Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Davidson strikes back

St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today that the club has signed Group II free agent forward Steve Bernier to an offer sheet worth $2.5 million for next season. The Canucks will have seven days to match the offer or receive St. Louis' 2nd round draft choice in 2009.

"Steve is a good young player who would play a big part in our youth movement," said Davidson. "Our coaches and scouting staff are extremely positive about him."
>> team release
Now that's funny.

Canucks GM Mike Gillis offered Blues RFA David Backes a three-year, $7.5-million contract on July 1, something that was promptly matched by St. Louis. This, apparently, is their payback.

It's always great to see NHL signings out of spite.

In any event, Vancouver will match this deal.

UPDATE Less than an hour later, the Canucks respond:
Mike Gillis announced today that the club has signed winger, Steve Bernier to a new contract. Bernier had been signed to an offer sheet by the St. Louis Blues earlier today. Bernier was acquired by the Canucks from the Buffalo Sabres on July 4, 2008.

"Steve is a highly regarded young offensive player in our League," said Gillis. "As we have stated with his right-handed shot he will be a great addition to our top six forward group and an asset to our power play."

"We have a great deal of respect for the St. Louis Blues, John Davidson, Larry Pleau and their management team. The offer sheet to Bernier is a clear indication of how highly Steve is thought of in our League."
A love-in!

I wonder how highly Jeff Woywitka is thought of by Vancouver?

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At 6:16 p.m., July 08, 2008, Blogger Jeremy said...

As a Blues fan, I have to agree that this is just a deliciously funny move. Bernier won't don the Bluenote, but this move might stir up a miniature GM-based rivalry in the mold of Edmonton/Anaheim.

At 6:21 p.m., July 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is absolutely hilarious. The rule is in the CBA - it was bargained in and the owners willingly accepted it. So what is so wrong with using it?

From my understanding, Gillis contacted the Blues about trading for Backes before offering him an offer sheet - an offer that was by no means outrageous given the salary climate in the NHL - and apparently he also contacted the Sabres and let his intentions on Bernier be known. I see absolutely nothing wrong with either of those scenarios.

If the Blues are targeting Bernier because because they truly believe he's an important piece to their puzzle, then I also see no problem with that. On the other hand, if this is pure retaliation, I find it hilarious that a bunch of grown men manage to act like 6 year olds.

One thing may be clear - Gillis does not appear to be a well liked man amongst his "peers".

At 6:21 p.m., July 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares about Avery, Ruutu or any other pest when we have egoistigal suits going after each other.

At 6:26 p.m., July 08, 2008, Blogger In Bob We Trust ;) said...

About these offer sheets: the player has to sign them right? It's not simply a case of Davidson making an official offer on Bernier and then the Canucks have to match it right?

Bernier has to first agree to the contract right?

If that's the case then I think we'll see these things level out...teams making the offer will keep them within the realm of normalcy, because after all they'd have to pay for the player...and as a result, the offers will be easily matched by their current teams (if the team wants to keep 'em)

At 6:31 p.m., July 08, 2008, Blogger Jes Gőlbez said...

There is no doubt that this is simply payback, despite Bernier's apparent talent. If the Canucks hadn't stirred the hornet's nest, there would be no honey.

At 6:42 p.m., July 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also funny because Bernier's agent suggested shortly after his trade to Vancouver that they hadn't seen any offer sheets and didn't operate that way. (Of course, I can't find where I read that now to cite it, sorry.)

Now he *signs* one not four days later.

Given Vancouver's cap space, I can't imagine they won't match it, but damn. That is way more money than I would've given him. Not Vanek or Penner money, but still overpaying for what he's managed to produce so far.

At 6:45 p.m., July 08, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Yeah, I think they would have been looking for a deal just under $2-million. It also allows the Blues to determine the terms, and giving Bernier only a one-year deal isn't that desirable given he could have a big breakout year.

At 6:58 p.m., July 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, I can't believe you passed up an opportunity to talk about Mark Recchi AND Tampa....

Out of rings for the circus so soon?

At 7:04 p.m., July 08, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blues should have given Atlanta goalie Karri Lehtonen an offer sheet. Get their netminding in shape for years to come. As a former goalie Davidson should understand this much.

Btw, does anybody else wonder how John Davidson is always part of Blues' press releases and GM Larry Pleau is nowhere to be found.

Is Ken King commenting on signings or is it Darryl Sutter? The only other team going that route is The New Tampa where owners and vice-President Brian Lawton pushed GM Jay Feaster off the pier to Tampa Bay. Shark feed.

At 7:12 p.m., July 08, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

James, I can't believe you passed up an opportunity to talk about Mark Recchi AND Tampa....

Maybe I just have something extra special to cook up?

At 7:20 p.m., July 08, 2008, Blogger nu said...

Thrash would've matched whatever Kari got in a heartbeat. He's one of the few legitimate NHL pieces of the club and it's not like they're short on cap space.

And St. Louis is way deep enough in goal w/All-Star Legace, Mason, Ben Bishop, Marek Schwartz, and four prospects.

At 7:47 p.m., July 08, 2008, Anonymous Keith said...

Five RFA offer sheets signed in the New NHL (tm). Four by teams that finished in fifth place in their division, and the fifth by a team that went on to finish dead last.

The first three offer sheets signed by teams that went on to miss the playoffs the year they made those offers, while Vancouver is not looking good to break that little streak either. I wonder if the Blues can?

Always interesting to see just what type of team resorts to these things. Though it's pretty obvious the Blues made the offer for significantly different reasons than the Flyers, Oilers and Canucks did.

At 8:00 p.m., July 08, 2008, Anonymous James Mirtle's Innermost Thoughts said...

"I think that Mark Recchi is the greatest thing in the history of the world, what with him being an Okanagan boy and all that. I wish I was him. But I think Len Barrie is a cackling jackass, with frosted tips and gold chains. How do I resolve their union?"

At 8:05 p.m., July 08, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Kamloops isn't in the Okanagan. Pretty funny otherwise.

At 8:46 p.m., July 08, 2008, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

I have no doubt that this offer sheet was in retaliation. Still, it seems to me that this is actually an effective way of negotiating with a player when things are at an impasse. The two sides can't come to an agreement, so the GM says, "Go get me an offer sheet from someone. If it's reasonable, I'll match."

At 8:58 p.m., July 08, 2008, Anonymous TheTick said...

If that is the price Buffalo would've had to pay, I'm glad he was moved.

At 11:18 p.m., July 08, 2008, Blogger Hooks Orpik said...

The NHL: with management like this, you'd have to be indicted! (TM)

At 11:31 p.m., July 08, 2008, Anonymous TheTick said...

Buffalo resembles that remark.

/shoves the Rigas family back into jail

At 11:32 p.m., July 08, 2008, Anonymous mc keeper said...

Hooks Orpik - well played

Perhaps we have a new series for the NHL Network - "The Secret Lives of NHL(tm) GM's"

At 12:28 a.m., July 09, 2008, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Hey, it could be worse than Gary Bettman. Look at Formula 1.



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