Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Had Lowe - whose team is questionable in nets - gone after Lundqvist at $9 million, the Rangers would not have been able to sign Brendan Shanahan. They might have found themselves forced to walk away from Sean Avery’s salary arbitration. They might have been required to move Petr Prucha at $1.6 million.
But Lowe didn’t go after the best player on the market and he didn’t go after the most cap-vulnerable franchise in the NHL. He didn’t do that because of his longtime friendship with Glen Sather, that’s why he didn’t do it, and everyone knows it. His decision to attempt to raid Buffalo for a winger rather than the Rangers for a franchise goaltender had nothing to do with winning and nothing to do with business and everything to do with personal.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Kevin Lowe, in a desperate attempt to make his hockey team better, managed to make everything even worse.
Shortly after Vanek signed a $50-million US, seven-year offer sheet as a restricted free agent with the Oilers, the Buffalo Sabres matched the offer.
Lowe, who couldn’t land an unrestricted free agent waving $18 million of budget money around in the air, just made himself a multitude of enemies around the league.
from Sabres Edge at the Buffalo News,
“We always had an attitude here that we don’t do these things,” Quinn said at this afternoon’s news conference in HSBC Arena. “When it comes to the Edmonton Oilers, if there’s an opportunity to put an offer sheet on a player as long as we’re alive, we’ll be comfortable doing that. They can expect it if it’s in our best interest.”
Lowe wasn’t impressed.
“It’s quite a bold statement by that organization,” the seven-time NHL All-Star said. “I think it’s rather juvenile on their part.
added 9:35pm, from Allan Maki of the Globe and Mail,
This is what life has become for the Edmonton Oilers: They go after a restricted free agent from another small-market team, something they thought they’d never do; they offer a staggering seven-year contract worth $50-million (U.S.); they tick off the managing partner of the Buffalo Sabres, who vows revenge for “as long as we’re alive.” …
And still the Oilers don’t get their man.
What in the name of Michael Nylander is going on here? Did Chris Pronger’s wife put a hex on Rexall Place before she left town?
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The Edmonton Oilers, who have been embroiled in controversy in which they claim they signed Michael Nylander before the Washington Capitals, found time this morning to sign Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek to an offer sheet.
Globesports.com has learned that the Oilers are willing to pay Vanek a stunning $50-million (U.S.) over seven seasons. Now the Sabres have seven days to decide whether they will match the lucrative offer sheet to retain the 23-year-old sniper.
added 1:37am, via TSN,
The Sabres have called a news conference for 12:30pm et/9:30am pt to address the news.
added 11:45am, from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,
I think that Thomas was shocked,” Steve Barlett said. “I kept telling him I was going to get him a deal, and I don’t think he believed me. I don’t know if I believed it myself.”
Bartlett said there “were discussions with more than one team” about Vanek, meaning that teams seem to be viewing the signing of restricted free agents as a plausible strategy.
“There was a whole range of discussions that went on here,” Steve Bartlett said. “They wanted to know what it would take, and whether I thought Buffalo would match.”
added 12:11pm, You can listen to the Sabres presser at WBEN 930am... but you will have to register first…
Update 12:35pm ET (alanah)
The press conference with the Sabres has revealed that the Buffalo Sabres fully intend to match the Oilers’ offer sheet. GM Darcy Regier said he contacted Kevin Lowe last night and tried to persuade him not to make the offer, that they were always going to match whatever offer the Oilers might make. Larry Quinn’s statement: “We were never not going to match an offer on Thomas.”
Update 6:20pm ET (alanah)
Oilers General Manager Kevin Lowe spoke with the media on Friday afternoon via conference call to address the Thomas Vanek offer sheet, matched by Buffalo, earlier in the day. You can listen to it at the Oilers website here.
Edmonton Oilers GM Kevin Lowe gave an interview to Sportsnet’s Gene Principe on Thursday, dealing with the Michael Nylander issue and various related matters.
He also talks about the Oilers plan for signings, going forward from this point.
The Islanders have acquired Edmonton’s second round pick in the 2008 NHL draft by trading depth defenseman Allan Rourke and a 2008 third round pick to the Oilers. The Islanders now have two second round picks in what is expected to be a deep draft in June, 2008.
“Although it may seem a relatively small deal from a players’ standpoint, this is very good news for us,” said Islanders assistant GM/Director of Amateur Scouting Ryan Jankowski. “Next year is expected to be a stronger and deeper draft than the past few years. In this draft, you can never have enough early picks.”
from the Edmonton Journal,
A frustrated Lowe says the Oilers are thinking of hiring a “concierge” to look after player needs in the future, but he can’t understand why free agents won’t sign here.
He acknowledges the travel out west is harder than in the east, but he says a third of the league’s teams travelled more miles than the Oilers last year. He also knows some players don’t want to play in Canada.
At this point, Lowe’s Plan B could be to go after other teams’ Group 2 free agents with offer sheets, like 43-goal scorer Thomas Vanek or big winger Dustin Penner or centre Zach Parise, all young kids with huge upside.
via the Edmonton Oilers,
The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Matt Greene to a two-year contract.
The 6’3”, 223-pound native of Grand Ledge, Michigan is coming off his first full NHL season in 2006-07. The 24-year-old defenceman scored 1-9-10 with 109 penalty minutes in 78 games to establish single-season career-highs in games, goals, assists, points and penalty minutes. Greene led the Oilers in penalty minutes and was second in both hits (135) and blocked shots (143).
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Hockey News.com the league is awaiting further details before deciding whether to step in.
“Clubs and players both should have a right to rely on the sanctity of contractual commitments, regardless of how those commitments are memorialized,” Daly said in an emailed statement. “To our knowledge, there has been only one Standard Player’s Contract executed and filed with the League, and under our CBA, that contract should be enforceable.
“But if, after reviewing all of the relevant facts here, there has been a breach of a contractual commitment, we will certainly assist the Oilers in any way we can in seeking an appropriate remedy. We are not in a position to opine what those remedies might be at this point.”
Regarding the Nylander situation, from Japers’ Rink,
Just received a call back from the Oilers VP of Communications, Allan Watt. When asked to comment on the team’s complaint filed to the NHL, Watt responded, “I don’t have anything to say to bloggers.” I quickly reminded him that we had spoken at length Monday morning. Said Watt,
Well that was a mistake on my part.
Just like there are bad journalists out there, there are bad bloggers, some who just toss junk and hope some of it sticks.
It is unfortunate from the response of Mr. Watt that he is grouping all bloggers in the same group.
I for one can verify Japers’ Rink is good for the game and am stunned by the response from Allan Watt. I do hope they re-consider their position regarding bloggers and as always, I am willing to help in any way.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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