Kevin Lowe, you are more desperate then a twice divorced 40-something on Rogaine.
EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers have signed Anaheim Ducks forward Dustin Penner to a five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet on Thursday.Professional sports is a cut throat business. Unlike others in the hockey world, I'm not sticking pins in a voodoo doll of K-Lo because he went after other team's RFAs. He is the GM of a team, and as such, he has an obligation to get the job done. But do I think this mess was of his own creation? Absolutely. And do I think he is screwing other teams and the NHL in the long term? Hell yeah. So while I dont blame Lowe for going after RFAs, I do worry about the long term repercussions of that action.
The deal is for $4.25 million per season, a huge raise over the league minimum $450,000 Penner earned last season in the last year of his entry-level contract. The Ducks have seven days to match the offer. Should they decide not to match, the Ducks would receive one first-round draft pick, a second-round pick and a third-round pick from the Oilers.
Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe went after a team that doesn't have much room under the salary cap. The Stanley Cup champion Ducks are around $48 million. The Penner signing would push the Ducks over the $50.3 million maximum, but a team is allowed to be over the salary cap by 10 percent until Oct. 1.
As usual, Mike Vogel puts it better (and less crudely) then this blogger:
One or two renegade GMs can skew the league’s salary structure and impact contract negotiations around the league for years to come. It’s what led to the lockout of 1994-95 and the lockout of 2004-05. I hate to even bring it up, but some of the foolishness we’re seeing now could be responsible for the next NHL lockout.I dont know what the solution is. Vogel throws out a proposal from former Oakland Athletics owner Charles O. Finley, who suggested that players and teams negotiate a new one year contract every year, "because it would much more accurately reflect a player’s actual “worth” at any given time." Since I cant see the NHLPA agreeing to that any time soon, I guess we are at an impasse.
It’s great for players to be able to make as much money as they can, while they can. The career shelf life of a pro athlete is a very finite thing. The problem is that once profits began turning into losses, owners are always asking the players to empty their pockets. The most recent lockout was all about owners telling the players: “We can’t stop ourselves from spending, we need your help.” That help of course, came in the form of a salary cap and a 24% rollback of existing contracts at the time. What’s next? We can only wonder.