degree of not wanting to put their team in a bad cap situation.

But as I've said before NHL players deciding to that, even in large numbers, still doesn't really set the market. The Market, even an artificially constrained by the cap market, is still the market. And it's one where our own John Tavares was offered an AAV that, if he'd accepted, would have still made him the highest paid player in the NHL.

Actually, when I do the math, I am not sure why Matthews wants a short term deal.  Lets say he does 3 years at 15 per.  That's 45 million.  Then he does 5 at 12, which is another 60 million, that's 105 million.  However if he signs an 8 year deal at 13 million, then he gets 104.  A million dollars over the lifetime of the deal isn't great.

The only way this makes sense is if he thinks his next deal will be longer than 5 years, and/or worth more than 12.  I'm not sure what the market would be for Auston Matthews at 30 years old on an 8 year deal. Or maybe he is waiting for McDavid to sign his next deal to set the market cap.   

Anyways, I'm sure he has his reasons for wanting to go shorter term.  I'm okay with it either way, because short term does still do good things for the team. 

I think the flaw in your estimates above may be the expectation that Matthews salary goes down on the 8 year deal. If he's looking at the Tavares deal, he could be expecting an offer more in the 15-16+ (depending on cap) even at 30 years... it just might mean moving teams (even if that means 7 years). Watching the way these deals seem to be playing out, I'd be suspecting that at some point around 30, Matthews is going to have to test the open market if he's trying to maximise earnings.

This is not an approach without risk for Matthews. He's already had injuries in his career which have impacted his play, so who is to say that he gets to the end of a 3 year extension without significant concerns. But to Nik's point, that equally says that a 3 year deal now may well be better value for the Leafs than 8.
#8
The thing I keep coming back to: who is the biggest loser out of this situation after the chips have fallen and the drama fades away? With Dubas taking this job in Pittsburgh, it cements for me that it's not Kyle Dubas. Whatever rationale the Leafs made their decision with, and whether or not we like the way either Dubas or the Leafs went about it, there is more risk in the approach taken by the Leafs than that taken by Dubas.

Dubas has already landed on his feet. The Leafs... have a lot of work to do.

Hopefully Treliving proves to be a better GM. Given the rush in which he was (and had to be) hired, it'll be serendipity if it does.
#9
Quote from: cw on May 23, 2023, 10:57:01 PM
Quote from: CarltonTheBear on May 23, 2023, 09:22:59 PM
Quote from: cw on May 23, 2023, 08:17:26 PMAll the personnel decisions ended two months ago - at the deadline. Whatever thoughts he might have had on autonomy or the decision approval process should have been pretty well developed.  And Dubas couldn't figure that out until last Monday? Really?

This is just a hypothetical... but let's say there was a trade that Dubas felt would make the Leafs a better team at the deadline or before and one way or another it got blocked. Either through Shanahan directly saying no or due to time running out on a deal because of Toronto's current chain of command when it comes to big deals (Dubas -> Shanahan -> board -> back to Shanahan - > back to Dubas). Let's say Dubas is watching the Florida series and the entire time thinking "man, if I was able to acquire so and so he could have made a drastic difference in winning this series and potentially winning the Cup".

Would it not be at least somewhat reasonable for Dubas to think he's justified in attempting to re-open the "autonomy" conversation one last time post-elimination?

This is a pretty extreme hypothetical obviously but I do think it's not completely unreasonable for Dubas' thoughts on what his next contract should and should not include would change over the course of a playoff run. Just like it would be possible for the Leafs to have ignored their post-deadline contract talks with Dubas and just fired him if the Leafs got swept 4-0 in the first round. Nothing was set in stone at that point.

Dubas was paid millions of dollars for nearly five years as General Manager after being paid well to serve about four years as assistant GM. The part I'm having trouble with on the autonomy/decision making process complaint/concern (if accurate) is: "Why did you, Dubas, wait 4+5 years to raise the grievance?" If he answered "I was just following my contract", I'd fire him on the spot. No company has perfect procedures, job descriptions and employment contracts. The General Manager has the responsibility to sort out those issues and not wait 4+5 years to resolve them when his contract comes up. If that is what went down, I'd have zero sympathy for Dubas as it is a pretty clear cut dereliction of his duty.

Nice line of speculation there to get from he wanted more autonomy to dereliction of duty, and then have zero sympathy for the scenario you created.

There's a big difference between it being a last minute sticking point and it being raised for the first time. As far as we know, this has been a continuous dialogue from the moment he was hired as an assistant. As CTB posted, there may even have been a concrete example of someone the Leafs could have traded for. We don't know - but, it's at least as likely as this being a brand new demand.

QuoteIf they had been in discussions for two months as Shanahan maintained and Dubas lobbed a 50% increase in pay last Thursday, I'd be put off by that too. Should have come much sooner.

Should it? Or was Thursday only the last minute because Shanahan/MLSE chose that moment to call off talks. Part of expectation management is timing. Is Shanahan's current offer best and final? Does Dubas know it is? Does Dubas accept that it is? Was it made before or after the end of the playoffs, because having waited that long, have they agreed on a timeframe for signoff?

