Sunday, August 31, 2008

Offer Sheet A Red Herring

Let's make one thing clear:

People are repeatedly justifying the Andrej Meszaros trade by saying that Tampa Bay was threatening an offer sheet.

The fact is that Tampa was not in a position to make an offer sheet because Pittsburgh owns their 3rd round pick, making them ineligible to provide the proper compensations as required by the CBA.

There was no indication that Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero was at all interested in trading that coveted pick back to Tampa Bay (and why would he after the Ryan Malone signing) and in fact, Ottawa GM Bryan Murray could have protected himself by trying to make a deal with Shero for the pick himself.

Bryan Murray traded Meszaros of his own free will and to use the bogeyman of the offer sheet is simply not accurate or even relevant to the conversation.

If Murray really wanted to keep Meszaros, he could have. It would have been a stalemate situation that could have dragged on into the first month of the season, but there is no doubt that Meszaros would have signed eventually, probably for less than the $4 million he got from Tampa.

The Lightning could not put any pressure on Ottawa other than outright begging. They had no leverage whatsoever.

Murray made a hockey deal which he thought was best for the club and did so without any realistic external pressure.

Whether it was the right move is up for debate. I seem to be the only one who thinks it was a bad deal but 19, 000 Sens fans can't be wrong, can they?


Graeme Nichols said...

Jeremy, nice blog. I have an idea for a future one if you're interested. Float me an email


Ben said...

I gotta disagree.

Meszaros = 1st, 2nd, 3rd round picks (via offer sheet)

Meszaros = 1st, 2nd, 3rd line player traded to get the 3rd rounder back? In the eyes of the win-starved (and likely bat-shit insane) Lightning, hell yes.

If you consider the friendly relationship that the Lightning and Penguins may have after swinging deals last season, the threat to re-acquire the 3rd round pick is legitimate.

Otherwise, why would Murray make this deal with the lightning? Why not some other team that wasn't (likely) pissing Murray off by making threats?