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For Love....or Money

Posted 9:15 PM ET | Comments 6
In the ever changing economics of hockey, one thing has started to become very clear, some play for love and others play for money.

Clearly its easy to see both types of players in the NHL today, but in my opinion, its the ones that play for the money that have caused the biggest problem with salaries in today's NHL.

Let's look at a single statement that we hear over and over when FA time comes around, 'Test the Market'. We hear this time and time again and really don't ever get too upset over it, but shouldn't we? All that player is saying is that they are going where the most money is, regardless if its their current team or not.

I understand that every situation is different, and that not all players that go to free agency do it for the money. There are plenty of players out there who need a fresh start, the team they are on is going in a different direction, or the team just simply does not have enough to offer them the type of money they really deserve. I have no problem with these players, and generally these are not the guys getting dealt the huge contracts and are certainly not the problem.

The ones I am talking about are the Scott Gomez's of the world. We all know NJ had the money and the space to give Gomez a contract that he deserved. We also can assume, based on reports, that they wanted him back. Scott, however, wanted the money. The subsequent bidding war ending up landing him a contract worth well above what his value was and thus will drive up subsequent contracts for players with similar stats and ability to him. Thanks Scott, thanks alot.

Everyone says don't blame the players, and maybe we shouldn't, but there has to be a good portion of blame put on these type of players for the reason we are seeing 10mil contracts again. There is plenty of money to be made in the game and still be playing it for the right reasons. One of the best examples of this is Iginla. Here is a player who re-signs for what can be easily said to be far less than he could have made but did it because of his team, and his love of the game. Iginla wanted to stay in Calgary, he wanted to win a cup for the fans of Calgary, and he was willing to do it for less money than he could have made as a free agent......wow, doesn't that feel good to see from time to time, a guy that is more concerned about the game, the fans, the team, than he is about the money.

Gomez is talented, and so is Iginla.....but its the guys that play for the love of the game that deserve the money we pay to see them, because its those guys that are giving everything they have and earning it.
Filed Under:   Love   Money   Flames   Iginla   Gomez  
July 25, 2007 10:06 AM ET | Delete
It was refreshing to see Iginla and Thornton extend for far less than they would have made in free agency when their contracts expired. Especially if you do a comparison...if Drury and Gomez are truly worth as much money as NYR is paying, what is a Thornton or Iginla worth if he "tested the market"? What do Drury/Gomez/Briere contracts do to arbitration judgments? They're already out of control, but they will go sky high....and you and I will share the bill when we attend the games.
July 25, 2007 11:02 AM ET | Delete
Look- I don't begrudge these athletes anything. If someone came to me and said I will pay you 6 figures to do the same work you do now for 5 figures, as much as I love my work, I would go with more money. Unless a player actually grows up in that NHL city there is NO SUCH THING as a "home town discount". ESPN gets one thing right, the E standing for entertainment goes first- this is an entertainment business. The old fan rooting model of the 50s-70s teams with no player movement is dead. Just my two cents.
July 25, 2007 11:36 AM ET | Delete
you're right...it just sucks that we have nothing more to root for than a jersey anymore. it is the way it is, but it doesn't mean I like it.
July 25, 2007 12:42 PM ET | Delete
I would like to be a fly on the wall when Glen calls Garth to see how to buy out of some contracts in a couple of years. The New York Rangers are trying all they can to become the New York Yankees of the NHL. They'll throw as much money around as possible to land well known players, with the HOPES that all the superstars will click and win a championship. We see how well the Yankees are doing, right? They haven't won anything since bringing in all these "stars". Not thinking of what they're doing to the market values of players. They threw Gomez and Drury all that cash just to say, "we were the ones that got these guys when the whole league was after them". The rest of the league isn't stupid enough to pay these guys that amount of money. Good luck to the Rags.....they'll need it.
July 25, 2007 1:00 PM ET | Delete
You can't blaim a guy for leaving lou's trap in the swamp to go play for the bright lights of msg. Thats why players can become ufa's, they don't have to care about what there former organization and fans want.
July 25, 2007 3:46 PM ET | Delete
Great Blog jbug your right on the money with this blog good job
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