2) To review the Edmonton Oilers made second year pro Thomas Vanek a 7 year 50 million dollar offer. Vanek had a very good offensive season with Buffalo, BUT he was but one part of a very deep offense. He was not the 'go to guy' on a team filled with offensive talent. Also he was a virtual no-show in the playoffs. Now at that salary he will be forced in essence to become a top line man and have the pressure to produce.
3) Did Buffalo make the right move to match?
- Well, they had no choice really. From a marketing perspective they already lost 2 of their marquis guys in Briere and Drury. To lose Vanek now would be a huge hit at a bad time. We believe that if they had retained Drury as they wanted, Vanek would have been considered expendable.
- We also wonder why the rush to announce that they will match. We would have let Lowe swing in the wind a few days and announce the decision at the very last possible moment. It would prevent Edmonton from doing anything free agent wise for a full week!
- Strictly speaking we believe it was NOT a good move for Buffalo to match the offer. For the reason already outlined, we do NOT believe Vanek will live up to the salary/increased expectations. His contract will make it impossible to trade Vanek if he should fall flat. We feel Edmonton would NOT be a playoff team even with Vanek, and as such Buffalo may have received one or more 'Lottery picks' in the deal.
4) So what are the other ramifications?
- First, the 'genie is out of the bottle' in a way. As alluded to earlier GM's have held back from making such offers to RFA's for almost 8+ years. We fully expect this will embolden other GM's to use this option both as a way to get talent, but as important, as a weapon against rival clubs. Don't be surprised to see Parise in NJ, Lundqvist in NY, etc get offers in the next few days/weeks.
- The GM's of Pittsburgh and DC for example can NOT be happy this evening. Early this spring there were reports that Ross/Pearson/Hart Trophy winner Sid Crosby would sign an extension with the Pens for about 6 mil. There can be no way that his agent would allow that with the market as it is now. By next summer when Sid the Kid is a RFA, it is conceivable that he could easily get a 9-10 mil/year deal if the Pens don't step up first with a much larger offer than 6 mil. The same can be said of the Caps with their resident superstar Alex Ovechkin. Both may take a small 'home town discount' but no way will they settle for less than what Vanek is set to receive!
5) No matter, we are very happy here at FAUXRUMORS! The major UFAs may have signed, but there is no telling how many or who will be the next RFA to get an offer. Its staying quite interesting! We're just happy we're NOT an NHL GM. Things just got a bit more complicated this afternoon. As always, stay tuned for the latest!