Well, training camp has started.
The guy with the orange hair, his expression is what I think of Cowen and his contract negotiations via www.cbc.ca
With the NHL season just 18 days away we've run into something that nobody was expecting,
A potential Jared Cowen holdout.
This was not supposed to happen.
This topic has been covered extensively, and every time we have come to the same conclusion. What on earth is Cowen thinking? More importantly, who does he think he is? The Norris trophy frontrunner? Why does he think he should get a longterm deal at 3 to 4 million a year? Seriously.
Below are the reasons Cowen has leverage in these negotiations:
He hasn't received any major injuries He's experienced He is an offensive force He has played tough first pairing minutes Shutdown defenders are paid the most money He has proved himself We have no one to replace him with
Below are the reasons Cowen doesn't have leverage in these negotiations:
He's had hip surgery
He's only played in 90 games
He's a defensive shutdown man
Shutdown defenders are common and not terribly expensive
He certainly has not proved himself
We have an arsenal of people willing to replace him
Now let's get real.
Jared Cowen is a defenceman who has just come off his entry level contract, and unless your name is Erik Karlsson, Alex Pietrangelo, etc, you don't get a long-term high paying deal. You get something called a bridge contract. A bridge contract. Do I need to spell it out for you, Jared? B-R-I-D-G-E.
bridge 1 (brj)
1. A contract given to young players coming off of their entry level contract
2. Short term contract for young athletes, ideally 1-3 years.
3. A contract that young players generally accept without much negotiations
4. Something that Jared Cowen should be accepting right now
If you click on the blue icon beside bridge you will hear how to speak this mysterious "bridge"
Honestly I do not know why Jared Cowen doesn't understand why he should accept a bridge contract. Fellow D-Man Patrick Wiercioch recently signed a 3 year 2 million dollar a year deal. Would anyone like to take a guess at what that contract is called?
A) Bridge Contract
B) Bridge Contract
C) Bridge Contract
D) All of the above
If you guessed any of them, you are correct! Wiercioch signed a bridge deal this offseason, which we were sort of expecting. He had a fantastic rookie debut last year, scoring 19 points in 42 games. His ability to play solid on the second line was a big reason Ottawa had success, although much credit is due to the guidance from recently departed veteran Sergei Gonchar. Gonchar was pulling the ropes last year and Wiercioch, despite the lack of Karlsson and Cowen was playing sheltered minutes and getting plenty of offensive zone starts. Even though he was playing sheltered minutes he played great. His great play earned him the bridge deal. Cowen however, as I mentioned a second ago, wasn't playing. Where was he? In rehab, recovering from a hip surgery. Again, not a great bargaining position. He did manage to return for the last 7 regular season games and the 10 playoff games that followed. The first couple games back, he looked pretty good. One of the games was against Carolina, where he was hitting anything that moved. On this play, he destroyed Jeff Skinner and then when tough guy Chad Larose steps up to the plate to fight Jared, he wrestles him to the ground.
Jared Cowen mammoth hit on Jeff Skinner Apr 16,2013 (via HockeyVideoHD)
After this, it all goes downhill. Cowen's defensive play starts to slip and while offence was never his forte, it still managed to get worse.
And then the playoffs started.
In the first 5 games against Montreal, he did nothing of significance, other than participating in the 5v5 line brawl. Besides that, he was invisible. However, I'll take invisible over his play versus the Blitzburgh Penguins. When that series started we learned to cringe whenever we saw Jared Cowen touch the puck. That usually/always resulted in a turnover/and/or goal for the opposing team. Then we learned to cringe whenever he was on the ice. Out of position, slow, out of talent, these were terms Sens fans used frequently to describe Cowen's play that series. Thankfully our playoff death was quick and we didn't have to see any more of Cowen's lacking (to say the least) play.
Move on now to the summer, quite an eventful summer for our organization.
Macarthur switched teams in the battle of Ontario
Uh oh Corvo signed for his second stint with the Sens
However, in the midst of all this it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Cowen would sign a shortterm deal and be done with it. This has obviously not been the case. Cowen thinks he's some sort of rock star and that he deserves special treatment. For what? To me, he's just a prospect coming off of major surgery that still has to prove himself. That's it. I'm not offering 8 year deals to someone who just had hip surgery. Speaking of which, seriously Ottawa? You offered him an 8 year deal? Why on earth did you do that? Thankfully he turned it down. With so many young defensive prospects in our system, why not feel out to other GM's to see what you could potentially get for Cowen? I'm not saying I've lost faith in Cowen, just we should keep our options open, that's all. If you lock him down with an 8 year contract than that could scare off potential traders if ever Cowen's development goes south. Even the reported 4 year contract is too long. Give him the aforementioned bridge contract, 2 years at 2.6 - 2.75 million. And anyway you look at it, that's generous. Kadri was just signed at 2 years for 2.9 million and he is nearly a star already. And a certain P.K Subban who held out for a few games last year signed a bridge deal at 2.875 million a year.
So, you wanna know what I think?
Sign a contract, and end this.