The Perfect LW’er?

Reports have it that the Dallas Stars, and RFA winger James Neal are at an impasse.

Anyone else remember the 2009 Worlds in which Spezza and Neal found instant chemistry?

I sure do.

With all of his 2011 draft picks, should Murray make a move on Neal, and force the Stars into an uncomfortable decision?

At the right price, Neal is a big time impact forward, with many good years left to play.

A 3yr/$7.846M deal would only cost the Sens a 2nd round pick.  That’s a young, legit scoring winger for $2.615M/yr.  What would an impending UFA cost at the deadline?  Probably more.

I’d offer it without so much as a second thought.



25 Responses to “The Perfect LW’er?”

  1. GN:

    Good idea…great dream, but Texas covers your offer without a thought…another “Big Money” Tranna guy coached by Bob McKenzie…those Leaf fans would burn down the Scotia Bank Place!

    • Yah but…
      Dallas doesn’t want to offer term, because of their franchise being for sale. So, give him term, and what do you have to lose?
      “Don’t ask, don’t get” I say.

      • BigCanadian Says:

        Neil won’t want term as it will eat into his UFA years…

        • By all accounts, that is exactly the sticking point. Neal wants term, the Stars do not want to sign beyond the short term.
          It makes sense, with all of the rumour about the league hoping to contract the cap in the next CBA, and considering the fact that the Stars are for sale. What new owner wants to inherit a pile of liability?

  2. Says:

    Nik is right…

    For an offer sheet to work, it has to be exorbitant.

  3. Ottawa has to have something the other teams wants ..

  4. Actually 2-3 million requires compensation of a 1st and a 3rd round pick.
    Still he is worth it at that price but I think that Dallas would match anything under 4.

    3-4, requires a 1st, 2nd and a 3rd.
    4-5 million equals 2x 1st rounders, a 2nd and a 3rd.
    5 million or more is 4 first rounders.

    • You can offer up to $3.091963M/YR. before needing to compensate beyond a 2nd rnd pick.
      In otherwords, BM could offer 9.275M over 3 yrs. and still only lose a 2nd as comp if Neal signed and Dallas didn’t match.
      I’d still do it at that price!

  5. Dazillion Says:

    Didn’t Dallas tender a QO? I thought that makes him ineligible to receive an offer sheet?

  6. Didn’t put too much thought into that one did you? Dallas has 20 players signed with 14 mil in cap space currently, the only way they don’t match is if you offer some stupid amount like 7 mil a season, at which point, the Sens would like like f’in morons.

    • Actually, I did.
      Yes, the Stars have cap room, but, they also have 3 other key RFA’s to sign. Then add to this the fact the team is in financial difficulty, and is being shopped around.
      The Stars operate with an internal salary cap below the league maximum, so using the max as the “workable” cap space is wrong.

  7. I’m not a big fan of offer sheets & I wouldn’t be surprised if they take them out of the CBA in future. If I was Murray I would make a courtesy call to the Dallas GM & offer him a package for Neal before making an offer sheet. Say Kuba, Shannon & a 2nd. Let’s face it, the GM would have to be an idiot not to match any offer sheet that Murray offered within reason & Murray has cap issues of his own. So he won’t be offering more than $4 mil unless he has another deal up his sleeve. Remember these GMs take these offer sheets personally & will look at every chance to get even in future, something called Karma as well.

    Neal is a top 6 forward on almost any team in the NHL & top 3 on a lot as well. If I understand correctly, the most Murray can offer without it costing more than a 2nd is around $3 mil? I don’t see it happening, even with their ownership changing it’s not significant enough to make a difference. BTW if this scenario were to happen & Dallas matches where is the benefit to Ottawa? Maybe if Dallas were in our Division or Conference it would benefit Ottawa, if they did this to Boston or Toronto forcing their hand, causing cap issues, but Dallas? I would definately call the Dallas GM, I might even tell him that I’m considering putting in an offer sheet to see what he says. Even if they were to get a 1st rd pick there is no guarantee that player will turn out to be as good as Neal, IMO they would match maybe even as high as the $7 mil range. I would, he’s that good.

    • I’m no big fan of OS’s either.
      But, thems the rules.
      What got me thinking about it was the fact that Regin was Arb. protected.
      What’s stopping BM from doing it, an OS on Foligno…we should be so lucky.
      I whole heartedly agree about calling Niewy first, but not until I’d spoken to Neals’ agent. Let Neal know an OS is possibly coming, or risk Niewy scooping your offer on an unsuspecting Neal.
      1. Call Neals agent, let him know how much you’d be willing to OS him for (we’ll not really, but enough to peak his interest).
      2. Phone Niewy, make him a trade offer, contingent upon being able to sign Neal.
      3. If the deal is turned down, extend the OS.

      • Good points Senssay whatever it would take to get Neal to Ottawa I would be in favour of & I would even include a 1st rd pick because like you I think he would be great on Spezza’s left wing.

        He reminds me of Fisher the way he plays which is why I always talk about Fisher playing the wing but because he is a right shot it’s likely he would be better at RW. He played their a little two yrs ago when Ottawa brought up Regin & they played well together but once Regin got hurt that changed things. But getting Neal would free up Regin to play centre & move Fisher to RW. There is also some talk about Michalek wanting to play RW, what’s with all these LWers wanting to play RW?

        I would try to acquire Neal first but if not I would try & sign one of Kariya, Frolov or Stemniack who are all UFAs? They wouldn’t cost us any assets & then move some of our bottom 6 guys to make cap room for assets? Frolov shoots right but can play either wing, has good size & can score in bunches although he is soft as butter. I prefer big strong scoring forwards like Neal & Horton (wish we would have gone after him for Kuba) but will settle for a softer but high scorering LWer.

  8. GN:

    It’s up in the “Peanut Gallery” along side Keven Lowe for you. Bryan Murray is a white hat kinda GM and that’s the way we like it…Dallas are down, ya don’t kick a guy when he is down.

    The “Hockey Gods” and simply the “Nemesis” of life shall reward good guys and punish your evil thoughts!

  9. GN:

    Ya see your ideas are always imaginative and get everyone excited…we may have to move you from the Hockey Dept. to PR.

    But we still think you are a valuable man to have on the team!

  10. Sensay,
    your as shrewd as the Dragons on DD 🙂

    Business is Business after all, and I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Neal on this team.

    He is a favorite of mine, and not just because he got me points in my fantasy pool 🙂

    I agree 100%. He would be awesome for Spezza, and a genesis of creativity would be born.


  11. I do remember Spezza with Neal. The chemistry was there for sure.

    With that kind of combo together on the top line, and Gonchar leading the charge from the blue line, the Sens would be a serious threat!

    Foligno, Regin and all the kids/AHL’ers on the 4th line ready to fill in on higher lines when needed (the old guys will need time off for bumps and bruises).

    I’m sure with some “creativity” BM could fit him in, but I can’t see Dallas letting go of him. Too bad.

    I predict we’ll spend another year hoping Foligno or Regin will emerge as top six left wingers…

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