"Based on a yearly salary of $5 million, the compensation for signing Meszaros would be a first-, second- and third-round pick.
Tampa doesn't have its 2009 third-round pick, having dealt to it the Penguins for the rights to Ryan Malone prior to the winger becoming an unrestricted free agent. Malone signed a long-term deal with the Lightning. "
- Ottawa Sun
In a way, it makes sense that the team happens to be the Lightning. They spent the summer signing every forward on the market, alive or dead, while trading away Dan Boyle to the Sharks. As it stands now, the Lightning boast Matt Carle as their number one defenseman with Filip Kuba option 1A. That's a huge weakness and Meszaros would fit nicely in the blue and grey.
The strange thing about this story is that the Lightning not only don't have their original 3rd round pick, but they have just over $3 million left to spend under the cap. My best guess is that they are trying unload one of those 200 wingers on Ottawa in a deal similar to how new Canuck GM Mike Gillis forced Buffalo to trade him Steve Bernier earlier in the summer with the threat of an offer sheet.
Even if Meszaros doesn't "bolt", this relationship has already started to go sour. A sign and trade isn't out of the question, ala Marian Hossa heading to Atlanta after a prolonged contract negotiation between him and former Ottawa GM John Muckler.
The Hockey News is reporting that restricted free-agent Andrej Meszaros has signed an offer sheet with another undisclosed team.
"Hours after Ottawa GM Bryan Murray held a news conference to announce the team was at a contractual impasse with restricted free agent defenseman Andrej Meszaros, The Hockey News has learned from an NHL source that Meszaros has agreed to a multi-year offer sheet with an average salary in excess of $5 million per season.
The team that has agreed to terms with the 22-year-old has yet to be confirmed.
When contacted by The Hockey News, Murray denied the report."I’ve heard rumors that that’s happening, but there’s no confirmation of that at this point," said Murray."
- The Hockey News
I'm actually one of the three people who don't boo Meszaros in this city and even I think Murray should walk away and accept the draft picks (1st, 2nd and a 3rd) if this is true. $5 million plus for Meszaros is totally out of control at this point in his career.
Sadly for the Senators, Meszaros will probably be worth it in a couple of years when he fully develops and matures.
But can they spend that money now?
If Mesz leaves, the Senators will go into this season without a true number one goalie and without a prime offensive defenseman.
You can figure it out from there.
EDIT: James Mirtle has some more insight into who the team might be:
"Any offer sheet of more than $5-million but less than $5,231,249 would mean those three picks are going the other way.
Off the top of my head, teams that could potentially pull this off include St. Louis, Toronto, Montreal, Columbus, the Islanders, Phoenix and Atlanta. The Kings would need to reacquire their third-round pick to take part.
This is a bit of a nightmare for the Senators, as their defence was somewhat thin even with Meszaros in the fold. It's possible they'll acquire Mathieu Schneider from the cap-space strapped Ducks if this comes to fruition."
- James Mirtle
If I was a betting man (and Lord knows, I am) I'd put my money on the team being Columbus.