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Lowe is a crazy man sparing nothing to improve his team (in a way I kinda admire that). On the other hand, I get the 'strategy' aspect of what he did and it isn't good for the league. In getting the Sabres to sign Vanek at the average hit of over $7mil per year, the arbitrators will award some crazy contracts to the likes of Parise, Ryder, and Hunter (probably Roy too). Expect them to make similar money. Some of their teams won't want to pay and Lowe will be there with his checkbook and freshly-printed contracts to sign them once they're UFAs.

I can't blame him for trying to improve his hockey club. BUT he just drove up the market for young talent that isn't quite established. While I think the money that players are getting this offseason is crazy, the UFAs had been in the league long enough to pay their dues. Vanek is not an established veteran. He is in his 2nd full NHL season and he's getting $7mil a year. That is rediculous! Its taking hockey down a path that is dangerous for the sport. The arbitrators will have to reward huge contracts to the young players now based upon Vanek's contract. While it will no doubt be interesting to see where they end up, the huge contracts will kill the game. We are headed towards another lockout at this rate, and the NHL might not be able to recover from another one.
Filed Under:   Sabres   Vanek   Oilers   Lowe   Regier  
July 7, 2007 1:53 PM ET | Delete
You can'y blame the guy for trying. According to TSN if Lowe didn't make the offer others were going to. It also says that Parise will more likely than not be given an offer sheet by someone shortly. After the Nylander fiasco (which I believe they let Sykora go shorty after recieving a email from Nylanders agent) which cost them two players he his left with a huge gap in his team. With very little top UFAs left to go after his options were trade, why would he want to swap players when he is down, or go after RFAs and add to his roster without having to give a player up. Lowe had to trade his captain and what he felt was future (I never thought Lupal was as good as he was hyped to be) to get Pikanen and Geoff Sanderson. (I really hope this trade works for the Oil) All in I dont think he was 'crazy' to do what he did and I dont think that it will have a large effect on salaries. I think what it will do is make other GMs think a little more about whom is the core of their team and try and lock them up on longer contracts (ie Iggy and the Flames.............that could be the name of a crappy vegas lounge band)
July 7, 2007 2:30 PM ET | Delete
Good for Kevin Lowe. The guy got screwed with the Nylander deal. Potetnially lost some other targets. Edmonton needs to send the leauge a msg. Thank you Kevin for not giving up on making people see that when it comes to hockey the Edmonton Oilers will forever be a proud dynasty.
July 7, 2007 2:31 PM ET | Delete
The huge mistake was members of Buffalo's brass talking to the press alluding to keeping a cap under the max. (first article was Tim Gleasons on it) I said at time that this was a terrible statement and allusion b/c it shows weakness. Other GMs took note.
July 7, 2007 3:28 PM ET | Delete
Nows teams will think twice when they leave their rfa's for last minute and blow huge amounts of money on these ufa's. Great move for the NHL's economy, now you won't see teams like the Rangers or Philly buying their teams on July 1st. I think Lowe is very smart and knows how to make compete in this new NHL cba. Here is kleenix for all you Sabres fans out there crying, be happy if it wasn't for Lowe you wouldn't have Vanek for seven more years atleast. Go Oilers!
July 7, 2007 5:02 PM ET | Delete
Lowe is an idiot. Don't cry small market anymore Oilers, you just helped drive salaries up even further.Even if he had gotten Vanek he still would have vastly overpaid for his services. I do believe he may be worth the money in the future, but theres also a chance he won't be.
July 7, 2007 5:11 PM ET | Delete
MillerTime, I totally agree with this statement you made..."Vanek is not an established veteran. He is in his 2nd full NHL season and he's getting $7mil a year. That is ridiculous!"But, what I find more ridiculous is that the Sabres wouldn't offer Briere or Drury that kind of contract, but with their backs to the wall sign a 2nd year "not-yet-fully-proven" player. I would have accepted the 4 First Round Draft Picks. $7 mil a year is Thornton, Iginla, Jagr and even Crosby type of money. Even though Crosby is a 2nd year player and I sound like a hypocrite in that sense, but he is proven and I don't think I have to back up the statement of why he is proven. I just hope for the sake of the Buffalo organization that Vanek becomes their top player for the next 7 years because if he doesn't, other teams won't want to take on his salary.
July 7, 2007 8:27 PM ET | Delete
first off it was Vanek's agent that said other Gm's were going to make offers. Not exactly an unbiased account. All around no matter how you slice it it was a dumb thing for Lowe to do because payback is a bitch. As far as the Sabres showing weakness they told Lowe flatout they would match whatever he offered so how is that weakness? They did not pay Briere because he is older and not worth the money and they were right. They tried to pay Drury but he declined to accept. They had no choice to sign Vanek or the fan base would have revolted. No matter how you slice it as everyone has stated the league is headed down a bad road. THen again they don't seem to care about cancelling seasons things can't get much worse from a TV or fan perspective!
Oil
July 8, 2007 12:50 AM ET | Delete
Teflon Steve - Seeing as Oilers are 7th in the NHL in revenue last year and pay into the pot so that teams like Washington and Buffalo can get revenue sharing, we aren't small market. The only thing that made us small market before was the Canadian dollar at 62 cents.KLowe offered to trade for Vanek rather than the offer sheet. Buffalo said no trade and got what they wanted and got what they should have expected.
July 8, 2007 6:59 AM ET | Delete
7th in revenue, and 4th in profits.....with the canadian dollar being almost on par now, and by this time next year probably worth more than the american dollar.....expect too see edmonton throw cash around....lowe has too prove the oilers are no longer cheap!!!
July 8, 2007 10:58 AM ET | Delete
So oil feels that Lowe can say if you don't trade him to us we will make a high offer sheet so you will pay either way. Funny he didn't make that same threat to his old pal Sather in NY who is in cap trouble and would have caved to Lowes black mail with Lundquist.
July 8, 2007 10:58 AM ET | Delete
So oil feels that Lowe can say if you don't trade him to us we will make a high offer sheet so you will pay either way. Funny he didn't make that same threat to his old pal Sather in NY who is in cap trouble and would have caved to Lowes black mail with Lundquist.
July 8, 2007 12:52 PM ET | Delete
If the NHL goes through another lockout...it will be from stupid moves like this one....
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