People are overreacting a bit with contracts i find. I mean its like they'll use it as a closure to convince themselves that its for the best and that its better to have no stars at all than to overpay one.
Kovy gone...oh well his contract was horrible!!!
Zach is gone... Well i wouldnt want that contract...
Clarkson.. Etc etc...
I mean... You guys think the ducks "want" getzlaf or perry's contract? Pens fans want crosby or malkin contract? Nashville want shea's contract etc etc. toews and kane next contract? Im sure hawks fans are not looking forward to that. All of those contracts will look bad at some point or course. Most top players has a big and long contract, thats the reality, you want to drive a ferrari? Well guess what youll have the payments that goes with it.
Dont get me wrong, having bad contracts sucks. But you wont get an impact player for cheap in this league, so you have to suck it up.
The difference is that Kovy's and Zach's contracts were crazy and horrible the day each one was signed. 15 years? 13 years? That's insanity. Getzalf's and Perry's contracts are a lot more reasonable, as far as length goes...8 years each.
A lot of Devils fans weren't thrilled with Kovy coming back to begin with (I was one of them), especially when signed for first 17 years, then 15 years, and all of the nonsense that went along with getting him re-signed in the first place was annoying as hell. Yeah, once he stayed, people who were initially against it decided they might as well back him...as far as we knew at the time, he was going to be a Devil for many years...might as well embrace him. And to his credit, though I think he wasn't particulary comfortable doing it, he did allow himself to be coached into being a different kind of player. But I think, when he went back home and played for SKA, a lot of things probably dawned on him...one of those things being that being the "complete" kind of player the Devils wanted him to be simply didn't suit him. The trade that brought him to the Devils was a no-brainer, especially with what the Devils gave up, and he filled a glaring need at the time, but though he did some terrific things in 2011-12, I don't think it was ever a great fit, for either the Devils OR Kovy, though again, I do firmly believe that Kovy did try pretty hard to make it work. And I don't think that Kovy wondering if he was ever going to be truly happy playing hockey the Devils' way was going to change, so yeah, for that and a whole lot of other reasons, I think the Devils getting out from underneath that contract was a good thing.
The problem with your mentality is that you play GM out of fear of the unknown, and when the big names come up for UFA, you seem to think the GM should just ante up and pay. Your Ferrari analogy is off, in that you're not buying new. You're buying used. The problem with paying top dollar for many of these UFAs is that you're paying them for what they WERE...not what they ARE. Might Zach have 3-5 years of good hockey left in him? Sure. 3-5 years out of 13 is a pretty lousy investment though, and as we've seen, a lot of long-term "this is our guy" contracts turn out to be lousy investments a lot more quickly than planned.
I don't think Zach or Clarkson should've been re-signed to the money they received from both Minnesota and Toronto. I think both contracts were typical UFA overpayments. I know, you'll fire back with "Well why doesn't Lou ever talk with guys in-season, he could've signed those guys for less, why doesn't Lou just always make the right decision 100% of time, blah blah blah" No GM makes all of the right decisions all of the time, and sometimes it takes years before one can truly evaluate whether or not any given decision was the correct one. Right this second, I think letting Clarkson go was the right move (and even if Clarkson somehow lives up to his deal, I can still understand why Lou said "No thanks, adios." at the time). I think signing Clowe probably wasn't. But time will tell.
Like I and others have said, re-signing a top UFA to a massive overpayment based on what were likely his best years is not the way to go. Yes, it sucks and can hurt to see a guy you grow attached to leave. Yes, when you're firmly in contention or trying to stay there, and trading a UFA in-season will likely hurt that team's chances come playoff time, it can suck to lose those players without getting anything in return. The ideal way to stay on top is to have a solid AHL pipeline where guys can keep coming in to replace what was lost. No, you won't often be blessed with carbon copies of what you lose, but hopefully the new players can either approximate what was lost, or lead to an adjustment in the system that allows the both the new bodies and the team to continue to be successful, albeit in a different way than before.
Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 14 November 2013 - 07:35 AM.