Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Does Gillis Have Too Many Enemies Out There?

To those who may not have read the Mike Gillis excerpt from Bruce Dowbiggin's book on the world of NHL player agents, it's a great inside look into Gillis's life before the Canuck job.

A few things do stand out:
--Gillis apparently orchestrated Pavel Bure's departure from Vancouver to Florida.
--He's obviously made a few enemies of GMs who are still working in the NHL, but
I guess that goes with the agent's territory.
--Although he orchestrated monster deals for many of his clients, he is a frugal guy
for better or worse.

Take all these together and draw your own conclusions. All I know is offering $10
million per year to any player this side of 35, let alone turning 38 in early '09, is
clearly a huge risk. Even so, we all know Mats Sundin is not coming here to improve
his Cup chances unless you believe all you need is a New Jersey West system to beat
the Red Wings or the Ducks for the Western crown.

1 comment:

Doug Dinsdale said...

About that $20M offer to Sundin, I can't tell if GM Mike's being serious or just cynical.
Did he throw out the offer knowing full well it will be nixed just so he can say, "At least we tried," or something?

If he is serious about that offer, the stench of desperation surrounding his regime has gone rancid to a carrion stench of decomposition.

Can't wait for the season to start disastrously, so we can hear the motivating platitudes of our Love Guru coach-in-waiting.

Also, why are all the industry pundits freaking out about "crazy" contracts?
It's about as simple economics as can be.
Even though the UFA age has come down, the supply of players doesn't appear to have increased all that significantly (it may in fact be shrinking as a result of demand from alternative employers such as the Russain Super League and other Euro leagues).
Conversely, demand has risen because every team is mandated to spend a minimum of $40M or so on salary. I think that's more than what the Nux were paying pre-lockout, and certainly higher than the payrolls of the then cheapskate teams like the Wild, Hawks, Blues, Preds, etc.
So, there's a much bigger pool of money chasing around an ungrowing supply of players.

Add to that already heightened demand another 12% increase in payroll without an offsetting rise in the supply of players.

It's only natural that the prices of players go up in terms of both salary and tenure.