Email Hot Stove: Ryan Signing/Karlsson Captaincy Thoughts

The Silver Seven Staff talk Ryan signing, Karlsson's captaincy, and disgruntled veterans.

Email Hot Stove: Ryan Signing/Karlsson captaincy thoughts:

B_T: peanuts happy dance

Michaela: Ryan signing = Awesome!

Karlsson captaincy = Awesome! I didn't think they would do it right away, but I'm happy to see the team make a commitment to the face of this franchise. He looks pretty good with that C on his jersey.

Sheer Craziness: Best news to wake up to in a long time! All my NHL notification said was "Ottawa names defenseman..." then it was cut off. So I braced for Phillips.

Peter: Quite a day. Definitely good PR.

I'm nervous that $7.25M per season is too much for Bobby Ryan is he's only a 60-point player, especially given the age he is now and the length of the deal. Still, it's less than I expected the contract to be, so that is good.

I'm also nervous that Erik Karlsson is going to be the next whipping boy among knuckle dragger fans looking for moar fights and less Euros. The captaincy puts a larger target on his back.

Also, I feel like Marc Methot is as good as traded now. Once he's healthy, anyway.

Ary: Basically the same thoughts as Peter. Good news for the fan base; way better than the alternatives; still worried because I'm a worrier, but I think (hope) Karlsson will handle it.

B_T: I've already seen at least one "too selfish" comment on Twitter.

Michaela: Damn you Peter, and your realism!

I agree that $7.25M is pretty high, but think of what he would have gotten on the open market in a league where players like Brian Campbell make $7.1M. So many teams would have over paid to get Ryan.

Hopefully, Erik learns how to handle criticism a little better than he has in the past. He has to know it's coming, being so close with Alfie and Spezza.

And yes, Methot is likely gone.

Sheer Craziness: Patrick Kane is worth 10.5 starting in the same season. I think Bobby's contract will look reasonable in a couple years.

Peter: Yeah, it's true--although $7.25M seems high now (generally I think a point costs $100k with a good contract in today's NHL), it probably will become reasonable for a 60-point player within a couple of years. If Ryan can get back to 70-point form, or even higher than that, the contract will be very good.

B_T: Current comparable: Letang. Same AAV over 8 starting this season.

Adnan: Probably worth it to overpay if they had to since traded value lower than last year and would be yet another PR disaster if he left.

Nkb: Yeah the AAV is a bit high, but not crazy high. They needed to keep him around and it doesn't cripple the team. All in all pretty happy.

Sheer Craziness: It's amazing that we have 4 more seasons of Turris earning $3.5-million a year. Even once Ryan's extension kicks in, we'll have one of the most bang-for-buck first lines in the league I'd guess.

Adnan: Eh Letang has some serious health issues. Wouldn't want to have that contract for that long and that much money.

Nkb: So the signing is obviously excellent news, and it goes a long way to restoring some trust in the org. That's no small thing. However, I'm not 100% ready to give Melnyk and co. my full trust yet. This team's been run on a dollar in, dollar out basis for years now. Let's see where they land at the end of the year before we declare an end to internal cap.

Amelia: The question was always really about augmenting the core, not keeping it, right? Or at least that's what it should be with a cap that increases every year. Still, Ryan signing is big for a lot of reasons. Fans worry about star players, players who talk about their roles, players who weren't drafted by the organization, tax rates, and Americans signing in Canada. Ryan did and hopefully it's a positive signal to the rest of the team and around the league.

Peter: That's a good point, Amelia, and it's one I'd completely ignored: Bobby Ryan's contract is a sign that players have bought in to what this team is selling. He could have made $50M with any number of teams, but he chose to make it with the Senators and to lock in with this team for the long term. That's good news for fans, and maybe it's a bit of counter-evidence to the ongoing conspiracy theories about Alfredsson and Spezza.

Amelia: Anyone have significant reservations on either topic?

Nkb: I agree completely -- the real test is whether they will add to payroll to make the team more competitive. This is a necessary first step, however. If they don't re-sign Ryan the other spending couldn't even happen.

Michaela: The good news is a player like Ryan makes the Sens a little more appealing to other top players in the league. The team will still need to spend money, but they have one more bargaining chip to attract the players on whom they will spend it.

Nkb: It would be a bit delusional to think this suddenly makes Ottawa a free agent destination of choice, but not losing your players over cost constraints is a big positive.

I do have a small reservation about the AAV because I'm not as convinced as others he would have gotten 7.25 elsewhere, especially over 7 years, but it's a tactical overpay so that's a nitpick. Strategically you need to identify the players you can't do without, pay to keep them and then surround them with cheap talent. Sens management believe Ryan is a key piece so a slight overpay to keep him was probably worthwhile.

