UPDATE: EVEN LOU DOESN’T LIKE KOVALCHUK CONTRACT

New Jersey Devils' Ilya Kovalchuk is sent off the ice for a penalty in the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarter-final hockey playoff series in Newark, New Jersey April 16, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

I can’t believe Ilya Kovalchuk only signed for 17 years, instead of 19, to match the amount of days it took his agent and the Devils to make a mockery of the CBA.

Kovalchuk is signed through to the 2026/2027 season, but he has no intentions of playing past 2021 because he will only make $750,000 in year 12 and $550,000 in the final five years of the deal. Does anyone believe he’ll play for the love of the game past his 39th birthday? How does the NHL allow teams and players to agree to contracts that they have no intention of honouring?

The players and their agents love this arrangement. They get 90-95% of their money in the years of the deal and then can retire without leaving much money on the table. Sure, the teams get to save money on the cap hit, but they still end up overpaying guys.

Kovalchuk will make $11.5 million in 2012/2013 to 2016/2017. In the 2012 season Kovalchuk will get paid $4 million more than Sidney Crosby and $1.5 million more than Alex Ovechkin. Are you freaking kidding me Lou Lamouriello? In five years Kovalchuk will be considered one of the worst contracts in the league, but why should Lou care, because there is a good chance he’ll be dead before this contract ends. Lou is a healthy 67, but after this signing he might be showing signs of going senile.

The CBA expires the summer of 2012, and I don’t see anyway the league will allow these types of contracts to continue, and they shouldn’t. Put a cap on the length of contracts. Make the maximum eight years, and once a player turns 31 the longest is five years. The players who are worth the money will still get their money, and even the guys who aren’t will still get overpaid, but at least then teams and the players will have to honour their contract.

I can’t believe in 19 days the Devils didn’t realize this was a bad contract. Here’s hoping the Devils continue their post-lockout success of first round exits.

UDPATE 

Here is a quote from Tom Gulitti’s article (at www.northjersey.com) regarding the Kovalchuk contract. Lou Lamoriello admits he doesn’t like the contract.

I asked Lamoriello what he would think if someone brought up Kovalchuk’s contract in the next round of CBA negotiations (in two years) and pointed to it as a flaw.

“I might agree,” he said. “But there is nothing that we have done wrong. This is within the rules. This is in the CBA. There are precedents that have been set. But I would agree we shouldn’t have these. But I’m also saying that because it’s legal and this is something that ownership felt comfortable doing for the right reasons.” 

It was clear that ownership—headed by Jeff Vanderbeek—was behind this particular contract. Not that Lamoriello didn’t endorse bringing Kovalchuk back.

Still, Lamoriello said he “absolutely” rolled his eyes when the Islanders signed Rick DiPietro to a 15-year contract in 2006 and when Washington signed Alex Ovechkin to a 13-year contract in 2008. He also said he “absolutely” rolled his eyes when Kovalchuk’s contract was completed.

So why would he sign Kovalchuk to such a deal?.

“You’d have to speak to ownership about that,” Lamoriello said. “The commitment that ownership has made here, this is a commitment and a decision they wanted to make for this type of a player and all I can do is say whether the player is a player that will fit into the team, can help the team and is not a risk as a player. As far as what the financial commitment is and that aspect of it, that was out of my hands.”

If one of the smartest minds in hockey doesn’t like the deal, then the NHL should sit up and take notice.

