Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oilers at it again

Kevin Lowe and his ragtag crew of Edmonton Oilers management types are back to their dastardly RFA offer sheet ways, with the Anaheim Ducks their new victim. According to TSN, the Oilers tendered Ducks power forward Dustin Penner a five-year, $21.5 million sheet that screams of desperation, especially when the player in question put up just 45 points. But hey, I'm not complaining. Penner was a pain-in-the-nether orifice for the San Jose Sharks all season long last year, potting six goals and two assists in eight games against San Jose. Moving him out of the division would be a great turn of events in my mind.

Now the question is whether or not Ducks GM Brian Burke will match. The Oiler's earlier RFA offer sheet this offseason blew up in their face, when GM Darcy Regier of the Buffalo Sabres matched a 7-year, $50 million contract tendered to sniper Thomas Vanek. No GM in NHL history has failed to match an offer sheet, but I have a feeling Burke will be the first. If Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne decide not to retire, a possibility that increases with each passing day without an official statement, the Ducks will potentially be in salary cap hell, having signed UFAs Mathieu Schneider and Todd Bertuzzi to lucrative deals earlier this month. My prediction? Burke doesn't match and Penner has a terrible season with the Oilers, where he collapses under the pressure of an Edmonton media expecting him to lead the franchise to glory (a la Joffrey Lupul) and Lowe finally gets fired for his incompetence. Or receives a ten-year extension. Whatever.

UPDATE If the Ducks are to match, it would reportedly put them $2 million over the cap with the retirement-contemplating Selanne and Scott Niedermayer still unsigned.

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