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?