“Bettman has only a marginal interest in the weaker teams. He only wants the NHL to make a bigger profit as a whole.” -- Dominik Hasek

July 6, 2007

Thomas Vanek Is One Hot Piece Of Hockey Tail

Thomas Vanek must be great in bed. Or at least, he must be great in the locker room, since Edmonton and Buffalo just got done fighting over him. Buffalo will re-sign the up-and-coming-but-still-kind-of-unproven young Vanek, but not without oodles of controversy.

Apparently, Kevin Lowe, universally-admired GM of the Oilers, temporarily went totally f-cking bat sh-t crazy and decided to make a 7-year, $50 million offer to Vanek, which included FOUR first round draft picks to Buffalo because he is still a restricted free agent. Four first round picks. FOUR. And a 7-year deal. For $50 million.

Not to be outdone in the genius department, Buffalo GM Darcy Regier then matched the offer, which Vanek, likely realizing the impossibility that anything this balls-out amazing will ever happen to him again, is sure to sign. His pay last year was $942 thousand. This coming season he will make $5 million, and that's just the beginning. The breakdown of his income over the length of the contract, in millions of dollars, will be: 5, 5, 6.4, 6.4, 6.4, 6.4, 6.4. That's right. No matter how good he becomes---or how bad he gets---Vanek is guaranteed to make over $6 million for five straight seasons, starting in 2009-10. Bear in mind that he's only had one good season in his limited NHL career. He could still totally choke.

Obviously, so-called "small market" teams like Edmonton and Buffalo are not exactly short on cash to throw around, just short on brains.


Rex Waverly said...

Drury goes 37-32-69 in 77 games; Vanek goes 43-41-84 in 82 games.

Who's worth more?

8m for Drury... what, did buffalo want half-price for Vanek? Tough.

(oh, and 4 firsts? how many firsts does it take to gaurantee a Vanek-esque pick?)

Dear Lord Stanley said...

I didn't say Vanek was the only overpriced player. But also remember that Drury brings with him lots of intangibles like proven leadership, clutch play and a Cup win. He's also older and simply more experienced than Vanek, and therefore worth more.

That said, Drury is going to make too much money than he's worth---and so is just about every other free agent that just signed a fat contract.

Jibblescribbits said...

7M for Drury Rex. While I think Vanek is going to be great, this was a crazy contract because of the 4-first rounders. Usually I don't like draft picks because they're a crapshoot, but really 4 first rounders from a crappy team is likely to be a great deal.

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