Welcome to the 2007 NHL off-season. That would be the new NHL. The cap-era NHL. The fiscally responsible NHL.
The $8-million per year for Scott Gomez NHL.
This would be a good time to re-read the title of this blog.
As they have before and as they always will, NHL general managers will bid all their pretty pennies on the top unrestricted free agents available this summer. Keep in mind that these aren't the best players in the league, just the best available at the moment. These are not Crosbys or Thorntons or Lecavaliers or Heatleys. In any other year these UFAs could be classed as "second tier" players like Ladislav Nagy and Michael Handzus are now branded with.
So what's worse: offering top dollar to a player that outscored his previous career high by 30 points (Briere) or offering top dollar to a player who scored 24 fewer points than in the previous season (Gomez)?
Have we learned nothing from Bobby Holik? What happens when the aforementioned Crosby et al come up for contract negotiations and he is putting up twice the points of someone making $8-million?
Cheers to all those GMs that will stay out of the fracas and save their money for legitimate top of the scoring race players. The salary cap certainly isn't going to deter those GMs with a little spare cash to spend it all in one place. And will it be worth it?
The more things change...