Remember a few years ago when NHL owners didn't think the NHL could surivive without "a rational and enforceable relationship between revenues and player salaries." (NHL Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer Bill Daly, June 2004)? Heck, remember a few weeks ago when Flyers GM Bobby Clark thought that $5 million for Daniel Briere was too much while he lowballed Simon Gagne?
Well, you can now tilt back your head and let go with a giant belly laugh. Of course, earlier today, the New York Islanders entered into a rational and enforceable relationship with goalier Rick DiPietro...for the next fifteen years. DiPietro will count $4.5 million against the cap until 2021. Suddenly, Jose Theodore's contract doesn't look quite so bad.
Meanwhile, Gagne got his money ($5.25 million). And Clarke? So despondant was he over guys like Briere getting arbitration wins despite being healthy for just 58 games that he signed Canucks' restricted free agent Ryan Kelser to a $1.9 million offer. Kesler, to his credit, was able to play in all 82 games last season, something Briere couldn't. Of course, Briere - Buffalo's captain - still managed to net 58 points, good enough for 4th on his team in scoring. Kesler? 23 points. Kesler, a 10-goal score, is getting $1.9 million. Marek Svatos scored 32 goals as a rookie and will get just about half of that. Rational indeed. All reports are that the Canucks will match the offer, despite the fact that the club and player were reportedly close to terms on a 2-year, $800,000 per season deal. And now the Canucks must offer $1.9 million next year just to maintain rights. In essence, Bobby Clark just made Kesler $2.2 million dollars richer overnight.
As one GM puts it in a TSN article, "We're starting a whole new inflation spiral. It's going to cost every team in this league. It's bad for all us. It's really bad business.'' That rational and enforceable relationship between revenues and player salaries sure was fun while it lasted...