Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sticking to your guns

In an NHL where it seems that every Jeff Finger or Matt Carle can hit it rich with one better-than-mediocre season, Bryan Murray stared down a rising star and said, 'Enough'.

By all accounts, Andre Meszaros priced himself out of the Senators' roster as soon as July 1 hit. While the Senators continually maintained an offer of $2.5-3 million per season at varying lengths of contract, Meszaros also maintained his belief that he was worth in excess of $4 million per season.

The Tampa Bay Lightning and their batshit insane non-GM, saw a player they wanted and reportedly went as far as threatening to give Meszaros an offer sheet worth more than $5 million per season. Still, Murray stuck to his guns (likely knowing that the Lightning could not make such an offer without their third-round pick in 2009 - traded to the Penguins for Ryan Malone last season) and did race to give Meszaros the deal he demanded.

Undoubtedly, the Lightning threatened to reacquire their third-round pick and make the offer if Murray did not complete the deal that sent Meszaros to T-Bay. So the decision was given to Murray - a first-, second-, and third-round pick for Meszaros via offer sheet; or, Kuba, Picard and a first-rounder. As drafts are unpredictable, Murray made a safer choice and went with the deal including Kuba - perhaps the puck-moving defenceman that the Sens have been searching for.

Bryan Murray deserves some credit for working out a deal where a holdout seemed possible. He stuck to his guns and sent a clear message to the NHL: There will be no Jeff Fingers on my team.

Analysis from the south-east...

From the yahoo sports Puck Daddy blog, we receive some insight on the trade.
"It took defensemen Filip Kuba and Alexandre Picard, and San Jose's No. 1 pick in 2009, to snag Meszaros, which is a stunning overpayment on several fronts." (bold added)
...and an interesting connection that others have failed to make...

One last thought: If you had to put a beer on it, will Andrej Meszaros or Dan Boyle have more points at the end of this season?
Considering there was a lot of buzz about the Sens acquiring Boyle earlier this summer, this question only becomes more intriguing for Sens fans.
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