Friday, July 27, 2007

Burke calls Lowe "gutless" and more

Ducks GM Brian Burke addressed the press today in response to Kevin Lowe's offer sheet to Dustin Penner. He had a lot of not so nice things to say, calling Lowe "gutless" for not telling Burke directly about the offer and "classless" for stealing the thunder at tonight's BC Hockey Hall of Fame.

One of Burke's less sensational comments is what should really concern fans and the league itself:
"I have no problem with offer sheets, they are part of the CBA," Burke said on a conference call. "I think it's a tool certainly a team is entitled to use. 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."

- Canadian Press

We'll have to wait and see if these sheets start driving up salaries but it's a real possibility.

The Vanek offer was a bit more reasonable. A proven point-a-game guy with a solid +/- can easily command $7M per year. But Vanek should have to string together at minimum back-to-back seasons like that before sniffing that kind of cash. Consistency is what separates a good season from a great career.

The same could be said of Penner: great potential but unproven. The problem here is, his sheet is about $1M above market for guys with similar numbers.

If Burke refuses to match, he'll receive Edmonton's first, second and third round picks. The Ducks could conceivably have a shot at both the Cup and first choice in the 2008 draft.

If I was Burke, I'd take the picks and start lobbying for John Tavares to enter the draft early.

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