Random Tidbits

  • I like how Kings’ GM, Dean Lombardi didn’t cave to Kovalchuk’s ludicrous demands and realized that cap flexibility and signing your own talent is the right path towards being a Cup contender. The Kings are still a few players away from contending, but Lombardi has the flexibility to make the right moves moving forward.
  • How many of you were writing off Dustin Penner at this time last summer? Don’t lie, most of you were, but that changed 20 games into the season when many of you were suggesting he should be on the short list for the Olympic team. Things can turn around quickly. Rather than turn most posts into Horcoff/anti-Horcoff repeats wait for the season to start.
  • This scenario was presented to me yesterday on TEAM 1260. Oilers trade Sheldon Souray to the Islanders for Brendan Witt. Gilbert Brule goes to arbitration the first week of August, and the Oilers accept whatever the arbitrator decides, and then they buy out Witt’s $3 million contract at $2 million spread out over two years. In theory it makes sense because the Islanders need to get to the floor and Souray would add $2.4 million. “This deal has some merit to it, but there hasn’t been a lot of serious talk about it,” an executive from one of the teams text me. We’ll see.
  • After the Esks third straight loss I was a bit surprised at Patrick Kabongo’s demeanor when he joked around with Darian Durant during an interview. I wasn’t the only one. Former Eskimo AJ Gass posted this at www.esksfans.com

“I question how much SOME vets on this team care about winning. For example, Durant was doing an interview 45 second after the game and who do we see jump into the screen and play a little grab ass with him while he’s talking…#56 Kabongo!!!

Now I like Pat, I have really enjoyed watching him grow into a legit football player, but to me this is a serious symptom of a major problem. Pat is a vet, he is probably the highest paid OL in the league, he showed his team and the entire country what losing a game means to him. Not much. If minutes after losing your 3rd straight game and remain the only winless team in the league, you laugh, smile, and joke around with the opposing QB, you are setting a horseshit example of what it means to be an Eskimo.

For any rookie watching his behavior it shows that losing is ok.”

The Eskimos’ problem is they don’t enough guys like Gass, or Bruce Beaton or Ed Hervey. Guys who play with passion and get pissed off after a loss. The Esks are better than their 0-3 record, but their high-profile players keep making key mistakes at crunch time. I wonder if they have enough winners in the dressing room to make any sort of run to the Cup. Beating Winnipeg, without Buck Pierce, and then BC next week won’t make me a believer.

  • The Boston Bruins had some of the best marketing commercials last year:

Pure gold, with the comb in the back pocket and the jersey.

How many of you have ripped your buddy for fraternizing with the enemy?

The Bear is a great mascot, and I can’t think of another team who could use their mascot and get the same results. The Sharkie in San Jose is friendly. The Duck in Anaheim is just that; a Duck. If Florida used a Black Panther it might work and the Preds could go with a Sabretooth, but both would be stretches. Kudos to the Bruins for producing the best NHL team commercials, they make the Oilers “fan picture” campaign look incredibly lame.

  • good post Jason i agree with you most of this nonsense re contracts is a joke hope they get it fixed asap. In regards to Penner i believe it’s the same guy who pulled the chute once he was not asked to join team canada sorry i have watched him play games when he feels like it time for the oil to get rid of him for someone who will give there all 82games a season

  • I have never seen the tuck one before, it’s clever.

    @ Gregor

    On the Mascott thing, you were talking a few weeks back about Eskimo’s mascotts? Did you ever find out the name of the original one, not the safeway guy?

    The Carolina Hurricanes use a pig as a mascot, Stormy. I think it is simply for the love of “grilling” pork while tailgating. Pigs & ice usually don’t mix.

  • Even if the NHL and NHLPA agree to new terms concerning contract length, do these contracts (Hossa, Kovalchuk, Zetterberg, Luongo) that have already been signed just press on through?

    I would like to see these teams have to take the cap hit on what the players are making that year. Or if that would put too much of a screw into things allow each team to have a “Franchise” style player where they can take that players hit off of the books for however long he is classified as such.

    On the Horcoff front. I really hope he bounces back to a 48-60pt player. You have to think his shoulder was pretty messed up for him to have such a terrible season. Not to mention the amount of faceoffs he takes must put extra strain on the shoulder as well.

