Bobo's here. We've got some ballplayers, so let's go!
What a rough way to end the season. Yes, a coach has to hold the line and maintain discipline. But securing an NCAA Tournament berth would have been helped get the program back on track. If only they could have persevered and won one more game . . .
Jim Thomas pressed the issue while on the road with the group, but obviously Doug Armstrong would like to keep the Blues out of the discussion. The team is trying to operate business as usual -- but like we discussed in the Net Front Presence podcast, Russian hockey players are caught in a bad spot.
The current schedule calls for the Cardinals to come off an extended road trip and play on April 25. I'd like to think that about three weeks of shared financial pain for the owners and players should be enough to get a deal. It's absurd that would take any shared pain to do this, but here we are.
I've seen reports that the regional sports networks could stop paying at the 25-game mark if there are no games. Hence the speculation that the owners could live with dumping the first month of the season. Some of these regional sports network deals are massive. That could be real money out the door.
The players have already rejected mediation. As I've noted in previous chats, I've seen really positive results from mediation when contract talks bog down. But baseball's history with mediation isn't all that encouraging.
It will be interesting to see if Martin answers a higher calling at some point in his professional life. He loves the competition of basketball but he does NOT love the greasiness of the business. Even this new Name, Image and Likeness stuff -- which is ostensibly above board, replacing the recruiting bag men -- has led to some murky dealings.
Excellent point. Binnington is very aggressive playing the puck. That can lead to some misadventure, but for the most part he helps alleviate pressure on his defensemen. With so much of today's game predicated on applying forechecking pressure and sustaining offensive zone time, having a goaltender who can send the puck the other way is key.
Come on, be nice. I'm missing Roy today. Did he forget to join the club?
I'm all for the power play moving guys around to become less predictable, but the Perron one-timer is a staple with the man advantage. Sure, it can be predictable, but it's still a big weapon. The Blues also got No. 91 to embrace the one-timer this season, so it's a bit frustrating to see him revert to holding the puck, holding the puck, then then try to thread a needle with a wrist shot into traffic. The power play is all about quick, decisive passes and quick, decisive shots that catch defenders and the goaltender moving.
This is beyond frustrating. The regional sports networks generally overpaid for the rights to baseball, so to make the deals work they must squeeze the carriers for every possible penny. This has led to standoffs all over the country. Some of the standoffs have gone on for years. While the teams are glad to take the big RSN money, they also risk losing audience. After all, these TV games are critical to pushing ticket sales.
As noted early, the owners don't feel as much pain from games lost in April, at least from the TV side. And you make a good point about the dicey weather for game attendance in April. Clearly the owners came to the bargaining table prepared to lose games, based on their pace of negotiating and refusal to budge much on key positions.
I've advocated keeping Scandella while adding a stay-at-home defender for the reasons you outlined. The easy answer would be to acquire Zdeno Chara, since he makes a minimum salary. But a lot of contenders would big on Big Z if he decided he wanted to go to a playoff team and the Islanders obliged. If one of the forwards landed on long-term injured reserve, that would clear a spot. Otherwise it will take some sleight of hand with the cap (saved LTIR money, other team keeping money, etc.)
There was nothing unusual about the suspension, or the decision to limit the play of somebody who had not been practicing as a result of it.
Had the owners made a real compromise on the competitive balance tax as well as the pre-arbitration bonus pool, that deal likely gets done. And ultimately that is what I believe will happen. Like you say the CBT only impacts a few teams (and therefore a small number of free agents), so settling that shouldn't be this hard. Same goes for the bonus pool, which is small change in the giant scheme of things. The owners brought that issue on themselves by going overboard to exploit high-end young players.
That sounds like a hard day, following elite golfers around a great course down there in Orlando. I see that it is 83 degrees and sunny today. I must admit, I do not watch a ton of golf, so I don't have a favorite. I can see from the leaderboard that you will not be following Kevin Na, who blew up in the first two rounds. He finished last season pretty well, but it's been a bit rocky for him this year.