Under Investigation Again. Maybe an Oiler Blessing in Disguise

Now I'm reaching here a bit, but maybe the Oilers not being able to land many of the players they seem to have their eyes on is a good thing. It seems to me, that some of the deals the Oilers can't ever seem to put together, not for lack of trying, turn out to be positives in the long run and these players have a certain virus like quality no matter where they end up.

First there was Chris Pronger. His history shows him to be a fantastic hockey player and many of the issues surrounding why Edmonton fans dislike him so much has nothing to do with hockey, but more his personality. But, mark my words; his seven year extension is going to haunt the Flyers. Especially since we now know all seven years will count against the cap whether he chooses to play or not.

Then there was Michael Nylander. It was a done deal. An agreed upon contract, until his wife voiced her opinion and he went to Washington. Look how well that's turned out for the Capitals. He's paid too much, he's unproductive when he doesn't play with Jagr and the Caps can't move him to save their life, despite permission from his wife. The Oilers are thanking the Gods above that deal never came through.

Of course we can't ignore Dany Heatley. Do we really need to go further? While we don't know the future or how Heatley is going to affect the chemistry on whatever team he ends up playing for, Heatley is making a lot of noise trying just to get to another season where he can play hockey. He's going to be a cancer if he stays in Ottawa and/or he'll cause a million issues if he goes to San Jose in terms of cap problems. I know the Oilers need a top line LW, but Heatley just has problems written all over him and if he goes somewhere else, I think the Oilers will be glad the Heatley boat sailed on by.

But now, the lastest in the saga is Marian Hossa. Word is coming down that Chicago is again under investigation; this time as it pertains to the rediculously long 12 year contract given to Hossa on July 1, 2009.

Edmonton, AL (Sports Network) - The National Hockey League is reportedly investigating Marian Hossa's new 12-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks amid allegations that it circumvents the collective bargaining agreement.

According to the Edmonton Sun, if Chicago is found guilty, it could face a maximum fine of $5 million and the loss of draft picks. Hossa and the Blackhawks allegedly agreed that the star forward would retire before the end of the contract, which would lessen the cap hit on the team.

I don't know what seems to be the problem with the Chicago Blackhawks, but this is now two major glaring violations in less than 3 weeks and Hossa is turning out to be a bad deal and possibly a shady personality for Chicago. He's hurt, and maybe while the Blackhawks knew that, it came as a big surprise to everyone else when it was made public Hossa would miss a good chunk of this coming season.

So too, if the allegations are true, then we know he doesn't like to follow the rules. Agreeing to retire prior to your contract ending is a direct violation of the terms of the CBA and I can guess a few teams, including the Oilers who had offered Hossa a nine year contract last year; would have issue with a team and player agreeing to such a long term without ever having the intentions to live up to it.

I can't say that this isn't as much about the teams that end up landing these players as it is the players themselves being a poor showing of character. What I can say, is that each time we set our sights on a big fish, that fish ends up finding a different fisherman and that fisherman ends up badly wanting to throw that fish back into the water.

All we can hope is that as a result, the Oilers are able to take advantage of what few good fish are left in the sea and just waiting to jump into someone's boat.


What we are seeing is an NHL run amok because money is more important than anything else. It is a sad story, but this might just be the beginning. When the dollar is more important than anything else, we have people who become slave to it!

Too bad - sort of like "performance enhancing drugs" and Major League Baseball. As Dutch said on TSN last night, there is getting to be no one you can trust anymore to play by the rules.

July 31, 2009 at 8:33 PM comment-delete

I think what surprises me the most is that for whatever reason the Oilers seem to be attracted to what would be "poor Oilers" by the traditional and heritage sense of the word.

Edmonton used to be known for guys of character even if they were less skilled. Those are days I'd much rather see than what we've been dealing with lately.

August 1, 2009 at 11:09 AM comment-delete

I was just thinking about this same topic today - how we don't (as a society) believe that our sports' heroes actually really matter in the world. What a cynical attitude. You would think that sports' people could (like Gretzky) take some responsibility for using their forum to better things in the community. Not happening however. Too bad - and too bad we put up with less as a society.

August 2, 2009 at 10:09 AM comment-delete

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