Amelia: I think he would have in Philadelphia. Probably even more if they could make him a Flyer.

Michaela: I still think there are a lot of other teams who would have overpaid him if he became a free agent, especially Philly. But I agree the price of losing Ryan would have been a lot higher than the price the Sens paid for him.

And I don't think this magically makes us a free agent destination of choice, but we are certainly more appealing with Ryan than without him. For a "smaller market" Canadian team, that's pretty important.

Ian: I'm really happy with the Ryan signing. I think it's a good thing that someone who didn't choose to come to Ottawa (because of the trade), then decided to stick around for another 7 years. I do believe that he would have received equivalent money on the open market, so hopefully that means that Ottawa is doing something right!

Nkb: I suppose there's always a wildcard organization, but he is coming off two down-ish years; a lot would depend on how he played this year. The Sens did the right, safe, thing but they still are promising to pay a 35 year old 7.25 MM at some point.

Sheer Craziness: Look at what Engelland or Orpik got. Look at what Bolland got. Teams do weird things in free agency. Bobby absolutely would have got at least $7-million on the open market. Look at the list of available free agents on CapGeek for next year. You've got Spezza, some aging wild cards in St Louis and Jagr, and then a whole lotta nothing on forward. Assuming Spezza gets extended Ryan would've been the top free agent forward available. (No disrespect to Jagr)

Nkb: 7.25 makes Ryan a guy with a top 20 cap hit. He's just come off a 48 PT year, and 30 in 48 the year before that. It's absolutely not a given that with another rough year counting number-wise that he gets this kinda AAV and term.

I'm not disagreeing with the choice at all, but if Ryan was absolutely 100% sure he would have gotten at least this much in 9 months, you have to believe he'd have waited to see. Ottawa made an offer good enough that he was willing to forego that chance, and there's a decent possibility they end up slightly overpaying for it. All things considered, it was worth it.

Mrs. O: I understand their disappointment, especially for Phillips since he's been here a long time. At the same time, I'm glad to organization didn't just pick Philly because of that. Choosing Karlsson really shows that they want to go in a new direction with the team, which I welcome.

Phillips and Neil will get over it, if they don't, it's not like there aren't enough players in our system to replace them.

As for the Ryan signing. I'm excited (not surprised) about it too. It gave us fans something tangible in terms of retaining key players. I like Bobby Ryan a lot - I think he wants to be the guy, wants to be part of the core. Ottawa has now given him that.

Amelia: I get their disappointment too, but it's not like they were told right before going into the press conference. They were probably told the day before when Karlsson was told and that's enough time to for two veteran players to get it together for a press conference. Phillips and Neil know what some of the media outlets in Ottawa are like and know it would make waves especially considering their excitement/happiness at last year's announcement for Spezza. The optics looked even worse given that Bobby Ryan seemed more than happy to share his big day with the captaincy announcement and even take a back seat to Karlsson.

I suspect they'll get over it, but it's just another example that no player likes being shown the door. Sure they still have contracts for the next couple of years, but it was clear on Thursday that a new era has started and Neil and Phillips aren't part of it. It's one of the reasons I didn't love the Andy deal. Veterans don't transition to obsolescence very well (who would).

Mrs. O: If the Phillips and Neil are still upset, perhaps they'll finally request a trade? Or if they become complacent, maybe won't be played as much? I doubt that will happen, but they could if they don't actually get over it.

Adnan: On the captaincy, I have previously mentioned that I think the importance of it is overstated. However, it is great from a marketing point of view and also a way to honour Karlsson. If it has the added benefit of alienating Phillips/Neil that is only a bonus if it leads to reduced ice time/games or even a traded. I am not particularly worried about a divided locker room as most players on the team joined after Karlsson was on the team. There is not much of the old guard left.

Sheer Craziness: The old guard is two guys. This move was undoubtedly management saying it's time to in a new direction. I kind of put all my thoughts on that into my article yesterday. As for Phillips and Neil being miffed, I think it was overstated. How many times has the Sun made a huge deal out of nothing to sell papers? The picture shows Phillip and Neil disappointed, but there were probably literally hundreds of pictures from that day. You could probably find one to show whatever you wanted. (Phillips rubbing his eye = he's crying. Both of those guys smiling. Maybe a picture of EK yawning, showing how bored he was with the whole thing.) I think a lot more is being made of this narrative than is true. As much as I hate their playing time, Phillips and Neil are team players, and will get with the program. They've been around too long not to.

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