Sheldon Souray to New Jersey.
This statement has been repeated more than a few times in the chat room and many of us rumour hounds smelled a signing. But it still hasn't happened. Why? Souray has more than likely been asking for an unreasonable contract. Sure he had 20 goals. Sure he's great on the powerplay. But defense wins championships. I personally couldn't see why the New Jersey Devils, the kings of the trap, would sign a horrible defenseman in terms of defense.
And so there is the Souray Syndrome.
Teams are unwilling to spend the kind of money that Souray wants. The money is apparently in the 6 million dollar range. Interestingly enough, Chris Pronger makes 6.25 million. What happened to the idea of precedent? Souray by this method should be making at most 4.5 million.
But alas we have to deal with overpricing. So let's say the "normal" price for Souray was 6.5 million. Well, now one team is going to get a steal by waiting it out. Souray isn't going to want to wait much longer to get a contract. Teams have proven that they are unwilling to give him the money or term he wants, so he has to now bargain with them.
Some team is going to get a "bargain" on Souray because they were patient with him. I don't understand why the Souray syndrome didn't occur with the other way overrated free agents. Why couldn't teams wait to sign Drury, Gomez, and Briere. Their contracts are now driving up prices around the league. It's completely ridiculous. If Philly had the cap room and wanted to sign Selanne, he could command the league max judging by the precedent set by the overrated trio. He had 48 goals and over 90 pts. He was a force in the playoffs. Yet I would never consider paying him the league max.
Teams need to pay attention to the kind of precedent they are setting. The smart GMs have waited on Souray. I guess it's down now to the Sharks and Isles per Ek, and now I have to give my vote for GM of the year to Doug Wilson and Garth Snow. Both have waited out the fake "free agency" and are now acting during the real free agency. The real free agency now includes the right prices for the right players, and will improve your team without busting your wallet.
Not to mention I've been really bored since the fake free agency happened. There is ABSOLUTELY NO POINT to signing free agents on the first day, unless you're willing to make a statement to your fans that they don't care how much they'll ruin the team in the long run, they're willing to bust the bank to please the fans. This isn't about the fans, this is about good team and cap management and shame on all the GMs who drove up the market.
Let's all praise the GMs who are willing to partake in the Souray Syndrome.