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During "Crazy-Time" last summer Flyers GM Bob Clarke approached Ryan Kesler and made an absurd off to the underachieving restricted free agent. The offer was for a one year deal at $1.9 million dollars, to a player that had far from met any expectations and seemingly could not put the puck in the Pacific Ocean if he were standing on Honolulu Island.

Don't get me wrong, Kesler is a talented hockey player with tons of potential but the fact of the matter is a few years of mis-management by Marc Crawford put Kesler in a situation were he would not develop into a fixutre on any NHL roster.

Kesler had just come off a season where the club had huge expectations which were grossly unacheived but the Canucks wanted to continue to develop their former 1st round selection but Nonis was not going to overpay for what seems to be a long-project.

So with that being said and Nonis and Kesler working on a deal in the $900,000 - $1.4 million range, Bobby Clarke steps in and offers Kesler the ridiculous sum of $1.9 million over one season!

Ruthless, certianly...you want to know the real reason for such a ridiculous move. This move is possibly one of the last straws that Bobby Clarke had in Philly and may have been part of the reason that he lost his job last season.

The reason for this move was because the Canucks and the Flyers were both in the hunt for UFA Anson Carter. Clarke, sensing the the Canucks may have had the lead hand in the Carter sweepstakes, notices that the Canucks are really close to the cap and by making an offer to Kesler he figured that he could win the Carter sweepstakes.

By going after the Canucks future (in Kesler), Clarke made it next to impossible for the Canucks not match the offer from the Flyers. This in theory, knocked the Canucks out of the Anson Carter race as it pushed the club so close to the salary cap that they could not afford the $2.5 million plus that Carter was looking for.

In the end it is Clarke that has the egg on his face because the Canucks have Kesler at a lower rate for the 2007-08 season; Carter went to Columbus then Carolina then the press box; and Clarke himself lost his job.

At last evenings "State of The Franchise" event, GM Dave Nonis commented on this situation and added that he expects this tactic to be used again in the future by several GM's. Is it a legal tactic? sure, Is it resposible business? not a chance.

