I swear I have no idea how these guys get jobs as hockey columnists. Whining about tiny, insignificant aspects of the game and calling for endless rule changes are bad enough, but sometimes they can't even get their basic facts straight.
The latest offender is Scott Burnside for ESPN.com:
The Devils have significantly more questions to answer before next fall rolls around, not the least of which will be deciding what to do about the possible loss of key components -- defensive anchor Brian Rafalski and NHL playoff scoring leader Scott Gomez , both of whom are set to become unrestricted free agents July 1. Both will command top dollar on the open market and the Devils rarely, if ever, pay top dollar.Mr. Burnside, the Devils led the league this past season in total salary obligations with a total over $53 million. Patrik Elias made $7.5 million this year, one of the highest individual salaries in the entire league. Scott Gomez made $5 million. Brian Rafalski, Brian Gionta and John Madden each made $4 million or just below. Goalie Martin Brodeur made $5.2 million. That's nearly $30 million for six players. For comparison sake, the Colorado Avalanche paid only two players more than $4 million---Joe Sakic and Jose Theodore---and spent under $40 million total on 26 players.
So, please explain to me how it's even possible to write "the Devils rarely, if ever, pay top dollar."
Where do they find these guys?