Crazy Trade Proposals: Penner for Malone

Jonathan Willis
May 13 2009 01:49PM

Ryan Malone’s a player I’ve liked for a while, although I was opposed to the Oilers chasing him last summer because I thought he would be overpaid, both in actual dollars and in term. Turns out that the Tampa Bay Lightning wanted to take a chance, and now Malone has six more years at a 4.5MM dollar cap hit.

But this is where things get interesting. There’s a big difference between cap hit and actual salary – and Malone’s contract is front-loaded, meaning that for the next two seasons he’s going to be paid 6-million actual dollars.

For a cap team (like the Oilers) salary doesn’t really matter; it’s the cap hit that is essential. For the Lightning, though, actual salary matters a great deal. They’re actively looking for new investors, and the ownership group has a 130MM dollar debt load – requiring payments in the neighborhood of ten million dollars each year. They’re expected to play next season with a budget in the 43-45 million dollar range; a budget which already has 39-million dollars committed to players signed for next season. With the remaining money, the Lightning need to sign or re-sign at least three defensemen a couple of forwards, and give Karri Ramo a new contract.

Which takes us to the Oilers. The salary being front-loaded shouldn’t be a concern for Mr. Katz, but the cap space would seem to be a problem – unless Dustin Penner were going the other way. Penner’s contract isn’t front-loaded, meaning that his 4.25 MM cap hit is exactly the same as his 4.25 MM annual salary.

There isn’t a ton of difference between the two players in size or in offensive production. They even play similar roles on the powerplay, so it isn’t like the Lightning would be making a huge downgrade in those areas. And for the Oilers, for 250,000 in cap space and 1.75MM in actual dollars, they’d see a big upgrade in the nastiness and physical combativeness present in their top-six forwards.

This seems like a proposal that would work for both teams – which probably means I’m missing something big. Thoughts?

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 Ogden Brother
May 14 2009, 08:54AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

@ Ogden Brother: That’s my point really. He’s a very good Centre. Certainly I would take him over Horcoff, but he has never lived up to his hype. IMO he isnt as good as many people think he is. I’m no scout, but his career just hasnt been as great as his apparent potential.

"but his career just hasnt been as great as his apparent potential"

Bingo, he's got all the tools to have been a consistant 40+ goal 90+ point guy, but for whatever reason just never made it there.

I guess the disagrement comes from: Some people look at whats in the tool box vs others looking at what has been accomplished with the tool box.

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#52 Big Red
May 14 2009, 09:04AM
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RossCreek wrote:

I don’t think the Oil would have to give up anything more. If anything they may be able to ask for something else for relieving Tampa of some financial concerns. Maybe they could look at Jeff Halpern too as he’s that 3rd line checking centre the Oilers could use. Throw Nilsson for Halpern into the deal.

This is a solid idea for a trade with Tampa. Making a deal of Penner and Nilsson for Malone and Halpern is a good trade for both teams. Gets $$$ off the books for Tampa, gives Edm grit, and now allows Cogliano to move to the wing on the left side of Gagner and O'Sullivan. Nice idea.

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#53 Archaeologuy
May 14 2009, 09:04AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

I guess the disagrement comes from: Some people look at whats in the tool box vs others looking at what has been accomplished with the tool box.

I think there's a time and place for both of those views, but at this stage in his career I have to look at what he's done with those tools, especially projecting forward over the length of his contract.

The same statement, “but his career just hasnt been as great as his apparent potential”, could likely be said about Hemsky. The difference (as i see it) is that Hemmer is 5 years younger and has never been surrounded with other dynamic offensive linemates. He's just entering what is normally the prime of a Forward's career. That's just how i contextualize it. Now I'm probably giving one guy more slack than the other, but I think it's reasonable.

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#54 Greg MC
May 14 2009, 09:31AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

the only problem is we’d have to listen to endless whining that: “Ryan Malone” is a 6 6 6 6 million dollar player!!

Only if he underperforms...

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#55 Ogden Brother
May 14 2009, 10:01AM
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Greg MC wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: the only problem is we’d have to listen to endless whining that: “Ryan Malone” is a 6 6 6 6 million dollar player!! Only if he underperforms…

Well for 6 million he better put up a point/game, after all, Elias and Marleau both make 6 million ;)

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#56 Greg MC
May 14 2009, 10:09AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Well for 6 million he better put up a point/game, after all, Elias and Marleau both make 6 million

LOL! Can't worry about other teams overpays. Just our luck, we have an owner with deep pockets, but a frickin' cap to deal with.

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#57 Chris
May 14 2009, 12:05PM
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Greg MC wrote:

LOL! Can’t worry about other teams overpays. Just our luck, we have an owner with deep pockets, but a frickin’ cap to deal with.

If there was no cap, the owner with deep pockets may have never stepped up to the plate in the first place.

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#58 Greg MC
May 14 2009, 12:18PM
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@ Chris: True enough!

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#59 Cory Dakin
May 14 2009, 09:23PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

“but his career just hasnt been as great as his apparent potential”

Only true superstars ever live up to their true apparent potential... And realistically speaking.. How many true superstars have ever played the game.

BTW... Nice job Carolina... Lube up for the Penguins!

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#60 Cory Dakin
May 14 2009, 09:24PM
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For everyone out there who knows a Toronto Maple Leafs fan... Now is the time to stand up and laugh in their face... How does Paul Maurice look behind the bench now?

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#61 Ogden Brother
May 15 2009, 08:28AM
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Cory Dakin wrote:

For everyone out there who knows a Toronto Maple Leafs fan… Now is the time to stand up and laugh in their face… How does Paul Maurice look behind the bench now?

