Tuesday, July 3, 2007

A Good 'Ole Canadian Controversy

The Edmonton Oilers are calling for a penalty against Michael Nylander and his agent for what they consider to be dishonest business practices. Many hockey sites announced on Sunday that Nylander had signed with the Oilers and, according to Edmonton's Coach Kevin Lowe, they had good reason. However, those same sites then announced that Nylander had signed a four-year deal with the Washington Capitals the next day.

The Oilers claim that they had a deal worked out with Nylander and, considering it a done deal, had modified their free agent search accordingly. The story claims that while the Oilers were waiting for the signed paperwork to come back they discovered, via those same websites, that he had actually signed with the Capitals.

You can read the full story on TSN here: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=212659&hubname=nhl

This is going to be an interesting story for the next few weeks as I'm sure the Oilers will seek some kind of compensation. Whether or not the league reacts remains to be seen but this could change the way deals are done in the future. It could force owners and general managers to put more strict time lines on accepting deals and getting them "on paper." Regardless, the NHL now has its own mini-soap opera and I'm sure the Oilers' fans will let the Rangers hear it if they ever make their way north of the border.

Also, the deadline for players to choose arbitration is July 5th with the arbitrators ruling due by August 6th. There are a few players expected to announce their desire to go to arbitration already with more to surely come. This could be exactly the thing that the teams who lost in the free agent lottery need to add a few key players. Remember that Buffalo lost JP Dumont last year simply because they couldn't afford what many considered to be player-friendly arbitration rulings. There's no reason not to expect similar situations this year especially with the bloated contracts that are being blindly slung to free agents.

No comments: