Sunday, July 29, 2007


Pssst…..hey, NHL GM’s…..come over here…..yes, you…..come here, I’ve got something to tell ya…..Shhhh…..don’t look now…..I said don’t look now…..but…..there’s a guy over there who…..WILL SIGN YOUR GOOD YOUNG PLAYERS TO OFFER SHEETS!!!! SO TIE THEM UP EARLY TO CONTRACTS YOU CAN AFFORD BFORE YOU LOSE THEM OR HAVE TO PAY THEM OUTRAGOUS SALARIES JUST TO KEEP THEM!!!!

Sorry about the Warner Brothers intro, I just got back from my vacation (a week without computer access and only cartoons on the T.V.). So, I just caught up with the news of Kevin Lowe striking again with an offer sheet to the Ducks Dustin Penner. It seems that Lowe is the only NHL GM who is willing to play hardball against his cronies. First he signs the Sabres Thomas Vanek to an ungodly amount of money that was matched; now he sends Penner an offer that will drive Brian Burke to drink. In the first case with Vanek, I was shocked that the Sabres matched at first, but after looking at their situation I realized they had little choice. They had the space to do it and after losing their top two forwards to free agency, they had to mach the offer. In the Ducks case with Penner, well, there may be a bit of nasty name-calling and ill feelings first, but in the end it makes little sense for the Ducks to match the offer. Unless, of course, Selanne and Niedermayer both decide to retire freeing up the cap space to match the offer to Penner. Like it or not, offer sheets are a part of this current CBA and Kevin Lowe isn’t doing anything wrong by exercising his right to use it. The message boards everywhere are full of fans complaining that Lowe is driving up salaries by signing these players to offer sheets with high price tags, but really he isn’t. The salaries of the players is FIXED at 55% of revenues for next season, the only place it drives up is the salaries of players comparable to Penner. So people, please remember that overall salaries ARE NOT rising, only the salaries to a particular group of players. The money paid to Penner comes out of the pocket of another player (most likely of lesser talent) on whichever team signs him. This is how the CBA is suppose to work. It is set up this way to make sure that top and 2nd tier players get the value they are worth, while at the same time making sure the less talented players and veterans on the decline don’t get overpaid. All Lowe is guilty of is exposing a weakness of his fellow GM’s and trying to profit from it. He saw Reiger in Buffalo in a tight spot and tried to squeeze him for Vanek, he caught Burke napping and put the squeeze on him for Penner. What this should do is wake up all other GM’s to the fact that he is poaching for players and they better get their house in order before he comes your way (hey Lou, get Parise signed soon). Personally, I applaud Lowe for bucking the tired old trend and trying to explore new avenues in acquiring players to play for his team. It is this sort of thing that the league needs to force the GM’s to do their job well. Lowe may be making more enemies than friends these days, but one thing is for sure, he’s awake and he’s going to make sure all others are as well.

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