To Whom It May Concern,
This is a forewarning to all GMs, owners, and fans who enter the perils of "Player Holdouts". Prepare yourself for a giant letdown. History dictates the player will always win. Not the team or it's fans, the player and his agent always win.
Why does this hold true?
The player has the least to lose. He may not have a salary but he has been preparing for this day. He may not have the fans behind him, but there are 29 other groups of fans that will gladly welcome him. He does not care about revenue streams, fan lash back, radio jockeys screaming for resolution or where the blame lies. In fact, the player will only welcome all of these as it keeps his name in the media and a distraction to all things related to the club. He will be the first question on everyone's mind and the last one answered.
You Never Get The Value
Heatley was traded to Ottawa for an older Hossa and a third pairing defenseman. Somewhat fair at the time but Hossa did not resign, that was the downward spiral for Atlanta. He was then traded to San Jose for essentially Michalek and a couple bags of pucks. Down goes Ottawa. Yashin was traded for Spezza and Chara. Great value but then again not many get to deal with "Mad Mike" Milbury and the Charles Wang tag team of doom. Apologies to all Islanders fans, but Ottawa never really had Chara when he is truely came into Norris Trophy nominated form. I will move to Sabres delight of Peca, year holdout over $500k, for Tim Connolly and Taylor Pyatt. Thought of as a good trade but the Sabres never did get full value. Mike Comrie held out after his rookie contract was up, what did they get for him? I don't remember either. Watch out Phoenix! Vancouver got JovoCop for Bure, over 150 goals later maybe you should have gave him the money. Teams lose momentum, playoff losses or misses blamed for the missing and the saddest words run rampart as you ponder, what might have been.
The player holds all the cards
Alexander Radulov has proven if you don't like what you are getting paid go to another league and get what you want there. Nashville gets to keep his rights. Gee, that must really help ticket and merchandising sales. Way to go Preds management, you showed him. If the player is willing to risk a year of his career he will get what he wants ala Mike Peca and Alexei Yashin. All owners cave because they are in the business of making money, even in the NHL. Dany Heatley has hamstrung two organizations publicly and has won. The list is long and telling. Few and far in between has an organization won and brought a player into back into the fold. Do not be fooled fans, we always lose in these things because while the situation is unresolved we are still paying the overinflated, taxpayer financed ( in the US), tickets for now a lower entertainment product. We, the many, are out weighed by the pride and greed of the few.