Happy Wednesday to all.
So, about Artemi Panarin: the Avs are going to be players for his services. This much, I feel confident in reporting. They will be making a competitive offer. It’s going to come down to where the Bread Man most wants to play, probably.
I wouldn’t worry, by the way, too much about the Florida no-state-income-tax thing (there is no state income tax in Florida, which saves players who claim their working residence there a decent chunk of money). It is a competitive advantage for the two teams that play in Florida. It could be a factor in the Bread Man choosing to sign with the Florida Panthers. But when you’re going to be making the kind of money the Bread Man will make, the state income tax savings isn’t going to matter as much. Besides, a good accountant can find a way to get that money back in itemized deductions. The Colorado state income tax, by the way, is 4.63 percent. (Here is a very good article that breaks down the Florida state income tax thing and how it can save players there. This article came out when Steven Stamkos was being wooed by others as a free agent).
I don’t think it’s the clincher either way. As I understand it, the Bread Man wants to play on a very good team, No. 1, and go from there. But, yes, of course, money will be a uuuuge factor too. As H.L. Mencken once said, “When somebody says it’s not about the money, it s about the money.”
Judging by the comments, Avs fans don’t seem all that thrilled about Wayne Simmonds as a potential free-agent signing. I don’t know, he’s a pretty darn good player. But if the Avs got Panarin as their new top-six left winger? Yeah, Simmonds wouldn’t make sense. But if they don’t get Panarin…
All people were talking about in hockey management circles last night was the Kevin Hayes contract with Philly. Seven years and $50 million-plus. “Insane” was one word a well-known hockey person told me.
Here’s what another well-known person who gets paid to analyze the NHL told me: “I’m stunned. I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near that with that player.”
Free agents always get overpaid, though, right? Just the way it is. But guys younger and younger are getting these kinds of deals, and it’s spiraling payrolls everywhere as an offshoot.
Everyone just wants to know one thing: Who will the Blackhawks take at No. 3? Alex Turcotte, to be Jonathan Toews’ heir apparent? Or Bowen Byram, and keep stacking a blue line that needs work? Nobody seems to know right now. Whomever the Hawks pick, the Avs get the other guy most likely.
I did have a well-known hockey person last night tell me, though, that he thinks Kirby Dach would be the best pick for the Avs at No. 4. “Big centerman, can be 2C – that’s what Colorado’s need is, right?” is how he put it to me.
6 a.m. flight to Seattle tomorrow, two-plus hour drive from there to Vancouver. Gotta get my beauty sleep early tonight. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the Avs Travel Tip Jar. 95 cents of every dollar contributed goes to travel to and from Avs games/other Avs-related events and 5 cents goes to the Thornton Food Bank. I will be making my first donation there, on your behalf, today. If you want to contribute? Thank you, and here’s how.