  • If anything with player contracts made sense, Kovalchuk would be making $1 million as a base salary and another million for every 5 goals he scored during the season. (ex 50 goals = $11 million/year) Still too much, but it would begin to justify these stupid contracts. I’m pretty sure that incentive contracts like this are not allowed in the CBA, probably because it would force the players to actually try on a nightly basis.

    The Bruins commercials are hilarious, especially the one when when Sea-Bass stares down the bear. Gold.

  • Too bad the next CBA will snub out these contracts. Just think if Hall, Eberle and MPS all turn out to be the studs they are projected to be. Each could sign $100M, 25 year contracts.

    There definately needs to be a cap on the number of years on these crazy contracts.

  • Does NJ have a six million dollar cap hit until 2027 regardless of whether he plays or not? If he quits in 2015 does their cap get hit for another 12 years anyway?

    If so, it sounds like Dion Sanders and the niners. As long as NJ is carrying that cap hit the distance, I guess I don’t care how long they stretch it out. The niners sucked for ten years after those contracts. Still, I’m not sure it’s really in the spirit of the CBA.

    Thanks for adding the Bruin commercials. The bear slamming the beer tray busted me up.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Gregor,

    You do know that the current CBA guarantees that the actual pay checks the players receive out of escrow cannot go above or below 54% of league revenue, no?

    So the league won’t pay more for player salaries, because of Kovy’s salary and wouldn’t pay more if every player signed a Kovy-deal.

    These deals allow guys like Kovy to eat a much larger share of the pie, and the group most likely to hate them is the players, or at least the large majority of players who aren’t as good as Kovy.

    Your post makes it seems like teams are going to lose money because of deals like this, but that’s literally impossible.

    • Jason Gregor

      Where did I write that teams lose money. I said they overpay for guys. Kovalchuk will get $95 million in the first ten years. Do you not think that is a massive overpayment?

      Sure the other players will be pissed, but the NHLPA will never try to stunt the contracts of the elite players.

      And I do understand the escrow factor, but I don’t see where I wrote anything that relates to that. I said it was an overpayment, and these contracts aren’t good for the league. More on an integrity front than anything else. I’m no lawyer, but I wonder how they can say these contracts are legit when it seems both sides have no intention of honouring the entire contract. Not sure if that is illegal, but it sure looks brutal.

  • There are a few different ideas out there to prevent teams from circumventing the cap.

    One way I thought up (and I’m not sure if it’s already out there.. not exactly a ground breaking idea, so i’d imagine it already is):

    What about calculating the cap hit in separate parts. There would be a cap hit calculated for salary paid when the player is less than 35 years old, and another cap hit calculated for salary paid when the player is 35+.

    So for example, a player age 30 signs a contract for 10 years, broken down like so:

    Years 1-5: $9M, 8M, 8M, 8M, 7M.
    Years 6-10: $4M, $4M, $4M, $2M, $1M

    The cap hit from age 30-34 would be $8M per season (9+8+8+8+7 / 5).

    The cap hit from age 35-39 would be $3M per season (4+4+4+2+1).

    Thoughts? Would it work? Is there a reason it wouldn’t? Just throwing some other random ideas out there.

    Edit: oops, I guess after age 35+, there would need to be a limit on the number of years you can sign someone for this to work too. Otherwise someone could sign a 35+ player for several years past their retirement age, like they do now, and that 35+ portion would still allow them to circumvent the cap. But I still think it is a good idea to split up the cap hits as above. Really, no matter what, it sounds like some sort of max years cap needs to be in place. But I like the idea of having a “prime” cap hit and a “decline” cap hit.

    • Slocan

      This is an interesting point. Another spin on this concept, (using your scenario of a player signed to a 10 year deal at 55 million).

      Player decides to call it quits after year 5. Player pays back the difference of the salary cap to the actual dollars paid ($40 million salary for the first 5 yrs minus $27.5 million cap hit) = $12.5 million paid back to the team.

