Thursday, May 25, 2006

Alexei Yashin and the value of draft picks and cap room

I thought this was an interesting trade idea, topic started by a good poster called Trottier on HF. Tangentially, this brings up an issue previously discussed in the Oiler blogsphere – the value of a draft pick.

This same idea appeared in a Boston Globe column 2 weeks later.

Whether the writer lifted the idea from HF, or the rumor is actually a possibility, it sure seems like an intriguing idea to me. What is the value of a 7th overall draft pick, in $$$?

Some other questions:

  • If the 7th overall pick isn’t enough to justify trading for Yashin, how much more would you need for it to be worthwhile? If we pretend that Yashin is worth $4 mil per year as a UFA for the next 5 years, then he is overpaid by ~ $14 mil over the next 5 years (He is reportedly owed ~ 34 mil over the next 5 seasons). Is there any way a 7th overall draft pick has that sort of value?

  • Are there any teams that you think this deal would be a good idea for, as is?

  • Is the value of a draft pick different to different teams? Which teams should now value them more than in the past, or less as the case may be? Why?

  • Mudcrutch once posted, regarding Theodore , that some moves can make sense for a team near the cap floor that don’t necessarily make sense for other teams . Is that true in this case with Yashin? It’s easy to say a team is better off to simply spend the money on UFA’s and get better bang for buck than Yashin + draft pick. What happens if players won’t come to your team without a sizeable overpay? If you have to overpay anyways, are you better off getting a 7th overall pick while you overpay?


Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Good post speeds.

I would hope that hockey teams peg a dollar value on draft pick positions. It would be a strange way to run a business if they didn't.

I'm sure that a 7th overall pick has a different value to different teams. Both in terms of $ and cap space.

While I am not closing to having my head around it, there is a strange dynamic now with the lower echelon teams looking at a dramatic rise in the salary floor level. I suspect that a lot of the star players are going to be able to command the maximum if they are willing to play in FLA, STL, WSH, etc.

I suspect that if the NYI wait until September, then some of the red headed stepchildren teams of the NHL would be interested in Yashin. And probably wouldn't demand that a 1st come with him, but who knows. Just takes one GM to set the market for a guy like that, and two bidding against each other to set the market in a strange place.

By the way speeds, who are the big name UFAs out there that you think may be interested in playing for the Oilers, as a hunch?

5/25/2006 7:37 am  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

Good post speeds. I've got a broken link there-the Theo thing is here.

I'm sure you know but the guy who wrote that piece (Kevin Paul Dupont) is an HF regular.

5/25/2006 8:57 am  
Anonymous momentai said...

Well, speeds...

Trottier brings up an interesting decision in the hockey world but it is not all that uncommon to see teams unloading fat contracts with draft pick incentives in the NBA. New York is a sports mecca and I would imagine that Trottier got some inspiration from that practice.

Cap space, like players themselves, have a role and value associated with that. It's that wonderful world of unlocked, untapped potential. It's similar to that of a draft pick in many fashions. I don't know that the Islanders now place less value on the draft pick. Instead, I think cap space (for their purposes) might present more net gain in terms of flexibility.

Yashin would have to go to a team that would be willing to absorb his contract and there are probably few teams in the league that have that capability. Minnesota? Washington?

5/25/2006 8:58 am  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

For what it's worth, I disagree with Vic. Too much money for too many years attached to Yashin. I doubt that the pick is worth anywhere near enough to make it a neutral deal for hte team acquiring him. The Theodore thing I was talking about was different because you weren't saddled with him for forever plus a day. The risk here is way higher and I think that Yashin is almost irredeemable in terms of his reputation so I don't know that you'd be able to "fix" him and then move him.

5/25/2006 8:59 am  
Anonymous momentai said...


I would agree for the most part. That Yashin contract is just beyond poor especially for its length. Any team really willing to stomach that salary hit for the short term likely has top end young players that need to be signed later on. Unfortunately, Yashin's contract will still be on the books complicating matters.

5/25/2006 9:19 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...


I'm not saying it's a smart move. Hell, I'd be burning Lowe in effigy in my back yard if he acquired Yashin and a first round pick for nothing.

