Um, what?

Wanye
July 02 2008 09:32PM

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Sitting here in our underwear watching nothing but Sportsnet and the occasional Tila Tequila clip, we are amazed at the loot being thrown at players in the past 48 of your Earth hours. We could swear that we lost a season a few years back to implement a salary cap, but that doesn't seem to have stopped fools and their money.

Consider if you will the following defenseman:

Joni "Pussy Willow" Pitkanen signs with the Hurricanes for $12 million over three years. OK, fine. He could be a Norris candidate one year, so one could argue that he earned it.  We thought he wanted $5 million a year. What happened to that? Perhaps he was injured in the Salary Negotiations and lost his drive.

Ron "Who?" Hainsley scored himself $4.5 million on average per year over 5 years. So back to back seasons in the NHL nets you that kind of loot now? Hmm. Interesting move Waddell.

Brooks "No nickname required" Orpik averages $3.75 million over 6 years? Sweet merciful pudding, that ain't cheap either. Yes yes, solid physical defenseman. But that kind of loot?

Brian "Naomi" Campbell $7.1 million a year till 2016? He may be a good defenseman but do you know how old Brian Campbell is in 2016? 76 years old! Well, that's the least of the Hawks' problems, with $12.4 million in goal and nary a good tender on the roster.

Oh yeah and of course Jeff Finger. $14 million over 4 years. For one year in the league. We would laugh if it was funny. Oh wait it is. Ha ha ha.

Perhaps people are right. And by people we mean you. And by you, we mean Robin Brownlee. And by Robin Brownlee we mean a magic eight ball. This is crazy talk.

It's a good thing that Daryl "Kay-Z" Katz invented both illness and medicine and has money to burn.

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Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#1 MarkD
July 02 2008, 10:34PM
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He went to Atlanta

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#2 Jonathan
July 02 2008, 10:38PM
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No comments on Wade "Hang on to my no-move clause so I can get knocked out in the first round like a good Senator" Redden? I think it must be fun to work with Glen Sather.

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#3 Death Metal Dennis
July 03 2008, 01:13AM
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you people understand the player market goes up every time the cap goes up (except Brian Burke thinks it's Kevin Lowe pulling the strings)? so how about the NHL and Canada lowers their ticket prices so people stop whining that players are being paid market standard? but then again, there must be a fat white guy somewhere who is getting an even better payday than all these players from the increase in NHL revenue, but WHICH saggy fat guys?

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#4 RobinB
July 03 2008, 07:35AM
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Wanye: Would it be crazy talk to suggest the Oilers are one of several teams interested in Georges Laraque? Stay tuned on this one.

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#5 Milli
July 03 2008, 08:40AM
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Even better, imagine a guy phoning you up, saying "I'd like to pay you 20 million dollars over 2 years", and you say, did you say doll hairs???????? Nope $$$$$, cold hard cash. Well then, I gotta think about it, if it was doll hairs, this deal is done, but dollars, well........Oh wait, your calling from the Canucks...HAHAHAHAHA...of course not!!!!!

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#6 Wanye Gretz
July 03 2008, 08:53AM
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RobinB-

From what I have been told by my one great source (I only have two remember) Pittsburgh passed on resigning Laraque because they aren't interested in having a fighter they have to coax over the boards to go fight people. They just want someone to do the job.

The source told me that he has put the question to Georges directly and was told Laraque would consider signing with Calgary but not Edmonton.

I can't see MacT being all too pumped about bringing him home, especially after their war of words in the media. But if Katz were to decide that it's time to bring him back that would be a new matter altogether.

At the end of the day Georges loves Edmonton, and still makes his home here.

Now that my source is tapped out, we look to you Mr. Brownlee for actual information on the matter.

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#7 Chaz
July 03 2008, 08:57AM
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Robin: It sounds like you have some inside knowledge. Do tell, do tell!

Georges would definitely help with our Team Toughness concern, but didn't he and Mac T have some trouble seeing eye to eye prior to his departure? I heard ramblings that he would only drop the gloves when he saw fit, and started demanding more ice time. Could be just rumors though.

Georges is a great community guy and an Edmonton booster, so I wouldn't mind seeing him back in Copper and Blue assuming the price is right. Having a top three tough guy is a huge advantage for the regular season, and I'd feel a lot better going into places like Minnesota with Georges in the roster. As I'm sure guys like Ales would too. I guess we'll just wait and see...

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#8 RobinB
July 03 2008, 01:44PM
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Here's the Laraque item to the Oilers I had written when Georges opted for the Habs . . .

HOMECOMING FOR GEORGES? BY ROBIN BROWNLEE Can Big Georges come home again? Yes, he can. Georges Laraque never wanted to leave the Edmonton Oilers, but when general manager Kevin Lowe turned down his request for a no-trade clause in the summer of 2006, Laraque reluctantly packed his bags and signed with the Phoenix Coyotes as an unrestricted free agent before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jump ahead two summers and Laraque, fresh from a Stanley Cup final appearance with the Penguins, is again free to play where he chooses and has an opportunity wear copper and blue again in the city where he began his NHL career and played 490 games in Oilers silks.

If you never thought you'd hear that, given some of the things Laraque has said since he left town with his feelings obviously bruised, believe your ears. It's true. The Oilers are interested in bringing Laraque back into the Oiler family and they've had preliminary talks with agent Steve Kotlowitz, who represents the NHL's sometimes-reluctant but reigning heavyweight champ. A reliable team source confirmed that with me this morning.

Interest on the part of the Oilers is legit, but before anybody gets carried away and puts down money on the tug-of-war between Laraque and Dustin Penner over BG's old No. 27, a lot of things have to happen.

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT -- First and foremost, there'll have to be some fences mended between Laraque and head coach Craig MacTavish. Laraque has been less-than-complimentary in comments about MacTavish on more than one occasion since he departed for Arizona. Without creating a laundry list of discontent, Laraque has said that on some occasions MacTavish red-lighted him in terms of dropping the gloves, fuelling criticism he wasn't nasty or pro-active enough as an enforcer.He's implied MacTavish didn't value his contribution as a deterrent and suggested that some of the Oilers injury woes over the past two seasons are directly related to the absence of a bonafide tough guy.

-- Laraque also took a swipe at tough-guy-in-training Zack Stortini, telling listeners on Team 1260 that opposing players didn't take him seriously -- specifically, that Pittsburgh players laughed when Stortini was put on a checking line to face Sidney Crosby when the Penguins last came to town. BG owes Stortini an apology.

-- Laraque might have to take a pay cut on the $1.3 million he made with the Penguins this season. And, even if he does, there won't be the no-trade clause he sought in 2006 attached. That could be a tough sell as I'm led to believe there are as many as 10 teams interested in Laraque's services and there's likely one or two -- Montreal being at the front of that line -- that would pay him close to what he earned riding shotgun for Crosby and Evgeny Malkin.

-- While there are games in which Laraque is a valuable equalizer in what's a vulnerable line-up loaded with youngsters -- games against the likes of Calgary, Minnesota and Vancouver -- there are nights when he'd have to take a seat in the press box. Because the Oilers are looking at Laraque in addition to Stortini as opposed to in place of Stortini, one or both could be scratched for any given game.

All that said, the door is open for a return by Laraque, who, as most fans know, is immensely popular for his charity work around town and still makes his off-season home here. What Laraque isn't saying, at least not yet, if he's willing to mend those fences and play within the framework MacTavish lays out or if he's cut the ties that bind and would rather continue to live here but play elsewhere.

We'll find out soon enough.

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 5 p.m. on Total Sports with Bob Stauffer

on Team 1260.

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