Yes, because there are no legacy contracts in sports. Give him one year with a handshake agreement that he gets a second year if the lockout wipes out the entire season. If not, tough break.
C'mon, you've been watching sports long enough (I think it was 1996 when you decided to see what this sports thing is all about) to know that contracts that basically amount to "legacy" deals (Mickey Mantle getting $100K per year at the end of his career is a prime example, though there have been many others), that aren't going to necessarily be great pure value contracts, or present some risk, do get handed out. The reasons why these deals are offered vary from case to case, but it usually comes down to as a reward for service, for loyalty, for having contributed to championships, or simply because there's no suitable replacement. And right or wrong, pure PR plays into these things...there would have been a major outcry from many Devils fans if Marty had just been allowed to walk, along with Parise, after the team had just reached the SCF. Even NOW, inexplicably, there's still Devils fans who hate the idea of Marty ever wearing another jersey, even though it's pretty obvious that now he TRULY doesn't have much left, and those fans would rather see him stay here next season, no matter how detrimental that would be, to avoid the possibility of him playing for another team (at this point, I don't care if he goes...I saw his best, and lately, his worst. I've posted about letting faded stars Messier their way into sticking around much longer than they should, and if Marty's back, than neither Lou nor Marty are sympathetic figures anymore). Like I've said, with EVERYTHING that was going on in 2012, I can understand why Lou did what he did. In 2014, the only thing I can understand and get on board with is Marty leaving, regardless of the final destination.
If Marty's 2011 and 2012 seasons had been similar to 2013 and 2014, I doubt he gets the lifetime achievement contract. But there was just enough good play in 2011 and 2012 (and Marty's best play of those two years came in 2012 in the latter games) that both Lou AND Marty (and apparently some other teams) thought there was something left. And yeah, Lou was probably feeling nostalgic and euphoric at the time.
You can argue that Marty wasn't exactly a saint here...like Lateralous posted, after simply negotiating most of his contracts with Lou one-on-one, Marty suddenly changed tactics and decided to hardball a bit more, in an offseason where he knew Lou was going to be busy and hamstrung by VBK's financial issues. Though Lou was clearly willing to go the "legacy deal" route (I think mostly because he thought Marty still had something left and could still turn in decent seasons), Marty clearly seemed to have an idea as to what the legacy deal should be. Some might call that good business on Marty's part, especially getting the second year, lockout or no lockout...but yeah, there's a bit of a "strong-arm" feel to his tactics there. A one-year, $5-$6 million deal would've been better off for everyone in the long run, but it didn't go that way.
We can debate what Lou should or shouldn't have done, but the good news is that this business should really be 100% over now (God I hope so...the idea of Marty still being here next season is truly terrifying). Hopefully Marty either calls it quits or is wearing another team's jersey. If he somehow manages to win 10-15 more games with someone else, so be it...the first 688 came here. We'll get to celebrate him in other, more rewarding ways (jersey retirement, etc) that won't involve him being a shell of himself on the ice.
Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976, 13 May 2014 - 07:05 AM.