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Blame Buffalo For High Dmen Salaries

from Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen,

Because of his size and skill, (Tyler) Myers could very well become one of the league’s dominating defencemen. Could. Yet, age of 21, he has already become a new Bank of America based on his future potential. As a point of reference, Hall of Fame defenceman Denis Potvin did dominate in the NHL at age 21 in 1974, joining the New York Islanders following five seasons with the Ottawa 67’s, and his salary at the time was $80,000.

Sure, that was then and this is now. All the more power to Myers and his agents for striking it rich. As for new Sabres owner Terry Pegula, he could probably run for mayor of Buffalo and win. By signing Myers to the lengthy deal, the Sabres have avoided the chance that he could be poached by a rival team with an offer sheet next summer and kept him from becoming an unrestricted free agent until he’s 29.

Pegula’s NHL colleagues, however, won’t portray him in such a glowing light. The Myers contract has forced their pockets … er, hands. It has now become the standard for all of the top defencemen selected in the 2008 draft, whose contracts expire at the end of the 2011-12 season.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Buffalo Sabres, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tyler+myers

Comments

Evilpens's avatar

This is coming from the place that is VASTLY overpaying Sergei Gonchar & Filip Kuba ? LOL

Posted by Evilpens on 09/19/11 at 12:03 PM ET

OneSmugPug's avatar

I got nothing when EvilPens just ripped out the jugular on this one…

Posted by OneSmugPug on 09/19/11 at 12:06 PM ET

Gunner Staal's avatar

Its not on the Sabres to care about how other teams deal with their free agents.  Buffalo signed the defensemen that they felt were right for their team and at the price they felt comfortable with.  Everybody has the same salary cap and can spend it however they want.

Posted by Gunner Staal on 09/19/11 at 02:12 PM ET

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Hardly blame Buffalo; they were taught a costly lesson when they lost Drury and Briere years ago. The league has gone towards the model where you lock up your young players early on, and pay a premium to get them on a long-term contract before they hit FA, even as RFAs. It was the Sabres who philosophically were opposed to long-term deals and big money, and got gutted when the Rangers, Flyers (and later Blackhawks, with Campbell) paid big money and handed out 5+ year contracts to lure players away, and Buffalo has its hand forced with Vanek by Edmonton. Buffalo finally starts operating the way other teams in the league have been doing for years, and they’re to blame? Sounds like sour grapes to me.

Posted by Dan from Pittsburgh, PA on 09/19/11 at 02:31 PM ET

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EP already kneecapped the author, but what I find most-strange about this article is that Myers isn’t even the worst contract on Buffalo’s blueline, and is not even close to the worst overpayment on the team.

Posted by steviesteve on 09/19/11 at 03:18 PM ET

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This is coming from the place that is VASTLY overpaying Sergei Gonchar & Filip Kuba ?

To be fair, all Ottawa is doing is driving up the price of defensemen who suck.  Buffalo is driving up the price of defensemen who are good.

So in that sense, both cities should share the blame for increasing the price of defensemen in general.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 09/19/11 at 03:18 PM ET

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^
I like that thinking.

Posted by steviesteve on 09/19/11 at 04:38 PM ET

Colossal Cap Hit's avatar

It never ceases to disturb me that people reading and commenting on hockey blogs can’t even grasp the real-world difference between restricted and unrestricted free agents.

Posted by Colossal Cap Hit on 09/19/11 at 04:59 PM ET

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The Sabres really did bend over and open up for Myers.  His contract extension parallels Tavares’ - there’s a lot more risk in projecting Myers as a Top 5-10 player at his position over the length of that contract than there is with Tavares, a 1st overall pick and clear-cut franchise player. 

Provided Subban and Karlsson come out with solid years, the Myers contract is a comparable.  And a much higher one than they otherwise would enjoy if Buffalo wasn’t throwing money around like Pacman Jones at a strip club. 

Which is their right.  And it’s better for the franchise than having no money at all.  But a lot of their moves don’t seem particularly prudent.  This seemed like a hasty rush to open the vault for Myers.

Posted by jonquixote on 09/20/11 at 11:42 AM ET

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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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