Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the AP via the Santa Barbara News-Press,
Anaheim had a week to match Edmonton’s offer and waited until Thursday’s deadline had passed before announcing it was letting Penner go.
‘‘We don’t believe these salaries make sense,’’ Anaheim general manager Brian Burke said on a conference call. ‘‘If I believe these salaries don’t make sense and I match then I’m just as dumb as the team that extended the offer.’‘
Burke was incensed by the terms and amount of last week’s offer, and at the time he had especially harsh words for Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe, saying, ‘‘Edmonton has offered a mostly inflated salary for a player, and I think it’s an act of desperation for a general manager who is fighting to keep his job.’‘
Burke’s feelings about Lowe didn’t change as the Ducks decided over the last week whether to match the offer sheet.
‘‘It’s certainly not a priority for me to mend this fence,’’ he said.
Listen to the Oilers press conference with Kevin Lowe and Dustin Penner…
Update 7:54pm ET:
A video of Brian Burke meeting with the press this afternoon, explaining his decision. (Go here, then click the link on that page.)
added 8:23pm, from TSN & the CP,
Lowe didn’t feel the need to make any apologies.
“There’s almost some insinuation from managers that because we’re friends we shouldn’t be doing this to one another,” he said. “I think our responsibility is not to one another, but is to our fan base and our ownership.”
more... coverage of both sides, completing the day!
Listening to CFRN radio in Edmonton, they’ve just made the comment on the air that “It is believed that the National Hockey League has informed the Edmonton Oilers that Penner is an Oiler.” However, they went on to insist there is NO confirmation of this information. Penner’s agent had not heard anything from the Ducks as of 2:05pm ET.
Update 2:43pm ET
In an on air interview, Penner’s agent Gerry Johannson has just explicitly confirmed that Penner’s rights have now been transferred to the Edmonton Oilers.
Update 2:52pm ET
The Oilers Get: LW Dustin Penner
Penner, 24, is coming off a rookie season in which he scored 29 goals and 45 points in 82 games, but he has a rare physical package that makes him an even more attractive addition.
Note: Photo is property of Sharkspage.com. Used with permission.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
If the Anaheim Ducks decide today that Penner, who’s a very large No. 17 there, won’t be one of their biggest ducklings any longer because the Oilers’ $21.25-million US offer sheet is too rich for their blood, the 24-year-old forward can probably have just about any number he wants here. We know No. 71 is available, with Petr Sykora flying the coop for Pittsburgh.
Ducks general manager Brian Burke, who was steamed at Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe last week for making the raid on Penner, has until today to make up his mind.
If Burke decides to match the offer sheet, he notifies the NHL, the NHLPA and the player or his agent that he’s staying in Anaheim for the Oilers’ offer of $4.25 million a year through the 2012-13 season.
Burke can also call Lowe. Or not.
If he decides Penner is too big a financial gulp for his owners, then Burke presumably lets the deadline pass and the Oilers have a kid who scored 29 goals in his first full NHL season last year.
What do you think, does Penner remain a Duck or move on to Edmonton?
from Ray Slover at the Sporting News,
One thing is clear: Burke is making Lowe sweat. He’s taking the full week to decide.
But both these guys are going through a case of Tums and another of Mennen Speed Stick. Most likely, Lowe is the cooler customer right now. He’s in the proverbial catbird seat, and his biggest concern is how Penner’s five-year, $21.25 million offer will affect his team’s future salary situation….
I say no, Burke won’t match. I say yes, Lowe will get his man and have to live with the consequences.
Key to Burke’s decision, in addition to sticking to his guns on the Ducks’ salary structure, is a need for draft picks. Getting the Oilers’ first-, second- and third-round picks next June will be a benefit for the team’s development. And you can bet Burke will be hoping Lowe’s Oilers fall flat on their faces to increase the value of those picks.
from the Edmonton Journal,
It can’t be called blind faith, because a flippant label like that one would demean the fan base.
And these people know their hockey.
But for whatever reason, and there may well be plenty of them, Edmonton Oilers season ticket-holders have opened their wallets faster than ever this summer. It’s Aug. 1, six weeks before NHL training camp, two months before the Oilers play the San Jose Sharks in the first of 41 home games at Rexall Place and the team doesn’t have a single season ticket left to sell. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Several hockey pundits and bloggers have echoed Burke’s words, accusing Lowe of screwing up the player salary structure with his inflated offers for Penner and his earlier attempt to sign Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek.
Lowe has also been called hypocritical for engaging in the same wild spending that big-market teams under the previous labor agreement engaged in which once threatened small-market clubs like the Oilers.
Regardless of the criticism, Lowe is doing what he’s entitled to do under the collective bargaining agreement. Sure, the offers to Penner and Vanek were pricey, but Lowe has the available cap space, the willingness to use it, and offered what he believed would be enough to pry those players away from their respective teams.
from Darren Eliot at Sporst Illustrated,
Dear Mr. Lowe,
I’m writing you on behalf of all current and future NHL players and their agents. First, let me commend you on your brilliant use of the Collective Bargaining Agreement mechanism known as the offer sheet. In tendering both Thomas Vanek and, most recently, Dustin Penner you not only demonstrated keen insight into the minutiae of the binding agreement between players and management, you also exhibited an astute assessment of talent.
from Eric Franicis of the Calgary Sun,
By signing Dustin Penner to a five-year, US$21.25 million offer sheet that gives the towering rookie ten times more money a year than he made in Anaheim, Lowe has suddenly become the sort of reckless GM that prompted a year-long lockout.
After years of lamenting the foolhardiness of people like Glen Sather, Mike Milbury and Bob Clarke, whose constant overspending drove the market up and threatened the very existence of small market teams like the Oilers, Lowe is now the irresponsible one.
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
So is Burke right on the money, so to speak? Or is he getting his pound of flesh?
On a personal level, absolutely. On a professional level, all’s fair in love and war.
Grossly inflated salary?
The Oilers aren’t likely to be competitive if they don’t solve their scoring problems with goal scorers. And if Penner continues to improve, it might be fair value at some point. But today? No way.
Act of desperation?
An act of desperation by a general manager fighting to keep his job?
from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun,
Of all the GMs in the league the one Lowe is probably closest to is Burke. They talk almost daily.
I find it difficult to believe that there wouldn’t be conversation, lots of conversation, before this happened.
As interesting as this may be from an Oilers perspective with Lowe having been unable to spend anywhere near his $45-million US budget, particularly to get a forward and specifically a left winger, its far more interesting from a Ducks perspective. Burke was on the record prior to the July 1 free agent frenzy saying if anybody went after Penner, he’d match.
Would he be first in NHL history not to match?
There’s a reason for him to take a pass.
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.
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