But Yashin has put up big results in the past. And lots of hockey players are assholes, the main difference with Yashin is that in this case it has been confirmed.

Momentai mentions Minnesota and I think that may be a good fit. It's a hockey mad market and Yashin will be under pressure to perform. Few UFAs would be interested in going there, for the same reasons that EDM isn't that attractive to a lot of UFAs, plus they aren't having a playoff run and play a remarkably unfun style for the players. They'll need to add salary and won't be able to find many places to spend it.

How much will Minny demand in excess of Yashin in order to take him off of NYI's hands? I dunno, quite a bit at first I'd think, if they are interested.

Will Mike Barnett get involved in the bidding at some point if Yashin + picks/prospects is being offered by the Isles? Well it doesn't make a shred of sense that he would ... so yeah, probably. :)

Time will tell.

5/25/2006 9:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WSH. They very likely won't be going on a shopping spree this summer and as MC pointed out ages ago with the Theo discussion, they might have to work to get to the cap floor. Yashin centering Ovechkin was effective in Italy, and it's pretty much certain Yashin would improve his production in that type of environment (making him more attractive to flip later if indeed the cap rises as dramatically as Feaster seems to think it will). I'm better a fellow Russian could put up with him -- if he could put up with Ovechkin that is.

5/25/2006 11:39 am  
Anonymous lowetide said...

I could see this in a very narrow view. Like Columbus where they don't appear to be heading anywhere or Calgary where they have 6's and 7's up the yitz but no no jacks and kings.

What coaches has he played well for? Are they still alive?

What GM has a 10-year contract that can't be broken?

Other than that, it's a crazy-Lacroix or a team with an owner like the guy in Dallas I'd expect.

I'd be okay with my team doing it if they were someone like St. Louis who are years away and need elite level draft picks.

Is Yashin less valuable for-the dollar than someone like, say, Guerin?

5/25/2006 3:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dunno why I like WSH (in terms of teams that are several years from doing anything) but there was something in the Ovy/Yashin tandem in Italy that caught my eye. I think Alexei could return to being useful in the right circumstances.

Then again, the more I think about it, the more it would seem that hiring 2 or 3 3M/yr FA reliables, especially on the backend and/or in net, would make a ton more sense. Of course that can be risky -- look at Pitt this year. I don't think it was unreasonable to believe that Palffy and Gonchar would be impact players. (One could argue that Recchi, Leclair, and those two performed at least adequately but it was the other guys minus Crosby that were the problem).

Then again again, I can't get over the feeling that Feaster could've gotten Richards for 7.2 or 6.9 or 6.3 or whatever if he'd have tried. That deal makes me think he didn't even try (kind of like the Yashin deal, except not quite as insane). Wouldn't surprise me to see ol Brad put up career numbers for the next few seasons and never see the playoffs though.


5/26/2006 1:36 am  
Blogger speeds said...

Answering my own questions:

(1) (a)I think you need at least another first rounder, or even better a ready prospect, to make that deal tolerable for another team.

(b) There's no way a 1st rounder is worth 14 mil, even after you discount the money to PV (present value). Here's one way to look at it, for a team like EDM that probably won't spend to the cap - How much money would you need to be given in cap room (per year) for it to be worth not drafting in the first round every year going forward? Is 3 mil enough? 2 mil, 4 mil?

(2) No. If you modify the deal, I can see it making sense for a team like MIN, STL, WSH (less so, unless they think Ovechkin can pump Yashin's stats enough over the next 2 years to give Yashin value when they need to give Ovechkin a raise to the 20% max).

(3) Absolutely. I'm just guessing, but I think a draft pick may be worth less to any team spending under the cap but above the midpoint than it is to either (a) a teams spending below the midpoint but above the floor (qualifying for rev share) or (b) team spending to the cap

5/26/2006 8:29 pm  
Blogger Achtungbaby said...

The Capitals should be trading to get this guy and the 1st rounder. They have the cap room and won't be contenders to win for awhile.

Any team that trades for him has to be prepared to lose because his contract eats up so much cap room.

5/31/2006 6:31 am  
Blogger Achtungbaby said...

Semin and Ovechkin could also benefit from him a lot.

5/31/2006 6:33 am  

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