Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mutually Assured Destruction?

1) For those of us old enough to recall the dark days of the cold war (No, not the Kevin Lowe-vs- Brian Burke crap of last summer), but the real thing between the Evil empire USSR and the US may recall the term 'Mutually Assured destruction". It meant that it was folly to start a nuclear war because both sides had enough fire power to wipe out the other regardless of who started it. Causing the 40+ year stalemate ending when the corrupt USSR government imploded from within. (Or so we thought)

2) Enough of the history lesson. The term is apt in the New NHL where GM's are now feeling pressure from opposing GM's from pilfering their youngsters via RFA offer sheets. The recent Meszeros issue not withstanding, ever since Kevin Lowe commenced the recent 'offer sheet' trend, we’ve seen many GMs re-sign their key RFAs before the July 1st deadline in order to avoid matching potential offer sheets. Many times offering longer more lucrative deals than we've seen in the past for relatively unproven players. We've seen teams like St. Louis retaliate when they had an offer sheet used on one of their RFA's. They in tern did the same to Vancouver. They denied it was in retaliation, but JD, come on, we weren't born yesterday. LOL

3) More recently, Dean Lombardi, who should worry more about his own job, apparently got a little antsy of his own potential RFA's and had this to say: We’re not only going to match any offer sheet, we’ll have enough space to go after your guys. Go ahead and make our day. If you sign our guy, we’re coming back with both barrels firing. You’d better be damn straight that you have the cap space and all your guys are signed.”

4) It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that Lombardi was referring to Anze Kopitar and Jack Johnson, both of whom are set to become RFAs next summer if they are not signed before that time. Now, we don’t know why Lombardi is getting so worked up about brandishing his own vigilante justice, but you have to admit, it’s a pretty dumb move on his part. It goes without question that Lombardi will do his best to re-sign the two budding superstars to long-term contracts before the summer. Even if he doesn’t manage to get them signed, he will no doubt match any offer sheet - that is also obvious, as the future of the Kings organization rests on the shoulders of Kopitar and Johnson.

5) The point of the offer sheet is to sign players based on potential, and make it just ludicrous enough that your rival GM won’t match. There’s no point in making an offer sheet that has reasonable numbers and terms, because it saves your rival GM negotiating pains with money-hungry player agents and it helps them protect their assets at a reasonable price. We thought Mike Gillis‘ offer sheet to David Backes was a waste of time because it was a no-brainer that St. Louis/JD would match it. So it appears from the St Louis-Vancouver skirmish and Lombardi's inane threat we are in a new era; one where GM's may try to use intimidation of their colleagues to try to prevent the imposition of an offer sheet for one of their players. It will be interesting if this 'scares' off future offer sheets next summer when there could be a very large number of top level players in that position.


Zulu as Kono said...

Kevin Lowe is a punk, dude. I would love for us to go get one of his guys sometime like he did with penner. i think Burke will do that when he gets a chance

The Co-Pilot said...

Good for Dean to put guys like Lowe on notice. You might not have liked what he said but i think it might stop a team from doing what they did to the Ducks

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