QuoteAs for Shanahan, I'm not too thrilled with him either. He needed to establish a date they needed a GM decision by so they had time to go through a hiring process. That date was somewhere close to shortly after the trade deadline. "We need a finalized contract with you, Kyle, by the middle of March. If not, we have to move on." Shanahan messed up too.

It's only a finalised contract when everyone actually signs it. The gist seems to be that the board wouldn't sign off until they won a playoff round, so Shanahan can't do what you're advocating. Until it's signed, it's up for negotiation.

#10
Quote from: cw on May 23, 2023, 11:47:24 AM
Quote from: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on May 23, 2023, 10:28:54 AM
Quote from: CarltonTheBear on May 23, 2023, 08:52:31 AMI could somewhat understand the concern levels if Dubas like took his entire family on a 2-week vacation to Costa Rica to ponder his future or something, but the dude was back in the office working on Wednesday. That comment was way overblown.

Well, the fanbase didn't generate the angst.  Shanahan said the comments were the beginning of his second thoughts.

https://ca.style.yahoo.com/maple-leafs-president-brendan-shanahan-reveals-why-he-fired-gm-kyle-dubas-211839443.html
Quote"The next day though, I would say while watching Kyle's press [conference]... I think at that point, there was a dramatic shift in my thinking as I drove home that night as Kyle expressed, he may not want to be our GM and I have to take that very seriously," Shanahan continued.

"As I said to him the day before, I understood those feelings and the pressure players are under, the pressure management, coaches, family members are under. But it was a very real possibility at that point that I would be needing to look somewhere else. As part of my job, that is what I began to do while still hoping Kyle and I would come to some resolution."

Dubas gave Shanahan, the board, anyone related to the team and the fans cause to be concerned with his remarks outlining uncertainty. Shanahan suddenly had to begin to prepare for potentially getting a new GM.

Quote"You're talking about the Vatican if you're Catholic, you're talking the centre of the hockey universe, you're talking about one of the most important jobs in hockey, running the Toronto Maple Leafs," Burke said. "It's a dream job."

We are filling gaps in what we know with assumptions. When a negotiation blows up like this, fair to guess there was some missed expectations... but i don't think we know enough to extrapolate that to lack of forthrightness and dishonesty on one side. Expectation management is a two way street.

Another way of interpreting Shanahan's statement would be that he was listening to Dubas' press conference, he thought his best and final offer was about to get signed, and hearing Kyle talk made him realised it wasn't. He heard the tone and realised the deal was far from closed, but had no more to give... He now has to start thinking about other options. Same facts, same outcome, without a villain. Do I know it happened that way? No. Does it seem more likely than Dubas screwing Shanahan and MLSE? Yes.

The MLSE board is made up of Telco and Comms execs. Telco in particular is known for doing deals against deadlines of quarters and fiscal years on multi year contracts. I think it unlikely they walked away because Dubas didn't sound as in love with his job as Brian Burke did before he actually did the job.
#11
Quote from: cw on May 22, 2023, 08:11:48 PM
Quote from: mr grieves on May 22, 2023, 07:04:43 PM
Quote from: cw on May 22, 2023, 04:11:13 PMI think this is a tragic, lousy development for the franchise. Shanahan may need to be held to account when the dust settles. No GM is going to get fully plugged in to the talent, agents, coaches and staff in 40 days. Dubas probably had a better chance to patch it up for another shot. But I wouldn't let him hold the franchise to ransom either.

Lots of great points, but I'm not sure about the last line. MLSE let the GM situation go until 5 weeks before massive player decisions need to be made. If no plausible replacement can get up to speed to do those player deals by the time they need to happen, is that Kyle Dubas holding the franchise ransom? On the contrary, it would seem a lot like Shanahan and the board blind-folded and zip-tied themselves here. Lowered themselves into the basement pit. Applied the lotion. Etc. it's hard not to blame the organization for giving Dubas an advantage like that to press — if he had it, of course! We'll see around July 1

No question that the reported decision by the board to decline an extension last summer helped light the wick on where we find ourselves today. In fairness or for some perspective, I would add that it is pretty tough to justify an extension with the talent and resources Dubas had to work with and an 0-4 playoff record as of last summer. Publicly, Dubas did not fault Shanahan or the board for that. So Dubas' failure to win a round in the playoffs four years running led to the decision to not offer him an extension last summer. Some might not agree with the decision but the board was not being a bunch of total jerks arriving at an unfounded decision - they had their reasons based upon his results vs the opportunity he was given as GM.

With the benefit of hindsight, it wasn't a black & white decision. Dubas would hardly have been the first sports exec to get extended and then fired, and this mess probably tells us something about why we see those situations.

The opportunity for the board, Shanahan et al in that moment was to hedge by saying "we think 0-4 is a series of unfortunate events" (as John Maynard Keynes said "The Market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent", they'd be betting the market had been irrational) and that by sticking the course, we give ourselves options. Even if there's a salary cost to firing him, the difference in what he'd have signed for last year vs the end demand this year vs the cost of where the Leafs are at now is measurable.

