1) Since Elias is on record saying they started negotiations, and what the Devils had had to offer is not so close (I don’t care if Neverson passed it on with a negative spin – it is what was said). I think Lou will offer the max before 7/1 (this has to be inline with Derek's numbers above -- no higher if they want to stay competitive) and when Elias says “no,” Lou has no choice but to consider him gone then. This has to be something between Niedermayer and Mogilny/Nieuwendyke negotiations. Elias’s agent, whomever he may be, needs to understand Lou doesn't play games. What is offered before 7/1 is what's on the table - end of story.
**Is there anyone in the hockey business (player or agent) who can set us straight? What is the protocol for negotiations? I can speak from the entertainment industry’s stand point – there is no real code of honor amongst talent agents and cast directors/producers – it’s there but it’s pretty much ignored unless you stand to gain something from respecting it. No code amongst business recruiters because the pool is so huge- turnover so high it doesn’t much matter if you step on toes here or there. Hockey is a pretty small community so I’d imagine some things are just not gentlemanly – thus not done.
What I’m asking is can Lou have the offer out to Elias and once told “we’ll get back to you when we do” a la Epp, can he then extend another offer to someone like Chara effectively screwing one or the other based on who excepts first? It’s not quite cricket – but it’s the only way to protect yourself against what I will affectionately refer to as the “Neidermayer Screw”
2) If Elias needs to take all the time he needs to be happy ??? Honestly as I said in the other post I just hope he understands the Devils don’t have time to wait. How can you all be stoked about this?
It seems we are all sticking strictly to the Elias quotes (not so much writers interpretations of them) reading quotes and interpreting how we may. They are what they are. Like sundstrom, I can’t ignore the fact Patty said basically “I don’t want to struggle during the regular season because it’s no damned fun” Well – Rangers didn’t struggle. What hurts Patty more being swept in the first round or having a great 82 days? It’s a legitimate question and I wouldn’t blame him either way honestly.
As long as it is after July 1st Lou can do whatever he wants. He would have the offer on the table to Elias, if Elias wants to go shopping elsewhere, he can make another offer to whoever he wants to because until something is signed by both parties and then filed with the NHL (and accepted, btw), there are no $$$ committed. The simple act of making an offer to someone and having it sit out there on the table means nothing.
And, btw, considering what happened with Niedermayer last year, if he made a max contract offer to Elias before July 1st and Elias still wants to see what's out there, it means Patrik does not think NJ is in the best position to win. And therefore, he isn't going to stay, not matter what he says, unless the comparable offers he gets are from teams that he feels are no better positioned. So Lou should go out and try to execute Plan B, whatever it is, while Elias does whatever he damn well feels like doing. And if neither one of them finds anything better, they will still be there waiting for each other.
As for struggling through the season (which NJ did do), does it occur to Elias that at least part of that was due to the fact that he was gone for about 1/2 the season? Yes, the defense was an issue but at least part of the mess was the fact that Elias wasn't there and the offense simply stalled. Remember December right before he came back? The defense had actually gotten better, Marty was starting to play well and the team couldn't score a goal to save their collective lives.