      Would this be incentive enough for the player to honor the remaining terms of the contract? The franchise is the one that benefits the back half of the contract as the salary becomes more of a value (that and the lower cap hit over the term)but you’re still shelling out the big bucks on the front end. I don’t know…

  • I know I know, I look at these contracts and cannot Fr1gg1n believe we missed a year of hockey. They sure as sh1t haven’t made it more affordable for me to take my kids to an NHL game, they will have to settle for Junior. And this is why no GM should ever chase the big fish, how does this contract ever even come close to making sense? I had thought that LOu was a fairly smart GM, ha, he fooled me….

  • The simplest way to fix this problem is to have NBA style maximum contracts, both in term and amount.

    Max contract length: 6 years if signing with own team, 5 years if moving to another.

    Max amounts are based on how long you’ve been in the league, so players on their second contract can only go up so much before they earn veteran status and can earn league maximums.

    Update: I should also add that I believe guaranteed contracts are one of the biggest problems with the league today.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I agree with one thing: “Lou overpaid”. While Kovalchuk’s $6M cap hit is reasonable, the fact that they made him a Devil (essentially) for life is a huge gamble. If Lou’s willing to do that, then all the power to him. Time will tell if they made a mockery of the CBA or just shot themselves in the foot in five or ten years because of the following variables (Kovalchuk’s performance, leauge salary cap, ability to sign FA’s in the next 17 years, etc.). I don’t necessarily believe the league has to cap contract lengths, because of fixed (revenue ratio) spending, and the fact that by being the major player this free agency, New Jersey essentially removed itself from the market for at least a few seasons moving forward.

  • Ryan14

    Milli:
    In 2001, jagr signed a 7 year 77 mil contract
    also in 2001, Islanders sign Yashin to a 10 year 87.5 mil contract
    In 2002, Holik signed a 5 year 45 mil contract, I believe guerin signed an identical contract with dallas at the same time

    The terms are longer, but the numbers are lower. Even if you take the cap hit of only 11 years of Kovalchuk’s contract, it breaks down to 8.9 mil a year. For someone who has put up 0.54 gpg and 1.03 ppg over there career, that is not a horrible overpayment.

    Also, the reason why ticket prices are so high is supplay and demand. Why sell tickets for $100 when you can sell them for $150 and still sell out?

    • Jason Gregor

      Thanks for the math lesson. So, what you are saying is those are good contract? Really? I don’t understand how you are not a GM in the NHL with your knowledge of good contracts. What you are telling me is Kavachuk will be a team leader, play both ends of the ice, be a more dominant force than Ovie or Crosby? Massive overpay.

      • Ryan14

        Yes that is what I am saying. You take into consideration rising infaltion(26.6 since 2000), and the fact that salaries are staying steady, if not falling, then you can say that salaries are as a matter of fact better today then they were prior to the lockout.

        Top 5 salaries in 2000 and the real dollar today:
        Peter Forsberg (Colorado Avalanche) $10 million = 12.7 today
        Paul Kariya (Anaheim Ducks) $10 million – 12.7 today
        Jaromir Jagr (Pittsburgh Penguins) $9.842,708 million = 12.5 today
        Pavel Bure (Florida Panthers) $9 million =11.39 today
        Keith Tkachuk (St. Louis Blues) $7.3 million= 9.24 today

        Top 5 salaries in 2001 and the real dollar today:
        Jaromir Jagr (Washington Capitals) $11 million= 13.5 mil today
        Pavel Bure (Florida Panthers/New York Rangers) $10 million =12.3 today
        Paul Kariya (Anaheim Ducks) $10 million=12.3 today
        Joe Sakic (Colorado Avalanche) $9.832,727 million= 12.1 today
        Chris Pronger (St. Louis Blues) $9.5 million= 11.7 today
        Teemu Selanne (San Jose Sharks) $9.5 million=11.7 today

        Now, here are the top earning salaries last year:

        Vincent Lecavalier (Tampa Bay Lightning) $10 million
        Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins) $9million
        Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins) $9 million
        Alexander Ovechkin (Washington Capitals) $9 million
        Chris Drury (New York Rangers) $8.05 million

        Would you say the salaries are rising or falling? In comparison to 9-10 years ago, controlling the steep curve of raising salaries has been fairly successful.

