Do reporters not read the Collective Bargaining Agreement? Do they even listen to the answers to the questions they pose?
Larry Brooks apparently doesn't:
If Lowe truly was interested in winning and was willing to take the personal out of it in order to achieve that objective, the GM would have gone straight after Henrik Lundqvist . . .
OK, stop right there. Lundqvist has been taken to arbitration; he's not eligible for an RFA offer sheet. That's almost certainly part of the reason the Rangers filed. They want an arbitrator to come up with his salary, and they want to make sure he's in camp. Lowe could have made an offer between the 26th and whenever the Rangers told the NHL they wanted to take Lundqvist to arbitration, but it could also be that Lowe, being such a great friend of Sather's and all, gave him the same courtesy he gave the Sabres and called first, and was told "don't bother, we're taking him to arbitration." Besides, the Oilers don't really need a goalie right now, not without ditching Roloson anyway.
(tip to Lowetide, and I'm surprised mc79 didn't catch this. Off day for him, I guess.)
Terry Jones surely doesn't listen when his questions are answered: "Look out Jarret Stoll and Joni Pitkanen?" I heard the press conference with Kevin Lowe where Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun asked Lowe, flat out, are you worried about the Sabres taking a run at Pitkanen? Lowe said no - for the same reason I just gave above, the young Finn filed for salary arbitration (before he even got traded by the Flyers, I believe). I'll give him Stoll, and while the Sabres are certainly in the market for a pivot and tendering him an offer would play into their apparent desire for revenge, I doubt it's going to happen. Maybe Jones wrote the article before the conference call? Nope, he quotes Lowe from another question taken from the same call later in the article.
Since I haven't said anything about it yet, I approve of the Vanek offer sheet. I think it was a smart hockey move, and Lowe couldn't really have lost. Yes, he'd have given up four first rounders, but he'd have gained the services of a young big sniper for 7 years. Vanek's a player. Chances aren't good that all four of those first rounders will become players; chances are, in fact, pretty good that at best one or two of them would be of Vanek's calibre, certainly not before 2011 or so - and I wouldn't care to lay money on that either.
Interesting times, in the "ancient Chinese curse" sense. As I keep telling my wife, watching this team the last year has been like a soap opera.
(Edit at 0045 Eastern: ugh, sorry, fixed the markup.)