NHL Waging war vs Rangers? Also, How is The Moose? And Rucinsky Remains Unemploy

Just an update on the NHL vs. the Rangers, Holik, and Kasparaitis. Also, what is Messier and Rucinsky up to? Larry Brooks of the NYPost reports:http://www.nypost.com/sports/rangers/21057.htm

“GM Glen Sather, hardly known for exploiting loopholes to end-run the NHL, was circumspect yesterday when asked for his opinion of the league’s stance that the signing-bonus provisions in the deals are contrary to the spirit or language of the collective bargaining agreement.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the contracts, but I’m not going to say anything more than that,” he said. “I’ll just wait for the results of whatever hearing is held and then act accordingly.”

The NHL apparently will argue the payment schedule is impermissible because it guarantees the players income during the 2004-05 lockout the league is already planning. The NHL has, however, according to one well-placed source, “previously registered dozens of contracts with the exact same bonus structure as in the [Holik and Kasparaitis] contracts.”

“We structured the contract with the signing bonuses for tax purposes, not because of the lockout,” Mike Gillis, Holik’s representative, told The Post. “I don’t have any idea what the league’s objection could be.”

Messier’s situation:

Sather yesterday expressed optimism over his contract negotiations with Mark Messier. “We’re having a good dialogue; I think we’re going to get something worked out eventually,” he said while refusing to address what may be a $2.5M gulf in the talks.

Rucinsky’s situation:?

The GM was not so sanguine regarding the possible return of Martin Rucinsky, who apparently is looking for at least $3M, with the team offering approximately half that much.

“Unless there’s a change in his thinking, he’s out of the picture,” Sather said.


Now, this is not a big deal and I guess the NHL just wanted to take action now, but why now? Why not before? Why not with other players? They only noticed it now?

I just think that nothing will happen to the Rangers, Holik, and Kasparaitis. The contracts will be restructed. But if so, then so should the other contracts that have the same structure. So, it’s no big deal. The media made a big deal out of it, but nothing bad will happen.

I doubt Messier wants a two year contract worth $5 million dollars. I wouldn’t mind a one year contract worth $3.5 million dollars, but not for two years. Rangers have youth coming in and Sather won’t let Messier steal a spot for two more years. The Moose has always been tough during contract talks, and I still say the Rangers do need Mark Messier in that locker room, especially with a Bure, Lindros, Holik, and Kasparaitis on the team. If Messier doesn’t come back then Leetch will wear the C, and he is much better with an A. No matter what you say about him, the fact is that he is one of the greatest players that ever played the game of hockey.

I agree 100% here with Sather. I didn’t understand the media when it mentioned that the Rangers were serious in bringing Rucinsky in. Sure he played really well on that Lindros line and showed some great stuff when skating with Nedved and Dvorak. But, the season is not 20 games, it’s 82 games. Can he do well in 82 games, if played? Also, Rucinsky isn’t really going anywhere, and I doubt any team would be willing to pay him $3 million a season….well, let’s not forget the Bruins. But, I think Rucinsky would be worth it for a price around $1.5 million dollars.

As of now, GM Sather is in no rush. No need to rush Messier, and definitely no need to rush Nedved. I believe in the Nedved to Capitals rumor. I think that the Capitals would love to have Nedved on a line with Lang and Jagr, but because of that…Nedved’s trade value is worth more than trading him to another team (except the Canucks).