        Your first post was about how the lockout never curbed raising salaries. Well it has. Only one player last season made over 9 mil. In 2001, the top 5 salaries were over 9.5 mil You take into consideration the 23.1% interest rate from 2001 to 2010, then I would conclude that out of control salaries have been curbed.

        As for Kovalchuk: Just because fans don’t think he is worth that means nothing. A big name like Kovalchuk brings more than just on ice production. There is also marketting, attention, fans will pay to come see him, merchandising.

        Take Beckham, for example. He signed a 250 mil over 5 year deal. Massive overpayment for on field preoduction? Yes. But after all the marketting and the money LA Galaxy got from having him on their team, they netted a 70 mil profit from having him there.

        So this could also be a great business deal.

        • BBOil

          What I am curious to see is how these contracts will play on the trade market. I know there are NMCs and NTCs involved, but lets put out a hypothetical.

          Assuming he can still produce ok as he gets into his mid 30s, do you think teams will be willing to take on that contract when the actual dollars start to decrease?

          Edit: Sorry not supposed to be directed at Ryan14, but now that I mention it I don’t recall many teams that would have been willing to trade for the pre-lockout contracts Ryan14 listed, but I bet there may be a couple takers for OV for then next 13 years as is. Makes me think 6-8yrs from now there may be some takers for Kovy as the actual dollars start to drop off.

        • Jason Gregor

          Ryan,

          As for Kovalchuk: Just because fans don’t think he is worth that means nothing. A big name like Kovalchuk brings more than just on ice production. There is also marketting, attention, fans will pay to come see him, merchandising.

          Take Beckham, for example. He signed a 250 mil over 5 year deal. Massive overpayment for on field preoduction? Yes. But after all the marketting and the money LA Galaxy got from having him on their team, they netted a 70 mil profit from having him there.

          So this could also be a great business deal.

          You made some good points about salary, however, even Lou doesn’t think this is a good contract. And Beckham is known world wide, I don’t know many people who will buy a Devils’ Kovalchuk jersey. In fact, I’d suspect that Marty Brodeur jersey’s will still be more popular than Kovy in New Jersey.

          I don’t see how this is a great business deal. Kovalchuk isn’t even a face of the NHL, so I don’t see how the Devils will make lots via marketing.

          • I read that fans were lined up out side the Verizon Tower entrance to get a peek at Kovalchuk and the news conference and were let inside to watch.. Not a face of the NHL ? Who is ? Kovy has scored more goals than anyone else since the lockout. Yes he isn’t Sid the kid or the Great 8 but give Kovy some credit he is one hell of a good hockey player. I don’t like the length of the contract but is it a suprise ? These numbers have been rumored since the Thrashers traded him. Did Lou outright say he doesn’t like the contract ? You can read into the quotes in which ever way you want. To me he doesn’t like the fact that there is a flaw in the CBA allowing longterm contracts.

          • Jason Gregor

            Yes a 100 diehard fans lined up outside the building. Yippie. That doesn’t create a buzz across the league or North America for Kovalchuk gear. David Beckham was the biggest name in soccer/football. Kovalchuk isn’t close.

            Has Kovalchuk ever been showcased by the NHL outside of his own market? He won’t generate any real money merchandise wise. Not close.

            And I didn’t read anything into Lou’s quote. GO back and read the quote in the story. He said directly that this type of contract shouldn’t be in the CBA. Don’t argue for the sake of it.

            He also said ask owner about the length and the money. He didn’t like it. It’s pretty clear.

