Monday, July 09, 2007


As most of you know, I read Larry Brooks so you don't have to and yesterday Larry was bashing Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe in his own special way.

This of course means that the Rangers are the greatest thing ever put on the the planet and the world would be a much better place if the small market Oilers would just go away so the Rangers could break the $100 million plateau with their payroll.

Ol' Lar believes that Lowe's desperation offer sheet to Thomas Vanek would have been a better idea to Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist AND that the Oilers should have thrown $9 million + at Lundqvist instead of a measly $7 million + at Vanek to really make the Rangers squirm.

It all of course sounds reasonable under you do something that Ol' Lar hardly ever does and take a look at what the Oilers need, don't need, and (most importantly) can afford; but Ol' Lar never lets facts get in the way. First of all, the Oilers went after Michael Nylander, Thomas Vanek, and by all accounts, other offensive minded players. Unless Lundqvist can also chip more than 20 goals himself in addition to keeping his GAA under 2.50 and his Save Percentage over .900%, I don't think he'd fit the Oilers needs.

Secondly, a quick check here shows that the Oilers already have two goaltenders under contract for next season and that the clear cut starter, Dwayne Roloson, has a $3.667 million cap number for the upcoming season and the next. Now while I agree with Ol' Lar that Lundqvist would be a better option between the pipes than Roloson, why should the Oilers (or any other team for that matter) tie up almost $13 million of cap space for goaltending? Nobody in their right mind is going to tie up over $3 million in cap space for a backup goaltender (Ottawa however is already in that situation with Martin Gerber making $3.7 million backing up Ray Emery who will cash in on his cup run). Secondly, Roloson would have a hard time finding a starting job (the one on Broadway would be open though but I doubt the Rangers would do the Oilers the favor in that situation) leaving the Oilers having $13 million of their cap tied up on their goaltending tandem.

Only the Chicago Blackhawks use even half of that (it is actually more, they use $7.7 million in cap space for Nikolai Khabibulin and Patrick Lalime). Had the Oilers targeted Lundqvist, it would have forced the Rangers into a box. Had the Rangers declined, they would have lost a good goaltender, but the Oilers would have been handcuffed themselves without addressing their pressing need for offense.

But then of course there's the typical Larry Brooks double talk. He whines about the Vanek offer sheet skewing salaries further upward for third year wingers, especially through arbitration. But a $9 million offer sheet to Henrik Lundqvist (which, BTW would have made the second year player with no major NHL awards under his belt by far the highest paid goaltender in the NHL) wouldn't have had the same effect on the goaltending ranks. Ol' Lar's glossing over this actually makes some sense when you see Larry's closing line about a month ago chiding Martin Broduer.

So if we follow the Larry Logic, everybody should be paid more in the NHL, goaltenders especially should be paid more, but not 3rd year goal scoring wingers...

But thankfully Kevin Lowe didn't go the Larry route and instead continued his quixotic search for a goal scoring forward all thanks (according to Larry at least, I wasn't aware of it) to the deep personal friendship between Kevin Lowe and Rangers GM Glen Sather.

Maybe there's hope for the league yet...



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