TIOPS DAILY FIVE
*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. Prior to last night, the last team to win the Stanley Cup three times in a six year span was the Detroit Red Wings, 1997, 1998, 1992. That 2001-2002 Red Wing team was a situation of being able to buy a dream team with the NHL having no salary cap in the Red Wings adding Luc Robitaille, Dominik Hasek, and Brett Hull in the summer of 2001. No one looked at the Red Wings as a dynasty then but in a cap era, what the Blackhawks are doing with three Cups in six years, it’s the best run by an NHL franchise since the Oilers in the late 80’s when you factor everything in.
What makes the Blackhawks unique is they’re a step ahead of the rest. They believe in a vision, style of play and stick with it. After their mini tear down following their Stanley Cup title in 2010, the Blackhawks went on to lose in the first round in back-to-back seasons as the NHL was evolving into a close checking, heavy type of offensive hockey. Yet, you never saw the Blackhawks change their style of play or try to go out and become the Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings.
Too many organizations, the Penguins among them react to others. Chicago doesn’t and great things are only going to continue.
2. What you hear in Pittsburgh right now is that this is how it was supposed to be for the Penguins when it comes to Chicago winning again. For the Penguins, the stunning thing with them hasn’t been that they haven’t won another Cup or got back to another one, it’s that they haven’t won more than eight playoff games in one playoff run since winning in 2009. You need 12 wins to get back to the Cup Final. It’s easy to blame injuries, Ray Shero, but there’s a lot of blame to go around. They have failed year after year to click on all cylinders when it comes to the pressure situation of the NHL playoffs.
3. The reports in April of the Penguins planning buy-outs won’t come to fruition. Did Jim Rutherford change his mind? No. There’s just some in the organization who want narratives put out there that this is all Ray Shero’s fault and buying out Rob Scuderi, Chris Kunitz would be a good PR move. However, once the Penguins went into their organization meetings, it became clear that buying out Rob Scuderi doesn’t look as attractive when you sit down and breakdown the numbers and that’s what the Penguins have determined.
Buying Scuderi out this summer would cost (dead money) the Penguins $1.292 million against the cap in 2015-2016, $1.792 million in 2016-2017, followed by $917,000 cap hit for the following two seasons.
For next season the Penguins would get a $2.083 million cap savings and a savings of under $1.6 million in 2016-2017 to go with the $917,000 cap hits for 17-18 and 18-19 when Scuderi wouldn’t even be under contract.
Use the cap buyout charge ($1.292 million in 2015-2016) for Scuderi and add the cap charge for his potential replacement, and it’s likely only going to be a savings for around $1 million at the most. Just not worth it the Penguins decided.
Whether Scuderi is safe from being traded remains to be seen. Shero did leave a nice parting gift by giving Scuderi a pretty significant no trade clause where he can block trades to 14 teams, mostly Western Conference teams.
4. The St. Louis Cardinals, Major League Baseball’s model franchise, are being investigated by the FBI for allegedly hacking into networks and trying to steal information about the Houston Astros, The New York Times reported Tuesday. According to the Times, the FBI believes that Cardinals officials gained access to the Astros’ database by using a list of passwords associated with Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow dating to his tenure with the Cardinals from 2003 until he left for Houston after the 2011 season.
Do I think the Cardinals were looking for a competitive edge? No, this sure sounds like something personal against Luhnow but legally it potentially is a huge deal because of something called corporate espionage.
5. Former Pirates draft pick Brock Holt today became the first Red Sox player in 19 years to hit for the cycle. While Joel Hanrahan didn’t pan out for the Red Sox, Holt has become a pretty good player for them who can play anywhere in the field. The Pirates thought he had a chance to be a marginal bench player.