Thursday, November 17, 2011

Morning Skate

Here are a few notes that caught my eye this morning:

Larry Brook / NY Post:
Another small step for Rangers’ Staal

Marc Staal has been given approval to begin light physical activity following his examination by concussion specialist Dr. Robert Cantu in Boston on Tuesday, an individual familiar with the case told The Post.

It remains unclear whether the Rangers’ alternate captain, who had been shut down completely for a month following a previous visit to Dr. Cantu during the week of Oct. 16, will be able to play this season.

The Rangers refused to confirm or deny the report. Moreover, The Post was told that the club will not be issuing updates on the status of Staal’s health during the recovery process from the concussion...

While the approval to begin light activity implies that Staal was symptom-free while sedentary, there is obviously no guarantee he will remain so as he exercises.

There is no timetable whatsoever attached to this recovery period...
Remember the big Broadway Bonanza and Free-Agent Feast back on July 1, 2007?

NY Post headline: B'way Bonanza, Rangers land Gomez & Drury
Well Scotty Gomez's game has completely gone south. He has not scored a goal in 44 games. That begs the following question.
NHL on TSN Quiz: What Should Canadiens Do With Gomez?

Question No. 1: What should the Canadiens do with Scott Gomez and a contract that pays him $7.4 million for two more seasons?
Aaron Ward: Buy him out at season's end. Last goal scored was February 5; that's last season. 44 games, zero goals. You buy him out, recoup some of that money. You ought to be able to find someone for those millions to score goals over that period of time. I think he's almost worn out his welcome at this point in Montreal.

Bob McKenzie: I would demote him to the minors, not necessarily this second, but if the Montreal Canadiens can go out and find a big centre or use the cap space - it's almost $7.4 million cap hit - more effectively than with Scott Gomez (the Montreal Canadiens have lots of something - and that's money). They've got a place in Hamilton and if they can make their team better by moving him down at the appropriate time, why not do it? The buyout can still be expensive in terms of the actual cap hit for the next four years. There would still be a cap hit for Gomez - not at the full value - but still enough that it might be a detriment. You want him out and pay the extra money...
The Gomez and Drury fiasco just highlights something we all know about our Stealth GM. He overpays for talent. But, it must be a New York disease.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek had a special Sports Section recently. One of the articles pointed out just how bad New York sports teams were at purchasing athletic talent. The Rangers, of course, are one of the bottom feeders at 114th place out of 122 teams ranked.

The Smartest Spenders in Sports:
A general manager’s job is to turn payroll dollars into wins. We’ve run the numbers on the last five NHL, MLB, NBA, and NFL seasons to see who’s done it best—by winning often, spending little, or (sometimes) both.

Our method: By culling player payroll data from reported sources and pairing them with wins and losses over the last five completed seasons, we calculated an average cost per win in each league. Based on that number, we measured (by standard deviation) how far each team varied above or below the league norm. The result is a cross-sport rating of how every U.S. franchise compares to its peers in squeezing wins from money. We call it the Efficiency Index.

#1 Nashville Predators -- Stayed an average of $10 million below the NHL salary cap while having the fifth-best record in the league.

#10 New York Islanders -- At 33 wins per season, the Islanders were second-worst in the NHL but had the lowest average payroll.
click to enlarge
So how much does that dream job of driving the Zamboni pay? Not too bad.

A photo gallary of professionals who work outside the lines
Kristine “Rosie” DeRosa: Manager of Building Operations
New York Rangers Practice Rink, Tarrytown, N.Y.
Age: 30
Pay: Around $50,000

“My job entails more than just driving a ­Zamboni everyday, but everyone is drawn to that part of it. Everyone asks, ‘Can I get a ride? Is it fun?’ And I always say it’s as fun as it looks.”

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  • blow-me-down said...

    It is really quite incredible that Gomez is far worse with the Canadiens than he ever was with the Rangers, which was not exactly good.

    I truly believe that the huge $$ contract can tip the scales when it comes players like Gomez. Being a one-trick pony - his trick being a very good skater with decent puck-handling skills - means he was overrated anyways, never mind the money.

    Still, you would almost expect he would have been a better fit with the Canadiens than the Rangers. Whatever, somehow this guy has allowed himself to become a great big nothing in terms of being a player.

    Really sad.

  • jb said...

    I was shocked when I saw the stat that he had not scored a goal since Feb. The phrase "sold to you sucka" also came to mind. I didn't write that because it felt a bit like kicking a guy who's down.

    I was also thinking the Habs were a great fit for Gomez when he went there. His drop off has been dramatic:

    2008-09 (NYR) 77games 16G-42A-58pts -2

    2009-10 78games 12G-47A-59pts +1
    2010-11 80games 7G-31A-38pts -15
    2011-12 10games 0G-2A-2pts -4

    Yeah, something has gone wrong. He's only 31, turns 32 next month. His weight is listed at 198, which is 2 lbs less than the 200lbs the Rangers listed him at back in 2008-09. So, it is hard to figure.