Saturday, September 16, 2006


The Dallas Stars have signed Jere Lehtinen to a 2-year, $8 million deal. The 33 year-old has led the Stars in goals in two of the last three seasons, and has won the Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward three times.


After reading the latest interview with Dave Nonis (as posted by Hodge) I am angered. Nonis said:

"But I don't understand it. To sign a player to a deal, at far more than what he would normally sign to, knowing full well we were going to match the offer . . . To me that doesn't make any sense . . . In terms of logic, I don't see it."

Nonis said Clarke had inquired about a trade for Kesler during the summer. The Canucks weren't interested in dealing the player they had taken 23rd overall in the 2003 draft.

At least Nonis mentioned the fact that Clarke would 'kick his grandmother down a flight of stairs if it would improve his chance of winning.' Comical stuff. But what I don't understand is Nonis' confusion over the matter. The rumors as to why Clarke did this are revealed. He tried to acquire Kesler earlier in the offseason and the Canucks declined a trade. Eventually, Clarke realized (or always figured) that the Canucks were quickly approaching the cap limit and Kesler was not yet signed. He catches wind that Kesler is not accepting any Canuck offers and goes in for the kill. In Clarke's mind he is probably thinking that Kesler may eventually be worth $1.9 million, and contrary to what Nonis says, Clarke did NOT think that Nonis would match. Otherwise he never would have done what he did.
Nonis then says:
"I do believe Ryan Kesler will turn into a $1.9 million player. Will he always be over paid? I would say no."
Right. So both GM's agree with that point. So why is Nonis asking 'Why? How?' Nonis should just call it like it is. He got duped by a dirty pool-playing asshole. But it is a business isn't it? It was legal, and there would have been compensation. Overpaying free agents is/was the summer trend, so I'm not about to complain about Kesler being presently overpaid.
But in the new cap system, will we see more of this underhanded dealing? Or will GM's stick to a code of respect and honor? Should there be a rule change? I think there could be more dirty dealings in the future, especially with a cap limit, and teams being strapped for cap space.
Either way you slice it, players are getting overpaid all over the NHL map. And eventually, if the cap limit doesn't increase significantly, a huge portion of them are going to have to accept a pay CUT if they plan on staying in the NHL. Hey Kesler, get ready to play a season with a gun to your head.


At September 16, 2006 at 1:37 p.m. , Blogger reality check said...

I don'y buy Clarke's side of this at all.

Clarke's been in the business too long to not believe Nonis would match, especially after declining a trade. Had Nonis been disinterested in Kesler at this point, he would have made a return call to Clarke looking for a deal. Clarke is a bald faced liar. I could tell he was - he opened his mouth!

At September 16, 2006 at 1:53 p.m. , Blogger Hodge said...

I agree. I can imagine the response from Clarke if someone had offered Gagne a contract while they were negotiating.

At September 16, 2006 at 3:56 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

So are you saying that Clarke did that just to fuck over Nonis? Sounds a tad excessive. I don't think he expected Nonis to match.

At September 17, 2006 at 9:40 a.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect he thought Nonis might match, but the offer was high enough to make him think seriously about it. Clarke thought there was a good chance he would let Kesler go and take the draft pick, especially since Vancouver was close enough to the cap to make $1.9 million problematic, although not impossible to match.

Hockey business is cut-throat, and Clarke isn't in it to make friends. "Gentlemen's agreements" might have been appropriate before, but with the money involved now the stakes are higher, and ruthless unsentimentality will be the order of the day.


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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.