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28-In-28: Aye Aye Admiral!

by SICHL Insider | August 30, 2015, 12:09 AM ET

What is Amsterdam famous for?

Well, Amsterdam is famous for its sizable system of canals, its Red Light District and its marijuana-dispensing coffee shops. More importantly to one GM, it's famous for its hockey team, the Amsterdam Admirals!

What kind of team is this?

Well it did finish 4th in the World Conference, but made a quick exit thanks to the Reykjavik Riders in a sweep. Does this team have what it takes to make it back to the playoffs and can they do some damage in 15/16?

Let's look see!

Finances:

Amsterdam current cash position $24.2M

Revenue:

  • The team had 64.3% attendance last season which is 2nd last in the league.
  • Admirals generated a little over $62.5M in non-playoff revenue ranking them bottom 5 in the SICHL.
  • Their $3474 per seat places them in the middle of the league.
  • Costulator predicts the Admirals revenue to remain consistent this season, the team has committed to a rebuild and won't see a decrease.
  • Amsterdam had playoff revenue last season and Costulator is predicting they don't make the playoffs this upcoming season.
  • Expected Season Revenue $62M with no anticipated playoff revenues

Expenditures:

Based on the roster here is the Costulators forecast of the Admirals expenditures:

  • Current Roster 35.5M, Expected farm team costs 2.5M.
  • Franchise Player 7M, RFA resignings 5M.
  • There are limited roster spots that can't be filled within the Admirals depth. Perhaps some UFA depth defense and forwards.
  • Expected team expenditures in the $52-55M range.
  • Forecast Bank Balance for the Admirals = $31M

 

Unrestricted Free Agents:

The Admirals have six players eligible for unrestricted free agency. Tough call for Kenny he will FP either Brett Burns or Patrice Bergeron. Tough because losing Bergeron, would mean walking away from the #1 center, and losing Bergeron would be a blow to the forward position. Losing Burns isn't as critical having Seabrook, Johnson and Boychuk in the fold, but having Burns means you have one of the better top 4s in the league.

Restricted Free Agents:

Twelve players re eligible for restricted free agency. Most important player to lock up will be Bobby Ryan who was one of the top scorers on this team last season with 60 pts and will continue to get top 6 minutes on this team in 15/16.

Strength/Weakness:

Defense is probably this team's best strength and could be rock solid if Kenny uses the FP on Burns. Imagine having Jack Johnson, Johnny Boychuk, Brett Burns and Brent Seabrook as your top 4 and having young Matt Dumba in the system probably your #5 this upcoming season.

Forwards are ok, no elite level players. This group is comprised of decent 2nd and 3rd liners. Top 6 will most likely include Ryan, Sharp, Abdelkader, Boedker, and Bergeron if he is signed. The Admirals will probably have to sign some additional depth guys or seek a top 6 forward or two depending on what they do with Bergeron.

Biggest weakness on this team is between the pipes. Jhonas Enroth is not the answer at this time and if the Admirals want to be a playoff contender, they will have to seek a #1 guy for next season. Almost surprised he dealt Jimmy Howard last year but perhaps Kenny has a plan?

Right now I have this team as a bubble playoff team. Kind of in the same position as the Fire Ants last year without a #1 netminder.

In the System:

Top 3 prospects include:

1. Matt Dumba - SICHL ready defenseman. Dumba will most likely see time as a third pairing guy with the Admirals with Morris and Jones departing. Very energetic player who can throw the big hit or score the big goal. Able to log big minutes. All-round D-man with good upside.

2. Alex Khokhlachev - Khokhlachev is a playmaking center. Slick with the puck, Alex is a creative passer who can also put the puck in the net. Willing to go to the dirty areas, has an explosive release, which makes him a dangerous finisher. Lacks elite top-speed, struggles with changes in direction and with skating backwards in general. Khokhlachev will most likely play in the GHA Mariners again this season.

3. Nicklas Jensen - This former 1st rounder (2011) is a guy with the size and skill to be a SICHL regular. However Jensen has yet to take the bull by the horns to make that next step. Jensen has explosive speed. His stickhandling is very good, he is creative with the puck and is a guy known as a pure scorer who likes to shoot the puck. Still has upside. Could still be a factor with the Admirals someday. Think Jensen has been dealt something like 4 times now since being drafted.

Closing notes:

Kenny has twelve picks in the SICHL draft including two late first round picks at #19 and #24 (Las Vegas). They also have two 2nd round picks and two 3rd round picks. Those picks could be used to bring in some top 6 talent.

Had a chance to catch up with the Admirals GM recently and he had this mysterious quote to give: "After a handful of bigtime roster moves, the Admirals may be taking yet another direction change, but no one knows where they will end up."

Well Kenny has picks and cash to play with, perhaps he becomes a player in free agency or makes some deals at the draft!

A rival GM had this to say about the Admirals: "The Admirals have a pretty solid forward group, some decent defenders but their goaltenders leave something to be desired. It will be interesting to see who they give the FP tag to between Bergeron and Burns both are turning 29 and play some good hockey, Burns being a little more versatile. However, I think if this team wants to compete again this season they will need to dip into that $24M bank roll and grab a solid number one goalie. What is the most interesting part about this team could be the solid core of young prospects coming up and the abundance of draft picks they have. They can compete now and will be able to continue doing so for years to come. Now that’s how you build a franchise! This also gives them flexibility to make deals should they be needing that one extra piece at the draft or the deadline to make a push for a championship. This will be a fun team to watch through the season."

While I agree with some of what was said here, I think the Admirals either make a strong push to improve the team in the now or just try and draft some late first round gems and look forward to 16/17 instead. I still think we are looking at a fringe playoff type roster. Some might think it is time to pee or get off the pot for the Admirals. But, I say don't rush into things. Be smart and plan it out. Whatever you do Kenny, Don't base your playoff hopes on "Red light" Jhonas!

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