I would be willing to bet that rival fans will have the same opportunity to laugh in our faces sometime down the road.

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#62 Archaeologuy
May 15 2009, 09:01AM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

I would be willing to bet that rival fans will have the same opportunity to laugh in our faces sometime down the road.

I wouldnt. MacT's coaching career has been consistently unsuccessful. 38 wins a season has been his average. Not good enough to make the playoffs in any division. I doubt that unless he's given the reigns to Detroit that would change all that much.

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#63 Ogden Brother
May 15 2009, 09:27AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

Ogden Brother wrote: I would be willing to bet that rival fans will have the same opportunity to laugh in our faces sometime down the road. I wouldnt. MacT’s coaching career has been consistently unsuccessful. 38 wins a season has been his average. Not good enough to make the playoffs in any division. I doubt that unless he’s given the reigns to Detroit that would change all that much.

Man that's a distorted view.

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#64 Archaeologuy
May 15 2009, 09:37AM
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It's just a look at his career numbers as an indicator of what he can expect to accomplish. What's distorted about it?

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#65 Hemmertime
May 15 2009, 09:38AM
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Awesome video.

I wouldn't do the trade, Malone is nastier yes, but overpaid based on 1 playoff year (Pisani at least only mildly). Hes paid what Penner is - but Penner only makes that because RFA offer demanded it. A nasty Malone puts up the same amount of production that a lazy Penner does. So I'd want to see if the next coach can light a fire under his arse before we offload him for a same production with less potential player.

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#66 Hemmertime
May 15 2009, 09:55AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I doubt that unless he’s given the reigns to Detroit that would change all that much... It’s just a look at his career numbers as an indicator of what he can expect to accomplish. What’s distorted about it?

The fact that MacT did 38 wins a year (almost .500) with hands tied under no cap scenario. The coach doesn't draft, Detroits better at that... deep pocket dedicated owners, players - Yzerman -> Datsyuk and Zetterberg, and Lidstrom - he would have put him in playoffs right there.

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#67 Archaeologuy
May 15 2009, 10:01AM
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@ Hemmertime: The coach had a say in who came and who stayed to a greater degree than many other head coaches in the league (according to Jason Gregor and Brownlee on their radio program). He's had a Cap scenario for half of his coaching career. He's had a variety of teams with different skill sets. The one constant is the fact that he doesnt win in the regular season. I doubt he takes over some other non-playoff team that just axed their head coach and all of a sudden he becomes a winner. I just dont see it.

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#68 Hemmertime
May 15 2009, 10:06AM
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@ Archaeologuy: I could agree with you there, but Detroit was a bad example. The problem I see with MacT is he couldn't make the adjustment from being a bottom feeder team overachieving to having a roster of higher end talent. Also, I don't believe he is that good with young teams, he needs experienced veterans to coach and handle the young guys. He just needs to fully accept his niche as a poor mans Ken Hitchc*ck <-censored incase moderation - defensive cheap team, and stop the blasphemy of calling his "press" Oilers hockey.

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#69 Archaeologuy
May 15 2009, 10:19AM
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@ Hemmertime: I said that he would put up the same results UNLESS he was coaching Detroit. As in if he was their Coach i would expect him to win more.

And if you arent good with youth then chances are you wont be doing so great as a coach in the NHL. Teams have to go younger because of Cap implications. I would expect that trend to continue if the Cap shrinks over the next few years. Also, I would wager that many teams looking for new head coaches would be non-playoff teams who largely ice younger teams. That leaves only a small % of teams that have a veteran team looking for a new head coach. And since those teams recognize that they have a limited window of opportunity to achieve their goals due to the veteran nature of the team, I doubt they take a chance on a coach that hasnt ever accomplished anything in the regular season.

In short. I predict that MacT will be out of a job for a while and even if he does get hired I doubt his future results will be a point of regret for the Oil. He can be the new Barry Melrose.

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#70 Ogden Brother
May 15 2009, 10:40AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

It’s just a look at his career numbers as an indicator of what he can expect to accomplish. What’s distorted about it?

Because it's presented like the NHL is a chess match with all the coaches having the same tools. The team had serious holes every year he was here, in fact I'd say this past year is the only year he "underperformed" with what he was given, and that was likely by 2-4 wins.

Fun challange, check out what MacT did last year with what he had + the circumstances that played out and then compare them to what St Louis went through this year.

- Andy Murray is up for the Jack Adams this year.

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#71 Ogden Brother
May 15 2009, 10:41AM
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Because it’s presented like the NHL is a chess match with all the coaches having the same tools. The team had serious holes every year he was here, in fact I’d say this past year is the only year he “underperformed” with what he was given, and that was likely by 2-4 wins.

Fun challange, check out what MacT did last year with what he had + the circumstances that played out and then compare them to what St Louis went through this year.

- Andy Murray is up for the Jack Adams this year.

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#72 Ogden Brother
May 15 2009, 10:42AM
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What is with the moderation on this site?

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#73 topshelf
May 15 2009, 10:58AM
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Hemmertime wrote:

So I’d want to see if the next coach can light a fire under his arse before we offload him for a same production with less potential player.

I am not so sure about Malone having less potential than Penner.

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#74 Ogden Brother
May 15 2009, 08:35PM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

.

Fun challange, check out what MacT did last year with what he had + the circumstances that played out and then compare them to what St Louis went through this year. - Andy Murray is up for the Jack Adams this year

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