Thursday, August 2, 2007

Burke doesn't match

As you've no doubt heard, Brian Burke did not match the offer sheet and Penner is now headed to Edmonton for 5 years at 4.25 million per year. This offer, or rather the muted reaction to it, might be the most significant thing to happern this off-season. The surprise and anger that you would have expected after Burke didn't match hasn't been there so far. Yes, it's still early, but there haven't been any angry quotes from anonymous GMs calling Burke a pussy for not matching and claiming his actions will destroy...well I don't know what exactly. Compare this to last year, when even though Nonis matched Kesler's RFA offer he still got angry calls for other GMs for not doing so quickly enough. By now, though, he stigma that used to be associated with RFA offers, both in terms of offering them and even remotely contemplating not matching them, seems to have mostly dissapated. For the first time in a long while, or I guess ever, we've seen the RFA process occur without a huge ammount of scorn being heaped on all sides by the hockey community. Offer sheets are now a legitimate tactic. In the hockey world, this might be one of those huge historical moments that changes the way things are done from this point on. I think it's pretty likely that next summer we're going to see a lot more RFA offers and that not a lot of fuss, at least of the "RFA's are forebidden asshole!" variety, will be made about them. So congratulations Kevin Lowe. Your desperation has created a new world for us all.

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