Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don't Expect Hartman Back

In his 3 seasons in KC, Kevin Hartman has probably been one of the Wizards top players over that time frame, but that time appears that it is at an end. Earlier today the Star had an article about how Hartman still had not signed with the team. Shortly afterward, word came out about the Wizards signing Danish goalkeeper, Jimmy Nielsen. While nothing has officially come out, it's not hard to connect the dots and figure out that Hartman's days in KC are numbered. With Nielsen already signed he's the favorite now to become the number one keeper, although Louis Crayton and Ian Walker are still in camp and likely hoping to still get the number 1 spot. I can't see the Wizards signing a guy like Nielsen and then expecting to sign another player to be the number one guy. And I can't expect Hartman to come back expecting to be a back up keeper.

So what happened with the Wizards and Hartman? My guess is that the Wizards offered Hartman a contract that was less than his previous deal (which was $165,000), likely enough less that Hartman flat turned it down and neither side was willing to come close enough to the other. I'm guessing the two parties are to far apart, which is why KC is looking elsewhere. Again that's a complete guess on my part, but I don't think you'll see many people that will argue with this guess.

So what happens with Hartman now? Based on my previous guess and the current collective bargaining agreement, Hartman's MLS rights will be held by the Wizards for the next two years (The current CBA allows teams to hold an out of contract players' rights for 2 years if they make that player a contract offer). Meaning that if another MLS team wants Hartman they're going to have to trade with the Wizards for his rights. If there's no team that wants to trade for Hartman's rights, then Hartman's choices are limited, he can go to USSF Division 2 like Steve Ralston did with AC St. Louis, or he can go abroad and try to play elsewhere like a Scandinavian country or even try Mexico.

It'll be interesting to see where Hartman ends up playing, but I'm basically 100% sure now that it won't be in KC.


Reepicheep said...

Kind of a bummer for the league leader in most goalie stats...and for us.

I think Hartman another, maybe two quality seasons left in him. He's a quality guy for the community as well.

$165,000 is too much for the Wizars to pay? That's not a good sign, especially not paying Lopez $170k this year either.

Sure, if Casino Jimmy works out, no one is too upset. If he doesn't, it'll prove to be one of the more questionable calls of the Vermes tenure.

MOUFWASH said...

what upsets me the most about this it reminds me how stupid the rules are regarding "free agents", hopefully that isnt in the new CBA when it gets done (fingers crossed it gets done)

i had forgotten about the stats actually, that is kinda a bummer cuz it was actually something really notable that delt with the Wizards...

Reepicheep said...

Mouf, also, and less important I realize- the fan factor. I have three little boys I take to the games with me. Hartman and Claudio were two guys I could actually tell them various interesting stats about concerning their respective pasts. My youngest son went to a Wizards soccer camp last year and Hartman was his instructor. He was a very nice, personable guy, and it made my son root just a bit more for the Wizards and Hartman.

Obviously it's a business, but I don't see the new goalie as enough of an improvement to move a guy the fans really liked. Sometimes I don't think the Wizards quite get it.

MOUFWASH said...

true, Hartman had/has a good following (I am also an El Gato fan)... Hope your boy doesnt take the news to hard

Anonymous said...

The money can't have much to do with it. It's other people's money, not the team's.

Hartman was a middle-of-the-pack MLS keeper each of his three seasons in KC. Nielsen will likely be an improvement.

What is clear is that Vermes cares only about making what he feels is the right decision to make the club better; fan favorites aren't really taken into account. If it makes the team better, I have to agree, but it does reduce the margin for error forgiveness.

Anonymous said...

It is the team's money when it comes down to how much it counts against the cap. I know MLS has those crazy rules about the league paying the salaries, but the team still has to figure those amounts into their cap amount.

Based off of what is Nielsen an improvement? I haven't seen him play, I don't know of any Wizards fans who have seen him play. All I have to base Nielsen on is his playing on a team that got relegated and then pouting saying he didn't want to play for that team any more because they were relegated. Not exactly the type of attitude you want in your keeper. What happens when KC is out of the playoff race and he loses interest again. There are just a lot of personality questions to answer for.