Monday, June 28, 2010

On that Jared Boll extension

Word has come out via the Dispatch that the Columbus Blue Jackets and Jared Boll's agent are working on a long-term extension to avoid arbitration for the restricted free agent.

Readers of this blog know that I'm a really big fan of General Manager Scott Howson.  But this one, however, has me baffled.

First, you have to consider his statistics:
  • 2007-2008: 75 games played, 5 goals, 5 assists, 10 points, +/- of -4, 226 PIMs, 8:01 avg. time on ice
  • 2008-2009: 75 games played, 4 goals, 10 assists, 14 points, +/- of -6, 180 PIMs, 8:54 avg. time on ice
  • 2009-2010: 68 games played, 4 goals, 3 assists, 7 points, +/- of -8, 149 PIMs, 7:12 avg. time on ice
So, coming off his worst year for points, plus-minus, avg. time on ice and PIMs (remember, he's a "fighter" so more PIMs theoretically is good), Boll is in line for a long-term contract?  Is this bizarro world?

Even the "fighter" moniker is weak.  As Boll has shown, he's no heavyweight:

So, we are looking at a forward who has little scoring touch, has little playmaking ability, isn't known for playing defense and possesses insufficient fighting capacity.  (And I'm sorry, even in this circus sideshow world that NHL pugilism has become, either you are an enforcer or you're not.  The whole, "I dropped the gloves because the team needed energy" thing is just silly.)  And there's reasonable speculation that Boll is already losing it as a fighter.  

And why not tender him at the league minimum and let him test the market?  I'd be willing to bet that Boll won't get many takers for all the reasons stated above.

If Howson is bent on re-signing Jared Boll despite my howling, might I suggest he look to his contract with Derek Dorsett as a guide.  Dorsett is signed for $562,500 for this season and next.  (Boll's cap hit for the past three seasons has been $743,000.)  Many folks feel that Dorsett and Boll are redundant on the CBJ roster (though I suggest that Dorsett has a "snarl level" that Boll can't approach), so why not pay them at the same level?

This could be perhaps Scott Howson's strangest signing yet.  

Am I missing something?  Could anyone offer a good reason why Boll should be signed to a long-term deal?  Other than the fact that he was on the CBJ "Entourage" poster?  Post your thoughts in the comments.


  1. I'm with you on this one, DBJ. I like the guy, but he's an energy player with a ton of heart, but there seems to be little upside to any facet of his (actual hockey) game. I don't get it. Dorsett, indeed, strikes me as a much better version of the same.

    Maybe this one's getting done for the puck bunnies?

  2. I have a Boll to the Leafs =D Burke loves that kind of player

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  4. I think there is a certain amount of "He's taken a beating for us" in the possibility of a long term deal, but also consider that Boll -has- shown flashes of surprising offensive skill that perhaps Arniel might be able to cultivate?

    At the very least, one thing I can see is if, for example, the team signed him to a 6 year deal at, say, $650,000 (I'm assuming he'd take term for the slight reduction in pay), it also means he's locked in at a low rate, and should he develop more, it's a nice reasonable cost...

  5. the entourage poster is really lame.

  6. You're right, Cody. They should've waited on the photo shoot until the end of the season, when Commie's afro is in full bloom...

    ...but then, Mase probably wouldn't have been smiling at the end of the season.

  7. Boll < Dorsett. The math speaks for itself!

  8. AP always reported/speculated/consulted ouija boards that other clubs had interest in Boll. For a guy who relies on his toughness, he hasn't been that guy since he got pounded into the ground a season (or two?) ago. He's not a guy who bangs with reckless abandon anymore... I'm not sure Dorsett has either since he's broken hands and fingers and whatnot. My guess is SH could try to sign him long term, see how he does with Arniel, and if it doesn't work out, he's got an affordable contract to trade for something he needs.

  9. Yeah this doesn't make sense to me. Besides we drafted a player this year who could be much better than him in Dalton Smith. Really I think Boll needs to go overall as Dorsett is the much better energy/physical player than Boll.

  10. I have to imagine it's the combination of avoiding arbitration and the current structure of deals on the CBJ roster.
    Next season our UFA's are Clark, Murray, Hejda, and Garon. Murray should be had for cheap (if we want to keep him), Garon will likely be a similar scenario (won't be pricey, but will we want him), Clark will probably not be resigned (unless he takes pennies on the dollar). Hejda will be an interesting case, he could remain affordable due to age but we won't know that until we see if he produces again this season.
    Our RFA's are a different story though. Voracek, Methot, and Mason will all be RFA's at the end of next season and I'm betting Howson will be looking to get all three on long-term affordable deals.
    The year after that (2012/13) is when things will get interesting. Our UFA/RFA list is pretty talent-heavy. It includes Juice, Umby, Pahlson, Dorsett, Filatov, and Tyutin.
    I have to think that getting Boll on a long-term deal insures the CBJ an affordable 3rd/4th liner that frees up cap space for the next couple of seasons. I know it sounds a bit silly, spending money to save money, but on a budget team a warm body is a warm body. It also makes Boll an inviting trading asset for teams looking to add an energy/middleweight enforcer should he become expendable in the future.

  11. With you on this one -- Boll brings little to the table that we don't have elsewhere. Qualifying offer is fine to provide a tradeable contract, but beyond that, using up cap space for him is not what we need to be doing.

    Jury is out on Dorsett, IMHO. Yes, he has a lot of "fire", and showed improved offensive zone ability last year. However, he disappears in the defensive zone, shows bad judgment in initiating fights when we have the puck in the offensive zone, and takes bad penalties at bad times. He needs to show some maturity this year. Still, he is a much better value than Boll.

    Methot is another one who needs to show some maturity and is in desperate need of a rectal craniotomy. He has some physical abilities, but freezes at inopportune moments. Again, hopefully Arniel can coax some performance out of him.

    As usual, I counsel patience here. Just because it is in the Dispatch does not mean its true. (See coaching search) Howson is looking for opportunities, and he will find them.


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