Really im not that mad to Zach, i'm pretty sure anyone here in his shoes would have done the same thing. Lou paved the way for Zach to consider more options.
1- He SAID publicly before his RFA contract talks in an interview with TG that he couldn't talk for anyone else but that if you're a UFA, why sign after the season when you could wait a few months and see what's out there.
2- Reports we're flying about Minny (his hometown) setting things up to be able to make a crazy offer.
3- The financial issues we're indeed a worry to Zach.
4- Wanted to play with his buddy Ryan.
5- blurry future for the franchise, Brodeur leaving then what? Lou retiring soon, Elias gone soon, financial trouble, etc etc
I mean... when you have all those things going against you, you put a little extra effort to try to lure the player back, you don't wait a week before free agency to START talking like it was reported.
I'm 90% convinced Zach wanted to stay in NJ and stay a Devil starting the season and that the 1 year deal was simply a bridge thing because of the financial issues or something. But the more Lou waited and waited it let Zach time to get pulled in many directions from his dad, ryan and all that sh!t and was seriously considering leaving or seeing other options. If you can't sign anything you can still talk and figure out numbers that will get it done and at worst some kind of agreement that once the restructure of the debt and management switch was done then you get it done or something (i know it's obviously not that easy but it's an example) you still get the ball rolling.
What we'll ever know 100% what happened behind the scene but I don't buy the offer thing that he turned down cause his agent said he'd get more on the market. How many fvcking top players sign with their team during the season? 98% of those players would have got more on the market obviously, same thing. Do they go and test the market? no. The GM doesn't let it happen, it's their job not to lose those kind of players.
I know there was financial troubles but the financial situation was the SAME a week before free agency when Lou finally made an offer to Zach. Im not an expert but if he was able to put a "competitive" offer on that day, he could of a month or 2 before that too. The restructuring of the debt and all was still not approved and settle then.
edit: just saying that put in his situation at the moment he really had to make a decision i would have probably jet too.
Edited by SterioDesign, 20 March 2014 - 09:08 AM.