Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Now What?

So the Sabres have let J.P. Dumont become an unrestricted free agent. Dumont is the second player let go because of an arbitration ruling, joining Obi-Wan Tanabe, who was released by the Bruins last week. Without knowing much on the matter at all, I'm going to assume that this nuance of the Collective Bargaining Agreement was originally intended to be a win-win deal. That is to say, that it would work to the benefit of both the owners (who would be allowed to walk away from bad contracts) and the players (who would be allowed to quickly enter every professional athletes Nirvana, unrestricted free agency). But I fail to see how these two rulings, and the subsequent walk-away by the Sabres and the Bruins, help Dumont and Tanabe. Both now have to go through the hassle of looking for new deals about a month before training camp, when most teams have already filled out much of their roster and spent most of their money. As well, it is my personal belief that the "walk-away option"--I have no idea if that is the real term, but it is what TSN is bandying about-- stigmatizes the contract, and therefore the player. The act tells the whole league that, a) even though they will get absolutely nothing back in return, there is no way a team will pay that guy that much money, and that b) the team isn't even even willing to accept the offer and then trade the player, because the risk of not being able to get rid of that player for that amount is too high.

Dumont and Tanabe are likely going to have to settle for less money if they want to continue playing in the NHL. Of course, that assumes that there isn't a GM out there with an IQ lower than 90, which is indeed a huge assumption. But they now have less time, less leverage, and more risk involved in making a deal. Perhaps this is another aspect of the CBA that helps the top-tier players and hurts the middle to lower rank and file (I can't see Sabres walking away from a Miller ruling, for example, no matter what the cost). Perhaps not. Only time and more cases will let us know. Either way, Dumont and Tanabe will have to come to grips with the fact that NHL GM's are about to tell them that their value isn't as great as they think, independent arbitrator be damned.


You know, if the Oilers really are looking to spend ~3M on a forward with some scoring punch, I wouldn't be averse to choosing Dumont over Sykora. Admitting small sample size of just the 2005/06 season, Dumont's 1.91 ESP/hr and 5.27 PPP/hr trump Sykora's respective numbers of 2.02 and 4.12, especially if Sykora is being brought on as a PP guy.

At least both of them would come with superior 2005/06 rates to Jarome Iginla.

...I hear there's a new GM in Long Island that may be able to get under the IQ bar.

In a really strange turn, Buffalo is reportedly tendering an offer to Dumont after walking away!

Proves its just business, not personal - unlike Burke and Vishnovsky.

"...I hear there's a new GM in Long Island that may be able to get under the IQ bar."


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