          • Shapeman

            “I don’t know many people who will buy a Devils’ Kovalchuk jersey.”

            true you don’t know me but i would if they weren’t so damned expensive. My Hemsky one will do.

            ~At least until the Oil trade Souray for Kovy~

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Gregor,

    What about just eliminating the ability to front-load contracts rather than limiting the length of contracts? Simply make the players annual salary the same as the cap hit (total dollars divided by # years). This would make it harder for players like Kovalchuk to walk away with 4 or 5 years left on the deal. I have no problem with teams offering more term to bring down the cap hit, they’re already taking a risk when they lock up a player for that long. Having a locked annual salary just gives players more incentive to actually play out the deals they sign.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Gregor,

    You said, “The CBA expires the summer of 2012, and I don’t see anyway the league will allow these types of contracts to continue, and they shouldn’t.”

    Why would the league care to change this rule? They have their hard cap; total payments are 54% of league revenue. These Kovy-style deals don’t cost them a penny more than they would otherwise pay.

    BTW, what’s wrong with signing a contract that gives you a wage even when it’s highly probably you will retire before the contract expires? I once signed a two year contract that said what I would be paid in each year. I told my employer I would likely need to quit before year 2. Employer said no problem, and pointed out that my contract was simply voided if I quit. Not saying I’m Kovy, but why is that so wrong?

    Finally, I can’t quite tell if you think Lou has managed to brilliantly get around the cap or stupidly paid too much.

    • DK0

      The problem is that NJ could technically sign 6 giant free agents over the next couple years to similar contracts. they could be paying 100m per year to players but still being “under the cap”. Thus they basically are buying a cup the way the Yankees do.

      Thats the whole point of the cap. Any team can compete because if a player wants to make elite level money, they shouldn’t be able to do it on a team that already has many elite level players. Thus talent is spread somewhat evenly among the league.

      Of course there will always be teams like Detroit where elite players will take a pay cut in order to keep a great team together, but this is a whole different discussion and is not as nearly as poisonous as completely circumventing the cap.

    • Jason Gregor

      Paid too much is what the Devils did. Sure Kovalchuk’s cap hit is only $6 million, but the Devils (supposedly not Lou) still had a brain fart and paid him $11.5 million for five years of the deal. Kovalchuk has won jack squat at this point. I don’t put him in top ten impact players in the game.

      In your two year contract did you get paid roughly the same amount both years? Probably. I doubt you got 20 times more in that year than your 2nd when you were leaving. That is my issue with it.

      I don’t think they should continue. It is clear that teams will continue to stretch the length of these contracts while we all know the players will never play that long. I just don’t like how it looks. It doesn’t hurt the owners due to Escrow, but I think it only benefits certain markets.

      And I do think you will have more owners who don’t want those lengthy deals than those who do. I suspect Chic, NYR, NJ, DET, TOR, PHI and the usual big spenders are the big benefactors.

      I just don’t like the optics of signing deals that everyone knows will never be honoured long term.

  • GSC

    Gregor,

    Both sides are honouring the contract, since there are conditions that allow for trades, retirement, etc. Alternatively, the contract could always be voided should a breach occur, but there’s no breach of contract here as both the Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk would be performing as they are supposed to under the terms of the contract.

    As for playing the blame game, how can anyone blame the franchises, the NHLPA, and the player agents for taking advantage of this loophole? If anyone is to blame, it should be Gary Bettman and the individuals who negotiated the current CBA and failed to see this glaring fault in the agreement.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      “If anyone is to blame, it should be Gary Bettman and the individuals who negotiated the current CBA”

      so in other words the franchises and the nhlpa…

  • Personally, I hope that Kovalchuk is so grossly over-priced in terms of Cap-Hit by the time he is 35 that the Devils have no other alternative than to send him to the minors in order to erase him from the books.

    It’s what I hope for all the players signing contracts that take them well into their 40’s.

    I also hope that this happens when Kovalchuk still feels like he can play in the NHL but no one else will take him on for such a large Cap-Hit.

