I re-edited this post because I thought it was a fun discussion!:
I feel bad for Buffalo, because Lowe basically forced their team into overpaying for Vanek, though he did sign the offer sheet. But still, I think if a player signs an offer sheet, let him go. He obviously isn't willing to sacrifice for the sake of his own teams benefit.(Meaning, go into arbitration and/or work out an agreement both healthy for the player and for the team) Having locked him down in such a high contract, he basically makes their team less of a contender because they couldn't hold onto key guys like Drury, Briere or even re sign replacements.
I think GM's should send a message to players by letting them walk. Offersheets in a way ruin the salary cap system by forcing teams to overpay for a player. Plus GM's like Lowe purposely target teams like Buffalo to basically force them into a bad position. Burke made the right move, Buffalo's GM didn't.
With the cap space free'd from Vanek Buffalo still could've made some signings. Plus those picks are good bargaining chips at the deadline to lure in some really good players. Personally I feel it was a dumb move. They still have guys like Pomminville, Afinogenov, etc to work with. Those picks could've landed them somebody big. Think about this proposal.
They just lost Vanek for 4 1st round picks. Edmonton ends up overpaying out their ass for Vanek, a player who played extremely well when surrounded by really good players. That having been said, Vanek is being overpayed on any team without really good offense.
You save that X million a season, gain 4 picks.
1) Sign extremely good UFA to replace Vanek
2) Sign another UFA to replace either Drury/Briere
3) Insert even all 4 picks, 2 marginal players who are basically a salary dump, get a cheaper version of Vanek from another team.
So now you have players to replace Vanek/Briere/Drury.
Yet now that u signed the offersheet u only have Vanek period.
Pretty dump move imo by their GM. I can understand though, I honestly can. He's the highest point getter their team has left, a 40g scoring phenom. If it were Koivu getting the offersheet as a habs fan, I would say sign him (duh) even at overpayment. But that brings me back to my original point about how offersheets are ruining the game.
Basically teams should be left to their own devices when signing/trading/etc their own players. Offersheets are sort of unfair ways to force a team into a high cost extension. It's not fair, offersheets can end up crippling a team for years, and it can F you both ways, whether your offering a dumb offer, or recieving.
Good point...but buffalo has to be careful that they dont just accept draft picks and turn it into a rebuilding phase. Personally, I dont think rebuilding is even possible in today's nhl, as soon as a prospect is half decent, some retard like Lowe will make an insane offer and bye bye. I understand that the Sabres couldve used the money saved from Vanek to grab someone...but who out there can they get with the equivalent skill level? Also, if there is someone, they have to WANT to play in Buffalo, and I dont think they have the money to influence a player's decision. Good move by Sabres to keep him, by signing Vanek, Lowe was forced to make that rediculous offer to Penner.
Vanek is the future of our organization ! If Darcy was guilty of anything , it was not locking Vanek up before the offer sheet was signed. And im getting sick of the Kevin Lowe bashing ... its getting out of hand. If only Darcy would grow some kahones big enough to make that kinda move. IMO, Lowe did more to patch up his team than Regier did. Also, Lowe is completely acting within the power that the OWNERS gave him per the new CBA. So i dont know why everyone is crying , they made the rules !
The Sabres and any other team can't become glorified AHL feeder teams for the special ed graduates like Kevin Lowe and their teams.
what good UFA's were left?
Although your post makes a lot of sense. The Sabres were in a position of having absolutelty no choice in the matter. There was no way they were letting Vanek walk. They couldn't nor should have they. They have to get out of the act of develpoing players and watching them prosper elsewhere. Darcy was put behind the eight ball and wasn'tgiven a choicein the matter. That being said he put himself there. The season ended for the Sabres and they did nothing untill the day before UFA Day. They wasted over a month giving out contracts to Lindy
even still you get FOUR FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICKS. Upcoming are supposed to be alot of good drafts, also you get leverage in trades. You can trade away some of those picks and get some key players. I would have taken those picks in a second.
I would have taken the picks and not overpayed vanek. However, BUF had little choice unless they wanted to admit to rebuilding (this is possible in the new NHL, infact losing is a good way to win long term...good drafts are the best way to win, you pay them less then they are producing until they get paid but by then you have hopefully won something- see PIT and ANH, BUF last year with miller and vanek, etc). I understand why BUF didnt take the picks because the GM might have lost his job and it would have taken a few more years to get back into the POs instead of hoping to get in this year. But I fully believe that with a cap you have to lose or draft extremely well to win loing term. Look out this year for teams like florida, washington, and pitsburg.
if buffalo takes the picks, we've gone form contender to rebuilder in a matter of months. There's no excuse for that level of incompetence, and Darcy knew it. More importantly we might not get return on those picks for years after the drafts. By then, our team is completely different and the best years of Miller are possibly over.as for what you have to do to succeed under a cap, look no further than a league with a cap, like the NFL. You can rise for any number of reasons. Resurgent players (Brees SD) good drafting (Pats injury riddled SB runs, Brady) large FA acquisitions (Brees NO) and early draft picks (Manning, Bush) can all help lead to success. All of those helped without the cap. The biggest difference is that you can't overspend to compensate. This was never a huge problem for Buffalo.
Miller looks like Jesus...and he can walk on water...abit frozen
The way I see it Darcy screwed up when he said Buffalo would match any offer. That most likely added $1M/year to the offer sheet. Don't blame Lowe for that. Buffalo and your fans were outsmarted by a better GM.