Allison has played his last game as a Bruin
Why does this have to happen to Bruins fans every year? Why did I think this year would be different? He is an article from the Boston Globe.A half-hour meeting in the Bruins’ offices yesterday ended with a done deal.
According to Jason Allison, he’s all done in Boston.
”I’m sad to say that I’ve played my last game for the Boston Bruins,” said Allison, following his brief negotiating session earlier in the day on Causeway Street. ”They offered me less than their last offer, which only shows me that they had no intention of signing me in the first place.”
The 26-year-old Allison, who collected 95 points last season, tied for fourth in the league, came to town in hopes of bridging a wide gap in the salary talks. In the months since they last talked, he certainly didn’t expect Boston’s offer to drop, and he also didn’t expect what he depicted as a belittling, confrontational, negotiating experience.
”I’m upset. I’m disappointed. I’m disillusioned,” said Allison, sounding as if the front office treated the session more like an arbitration case – often a contentious proposition. ”They attacked both my character and the effort I put forward on the ice. And that was strange to me, because they’ve never done that in my time here.”
Allison chose not to reveal the hard numbers presented at the table. As the summer progressed, it became clear he was looking for a long-term deal that approached the paydays of the elite forwards in the game, perhaps $8 million-plus per year. The Bruins were believed to be offering closer to $6 million a year for a three- or four-year pact.
While Allison remained without a deal, and neither side evinced much interest in talking more, the Bruins scaled back their offer to be in line with other deals signed by Pittsburgh’s Alexei Kovalev and Martin Straka, and the Rangers’ Petr Nedved. None of those deals exceeded $5 million per year. In Kovalev’s case, his salary, just less than $4 million, was established in arbitration. Straka negotiated a four-year deal worth $16.8 million following a disappointing short-term arbitration award. Nedved’s deal, finalized this week, could bring him $20 million over four years.
”It’s a fair statement,” said O’Connell, asked if the club had lowered its offer in keeping with the Nedved, Kovalev, and Straka deals. ”We had given him an idea [in May] where [the money] pointed to if it went to arbitration, and that market changed.”
During the summer, the Bruins might have gone as high as $18 million for three years. As of yesterday, their figure had dropped, by approximately 25 or 30 percent. Had Allison agreed to such a pact, he would have been slotted behind Bill Guerin and Martin Lapointe, the club’s two $5-million-a-year forwards. Had Allison stayed at the table, the best he probably could have hoped for was $5 million a year.
Allison also said the Bruins, represented by president Harry Sinden, assistant GM Jeff Gorton, and O’Connell, entered the recent tragedies at New York’s World Trade Center as reasons they were scaling back their offer.
”I thought that was inappropriate,” said Allison. ”What’s happened in New York is more important than anything else in the country right now, including my contract negotiations.”
O’Connell, when asked the context of the alleged World Trade Center comment, said, ”I don’t want go go there … to try to equate those two issues … I’m not going to discuss it.”
”They’re trying to justify their position,” said Allison, ”because of what happened in last week’s attacks.”
For now, Allison will continue to work out with the Merrimack College hockey team and wait for the day to come when, he expects, the Bruins trade him.
The Bruins, said O’Connell, have received only one firm offer for their center/captain. The Islanders tried to acquire him on the eve of the June draft, offering a package that included Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt, and the No. 2 pick overall. Ultimately, the Islanders made that deal with Ottawa for Alexei Yashin. Beyond that offer, said O’Connell, no one has called.
”So, I just wait,” said Allison. ”I wait till I get traded – be it tomorrow, Christmas, or next year.”