When Vanek was signed by Oilers, I immediately voiced my violent opinions to all Oiler fans i knew well. How on earth could they do this ? It drives the market up, forget that its within the 'rules' but it drives market up, PERIOD. These are the same Oiler fans that I have heard cry, and they cry a LOT, when all these years they have lost their players.
Yes, this is in the CBA. But does "Kev" and the Oilers not see what game he is playing bigger picture. Now he is driving up the salaries of those mid young guys coming off of their first 3 years, or in Penners case, amazingly enough, after his 100th game or so.....
yes, Lowe has his bases covered right now. He signed his RFA's, and he also has his one young stud, yes folks, please note, ONE young stud, Ales HEMSKY to a long term deal. So he is safe there. Think Burke has some pull in the league ? Think the top ranked GM in terms of influence likes what he sees, in kool aid Lou Lamoriello ?
What burns me is that Oiler fans I talk with suggest this is now 'in the rules', and they are 100% correct. But blind faith is scary, and these are the same fans that have cryed foul when the Oilers lost their players. Guess what fella's, that was also in the "rules" then, but that did not matter, at the time it was poor small market team !
Mark this blog, Oiler fans, at some point will be complaining about the new CBA at some point, not only are they small market, but they now have put a bull's eye on their back.
I like Edmonton, I like their team and everything they stand for. I even like them making an impact. I do not want them to leave and hope they never will. But in the next 2-5 years, there will be consequences to driving the market up in this fashion Oiler fans, and Oiler fans will line up and forget about their 'smart remarks' on how this is within the rules.
Maybe thats "balls" on Kevin Lowe's part. But it reminds me a lot of kids playing in the sandbox, playing by sandbox rules, until some kid decides to bring up that there is a sign of rules that the kids are not adhering to, for his own personal gain. The kids are best to manage this, but one kid brings this up. The question is, does the sandbox go away, or is the one kid shunned and loses the trust and respect of the others. I guess Kevin will see if he will still fits in.
Kevin Lowe was already a great manager in my book. Really good. But this does indeed riek of desperateness.
At the end of the day, Oiler fans, non Oiler fans, the ONE part of the CBA that teams could always control is this level of player, before they were UFA's. They will get their dough, all of them, but in this case its drives market up for many other teams, with trelu league wide impact.
Imagine that, the Edmonton Oilers holding the flag for rapidly escalading salaries. What a new CBA we have now !