    Basicly I want his plan to retire on his own terms to fail miserably. It’s a guaranteed contract so he still gets paid, but I’ll settle for massive disappointment and regret over no money.

  • Lou admits Kovy’s contract shouldn’t be part of the NHL
    TheHockeyNews

    RT @TGfireandice: Lou Lamoriello admits Kovalchuk contract shouldn’t be part of NHL: http://bit.ly/dmKtZd

    Sounds to me like it was an owners decision not a Lou one.

    EDIT: That is way too funny. Lou rolled his eyes at the contract.
    So did I!

  • BBOil

    I’m not sure what the big deal is really. No question that the guys getting the deals are considered the elite stars in this league. I’d be more concerned if he was taking a 3yr 27mil deal at 9mil/year, then coming back in three years time and getting a raise.

    Guess what I am saying that with the hard cap the elite players are going to get big money one way or another. I’d rather they take the money this way, and have their career contract. Chances are if he signed a few years at a time he still ends up making about the same anyway. This just limits the risk for teams in the long run, and chances are if the salary cap keeps increasing a 6mil hit 10 years from now may not be that bad.

  • Sidney Crosby’s a UFA @ 25, should we expect him to sign for 20 years and $150 million?

    For Lou’s sake the KHL better remain an option.

    My apologies for the malicious comments made on a previous article, I will strive to be better..

    Hugs?

  • Let's Rebuild

    ~It’s too bad that these contracts aren’t written by cell phone companies, there is no way Kovy would be able to get out of it when he was 40 without paying the Devils back a bunch of $. Sometimes I feel like I’m locked if for the next 17 years.~

  • Quicksilver ballet

    In an effort to spread the abundance of talent we have here on the Oiler roster, how about throwing the Bruins a donut and send Sheldon Souray, the Oilers first round pick in 2011 in exchange for Micheal Ryder and since they have too many centers we’ll take their least experienced centerman in Tyler Seguin.

    What say you?

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Their Fax machines must shut down as of 5 pm eastern…..i’ll have to take care of this formality first thing in the morning. All players involved have been notified.

        Bruins presser at 10am eastern with the Oilers to follow at 11am eastern.

        The Oilers wish to take this opportunity and say thanks for your co-operation in this deal.

        Kindest regards…..

        Mr. Dithers

  • Jodes

    •How many of you were writing off Dustin Penner at this time last summer? Don’t lie, most of you were, but that changed 20 games into the season when many of you were suggesting he should be on the short list for the Olympic team. Things can turn around quickly. Rather than turn most posts into Horcoff/anti-Horcoff repeats wait for the season to start.

    He’s really becoming an enigma.. Like a few years ago, we weren’t sure which Oiler club would appear on a nightly basis, the same can be said for El Dustino.

    •This scenario was presented to me yesterday on TEAM 1260. Oilers trade Sheldon Souray to the Islanders for Brendan Witt. Gilbert Brule goes to arbitration the first week of August, and the Oilers accept whatever the arbitrator decides, and then they buy out Witt’s $3 million contract at $2 million spread out over two years. In theory it makes sense because the Islanders need to get to the floor and Souray would add $2.4 million. “This deal has some merit to it, but there hasn’t been a lot of serious talk about it,” an executive from one of the teams text me. We’ll see.

    Gregor, why would the Oilers by Witt out? Wouldn’t another Veteran Dman with some grit be a good thing? Or is he just too old to really make an impact?

    I can’t see the Islanders doing this deal straight across.

    Who would have thought that Souray would be this team’s albatross eh?

    • Jason Gregor

      Witt isn’t any better than Vandermeer in my mind. The Oilers could keep him, but then he takes icetime from Peckham, and I don’t think that fits into the rebuild philosophy of the team.

      The Islanders would improve and get closer to the floor. Why do you think that is it such a horrible deal for them? Of course, Souray needs to be healthy first.