July 2, 2008

Long-Term, Overpaying Contracts for Young Players? Blame Kevin Lowe Says Brian Burke

From the LA Times:

"They're all being re-signed at inflated prices," Burke said. "Everything I said a year ago has come true. Every single word.

"Most [general] managers don't like starting fights with any other managers. . . . Thanks to the Edmonton Oilers, the second contract [for players] has disappeared.

"You go right now from entry-level to what used to be the third contract, thanks to two offer sheets from Kevin Lowe."

So what did the Anaheim Ducks GM say a year ago when he was going through the Dustin Penner-offer sheet situation?

"I have no problem with offer sheets, they are part of the CBA," Burke said on a conference call. "I think it's a tool certainly a team is entitled to use. My issue here is this is the second time this year in my opinion Edmonton have offered a grossly inflated salary for a player, and it impacts on all 30 teams and I think it's an act of desperation by a general manager who is fighting to keep his job."

Burke makes a good point if you take a look at some of the contracts handed out so far this season and not just with restricted free agents who have to deal with possible offer-sheets.

Jeff Finger might have become the poster boy for grossly inflated salaries after the Maple Leafs gave him a 4-year, $14 million deal. This for a guy who's played all of 94 games in the NHL and will be 29 in December. The poor guy already has had his Hockey Reference page taken over by puzzled Toronto fans.

Pretty soon, if salaries keep escalating for second and third-tier players, NHL contracts are going to start looking like those in the NBA, where a bench warmer can make $6 million a year. Just look at the New York Knicks.

Ballhype: hype it up!

1 comment:

Down Goes Brown said...

Thanks for the link.

Still trying to figure out who Finger is. Apparently he's a hockey player who used to play for a team in a mountainous region. That's as much as we know so far.