The fact Shanahan put that idea to the board tells us that at least some were thinking along those lines.
#12
Quote from: cw on May 22, 2023, 04:11:13 PMAny grievance over the autonomy limits Dubas agreed to in his previous contract, I'd be inclined to have little sympathy for.

If he had issues with his level of autonomy and money going forward, he should have been upfront with Shanahan, who claims he spoke with his agent for about two months prior. Dubas is not innocent of the contract breakdown. Takes two parties.

So, I've been wrestling with this point in my head since the firing. The place I keep getting stuck is the idea that the contract demands changed in ways that were wildly surprising after months of negotiation to the point where Shanahan walks away from Dubas.

For the past year the narrative has been if the Leafs don't win a playoff round, Dubas is gone. Agree or disagree with that as a measure, that's been the story. The thing about taking that approach is that while the leverage was all with Shanahan up until the end of round 1... it shifted when they won a round. Now the reason to doubt your young GM has evaporated. Up until then, Shanahan would have been signing off on potential, once it's been done, Dubas can respond differently. The shift in leverage is not really surprising, certainty has a price in every business.

Dubas story seems to be that for the past 12 months, he's been forced to chase a particular goal without the autonomy to give himself the best chance to actually achieve it. That this has been draining on he and his family. So, the commitment he wants is the right level of autonomy (and i don't think that equates to trading Matthews for nothing or signing Gretzky) to avoid reliving that in future... and, now that he jumped through Shanahan's hoop, the price goes up too.

I'm curious (disappointed) that it played out as a "take it or leave it" - Dubas isn't blameless here - that kind of leverage negotiating tactic tends to leave a sour taste if it works. Particularly if Shanahan had gone as far as getting board signoff for a significantly different deal (which, per above, probably wasn't a wise move... but could that be the straw that broke the camels back?). That would make Shanahan look bad in front of his bosses.

I don't know how reasonable or otherwise Dubas' financial demands are for an NHL GM. I know there's no salary cap on Management. I'm not particularly worried about the control afforded under his last contract, I am disappointed it's a factor in this one. I'm sure that Dubas would have known exactly the position his changed asks left Shanahan in, but, I feel Shanahan should have anticipated that change.

It's been a while, but this feels like a self inflicted wound that shouldn't have been hard to avoid.   
#13
Quote from: bustaheims on May 22, 2023, 06:20:19 PM
Quote from: OldTimeHockey on May 22, 2023, 05:55:43 PM
Quote from: Guilt Trip on May 22, 2023, 05:36:23 PMInteresting read....

https://thehockeynews.com/news/opinion-maple-leafs-parting-with-kyle-dubas-rings-alarm-bells

Seems like a whole bunch of "what if's and buts"

It's definitely passing off a lot of correlations as potential causes, without much evidence beyond the initial correlation.

Do people think the idea of the board getting involved in Hockey Operations is a straw man? I'm old enough to remember Ballard, so I'm an easy mark for that kind of fear mongering. I don't generally pay attention to who is (or in this case isn't) sitting in the MLSE CEO chair.

The conclusion is easy to agree with... but only matters if Dubas' desire for control really was the deciding factor rather than the money.

Quote from: https://thehockeynews.com/news/opinion-maple-leafs-parting-with-kyle-dubas-rings-alarm-bellsThe MLSE board and Shanahan had reason to have reservations when Dubas' agent came back with a significantly different financial package. Anyone would. If that was the reason the parties decided to go their separate ways, MLSE has lost a bright young executive, and Dubas should fire his agent. However, if the crux of the issue was that Dubas wanted control of hockey operations, the department he oversaw, he should have been afforded that. Not a single Leafs fan would say they'd prefer the telecom executive making hockey decisions over Dubas and they'd be correct.
#14
Quote from: Guilt Trip on May 03, 2023, 07:39:26 PM
Quote from: IJustLurkHere on May 03, 2023, 07:17:51 PM
Quote from: Guilt Trip on May 02, 2023, 09:00:04 PMMore concerning for me is Willy. We need him to get going.

So far Nylander has 7 points in 7 playoff games and is a +10. He was also getting plenty of chances through game 1. If Florida continues to give him that much room he's going to have a big series.

Willy is a -3 so far. He doesn't have a point in the last 3 games and last night he had a few bad moments. He needs to be better then he has. I don't think he's been bad, just not Willy like and he needs to be.

My bad, was looking at his regular season +/-... regardless, as long as he's getting points and chances, I'm probably okay with Nylander. Fix the zone exits and when the puck gets to him he'll outscore his defensive shortcomings.
#15
Quote from: Guilt Trip on May 02, 2023, 09:00:04 PMMore concerning for me is Willy. We need him to get going.

So far Nylander has 7 points in 7 playoff games and is a +10. He was also getting plenty of chances through game 1. If Florida continues to give him that much room he's going to have a big series.