This appears to be one area of the CBA that needs to be reviewed...
Filed Under:   Canucks   Nonis   Clarke   Flyers   CBA  
June 27, 2007 7:43 PM ET | Delete
I think you're wrong about Clarke's motives last summer. Anson Carter had a hard time finding a team last summer, so it's doubtful the Flyers would go through all that trouble to better their chances. The reality is the Flyers had targeted Kesler as a potential replacement for Primeau as the checking line center. The compensation was low and Kesler had friends on the team. Philly would have been a good fit for him.
June 27, 2007 8:31 PM ET | Delete
Clarke simply desired Kesler. He had interest in Carter, too, but not after he heard the winger's asking price. There was a rumor that the Flyers had made a trade offer for Kesler prior to the offer sheet and that Nonis had been less than polite in shooting it down, which kind of spurred the old fire in Clarkie's belly. Kind of a "Oh yeah, Dave? Well F You, too!!!"
June 27, 2007 9:10 PM ET | Delete
Dear Canucks fans. LET IT GO.
June 27, 2007 9:27 PM ET | Delete
Dear Flyers fans...how is the basement?It's not a knock against Clarke or the Flyers...its simply a comment on an area of the CBA that needs to be reviewed before it happens more and more and salaries continue to get bloated. On the other hand, its not like the Flyers helped the situation this summer because of the ridiculous money that they dolled out to Hartnell and Timonen.
June 27, 2007 10:25 PM ET | Delete
Dear Canucks fan,The Flyer's turn is coming soon. Anson Carter went without a team for months and the Flyer's had plenty of money to sign him so the basis for you blog is baseless. Was it good business? Absolutely. Clarke wanted to get a younger player to fit with his roster and was shorthanded at wing. The Flyers had very little defensively up front and Kesler, if nothing else, is sound defensively.By the way, Honolulu is a city.
June 28, 2007 12:06 AM ET | Delete
BTW...Carter did not go months without a team...he signed with Columbus prior to the season begining....
June 28, 2007 8:40 AM ET | Delete
The Flyers paid Hartnell and Timonen what they would have got on the market this summer anyhow. Look at the numbers being tossed around in reference to Briere, Gomez and Drury. If you think that Timonen wasn't getting near what the Flyers gave him, you're ignoring the market or naive. Hartnell probably got overpaid, but base it on the $3.5mm contract Sergei Samsonov signed last summer and it's not by much.
June 28, 2007 9:11 AM ET | Delete
I'm not so sure the CBA needs to be reevaluated. Perhaps teams should learn to sign their young talent during the season instead of waiting until much later. For example had Buffalo attempted to sign Vanek earlier they might not have the mess on their hands that they do now.
June 28, 2007 10:52 AM ET | Delete
Jesus, can the Canucks fans move on? And about the basement comment, uh we had something like 11 seasons in a row in the postseason. One bad year and you're going to ask us how the basement is? Do you really think we'll be there again this year? I doubt it.As far as Clarke losing his job, he didn't, he resigned. Stop acting as if you have inside information on something when you're just a hockey junkie with a keyboard like the rest of us.
June 28, 2007 12:24 PM ET | Delete
Carter didn't sign until the end of September. July, August, September... that's months.
June 28, 2007 1:41 PM ET | Delete
Oh...there's more coming. Carter got signed at the 11th hour. Wait until you see some of the second tier free agents still available in August. Teams don't need to pull a Clarke, they're going to soon realize they can't just go shopping once every couple of years without losing valuable pieces of their teams. Philly's drawing the ire of the league with the signing of Hartnell and the offer sheet of last year, but they'll dig themselves into a cap hole they'll have a hard time climbing out of. Until someone relieves them of Richards and Carter, of course.
June 28, 2007 3:30 PM ET | Delete
Heater - while you may be correct in that Philly may be in the hole in the future, you may also not be. A lot happens in the league in a few years and teams have the ability to deal higher priced players for less if they see a problem with the cap coming. As for poaching Carter or Richards - it is a possibility for sure, but then again maybe Homer will actually dot he smart thing and try to lock them into contracts before this becomes an issue.
June 28, 2007 6:33 PM ET | Delete
Wow...Flyer fans are awfully sensitive to this issue. We Canuck fans are over it..I basis of the blog was to show a weakness in the CBA. Obviously Clarke pulled a great move...it didn't pan out so we move on. As for the comment that I feel I have insider information...you couldn't be further from the truth...the purpose of myhockeybuzz was to allow hockey fans to express some opinions and thoughts...whether there is any truth behind my comments remains to be seen but if you really look at the situation along with the comments that Dave Nonis made on Tuesday evening, there is some serious validity to my comments. Canuck fans got over the situation the moment that Kesler started to find his roll on the team and Luongo carried us to the playoffs, trust me there is no one up here that is seriously dwelling on this situation, Kesler has now taken a paycut and resigned with our club. Simply put the blog was 'food for thought', maybe last season really did take a serious toll on Flyer fans.
June 28, 2007 6:56 PM ET | Delete
No one is sensitive to the issue. We only took umbrage with the assertion that the Flyers did it as a ploy to get Anson Carter. If the Flyers had wanted Carter they would have signed him. If anyone wanted him he wouldn't be in friggin' Columbus. As for your thesis that teams may try to poach RFAs from cash strapped rivals....DUH. This wasn't an opinion Blog so much as it was a bunch of fallacies followed by a glaringly obvious statement.
June 28, 2007 7:05 PM ET | Delete
lyricsninja: As long as he can fit them into the cap with the signings that are happening, then your team should flourish. Assuming they don't catch the 'pay me for my potential' syndrome. As far as moving a guy like Hartnell in the future? That's the gamble I suppose. The cap is in place so that no team can stockpile free agents, whether it works or not is anyones guess.
June 28, 2007 8:37 PM ET | Delete
Not an opinion blog? Did you not read it? It openly states that this is bad business and the GM's seem to continuously stab each other in the back and drive the market through the roof. As for the fallacies, its called speculation that is what this site is about...none of us have insider information none of us know what the heck is going on behind the scene...talk about a glaringly obvious statement.
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