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Don't Cry

Anaheim Ducks general manager, Brian Burke is doing a bit of "public venting" about Kevin Lowe's recent offer sheet of $21.25 million over 5 years to Dustin Penner. There's an interesting article about it in TSN. Here are some of the best quotes: "My issue here is this is the second time this year in my opinion Edmonton have offered a grossly inflated salary for a player, and it impacts on all 30 teams and I think it's an act of desperation by a general manager who is fighting to keep his job." "I was not notified of this until an agent faxed it into us," he said. "I thought Kevin would have called me and told me it was coming. I thought that was gutless." Very interesting words coming from a man who just signed worthless thug Todd Bertuzzi to an inflated two year $8 million contract. Bertuzzi barely played last year because of a bad back so I don't know how he warrants that kind of scratch.

While I don't feel sorry for Burke, I do agree with him. Lowe's ridiculous offer sheets will certainly inflate salaries in the future, if they aren't already. Supposing Thomas Vanek has an off year next year and only scores 15-20 goals. Will every 15-20 goal scorer going to arbitration think they will be worth Vanek's 7 million dollar per year compensation? If I'm the player's agent, that's the salary that I want to compare with. The only way to stop this absurdity is to make Lowe overpay Penner and accept the compensatory draft picks. (a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounder) It was impossible for Buffalo to allow Vanek to be taken from them, but while Penner is a nice player, he's certainly expendable to Anaheim for that kind of money. Again, I predict Burkie will walk away from that contract. But if he doesn't walk away and keeps Penner, then who will Lowe's next target be? New Jersey's Brian Gionta or Zach Parise? Hey, if you're Kevin Lowe why stop here? You might as well go for the gusto! Now we know why the Pens locked up Crosby a year early. I still say Lowe is bucking to be future president of the NHLPA. The players have got to be loving this!

Things are still quiet in Hurricanes land. Yesterday, they signed 3rd string goalie Michael Leighton to a 1 year contract. It's a 2-way deal so the goalie can be sent back and forth from Raleigh to Albany if needed. Many Caniacs are still wondering if Rutherford might do something to tweak the defense, but with the current total salary already over budget it's highly unlikely the Canes will sign anyone else unless they free up salary space. There are a couple of ways that could happen. Bret Hedican could decide to retire or they could make a trade. Trevor Letowski is the most expendable now since the top 9 forward positions are pretty well locked up. The problem is that he is an expensive 4rth line player at 800K and is pretty much a negative asset as far as trade value goes. With Hamilton also making 800K, Adams at 600, and LaRose at 500, the Canes will have one of the highest paid 4rth lines in the NHL! If Letowski sits in the pressbox, that's a wasted 800K they could be using on a defenseman. Hopefully, they can figure out a better way to get the best use out of their money. Ciao!

Guns N' Roses