THN: Meszaros signs offer sheet
Hours after Ottawa GM Bryan Murray held a news conference to announce the team was at a contractual impasse with restricted free agent defenseman Andrej Meszaros, The Hockey News has learned from a source close to the negotiations that Meszaros has agreed to a multi-year offer sheet with an average salary in excess of $5 million per season.I think we can be fairly certain Adam's source is a good one here, but boy is that an awful lot of money to plunk down on Meszaros.
The team that has agreed to terms with the 22-year-old has yet to be confirmed.
We don't know which team this is, but we can make some educated guesses. It would almost certainly have to be a club (a) with salary room (b) in need of a defenceman and (c) with a first-, second- and third-round pick to burn.
Any offer sheet of more than $5-million but less than $5,231,249 would mean those three picks are going the other way.
Off the top of my head, teams that could potentially pull this off include St. Louis, Toronto, Montreal, Columbus, the Islanders, Phoenix and Atlanta. The Kings would need to reacquire their third-round pick to take part.
This is a bit of a nightmare for the Senators, as their defence was somewhat thin even with Meszaros in the fold. It's possible they'll acquire Mathieu Schneider from the cap-space strapped Ducks if this comes to fruition.
UPDATE For what it's worth, there have been some rumours today that the Lightning are involved here, but they dealt their third-round pick to acquire the rights to Ryan Malone and would need to reacquire it from Pittsburgh to sign an offer sheet like this.
UPDATE On a similar note, Toronto and Montreal lack their own second-round pick for 2009, which may hold them back. Both picks were dealt at the entry draft.
Friday UPDATE It is the Lightning involved here, and they've acquired Meszaros via a trade for Filip Kuba, Alexandre Picard and a first-round pick. I'm with Spector: It's hard to believe Tampa Bay's defence got younger in the deal.
Good on Ottawa for getting a solid return here, however.
On another note, I'm actually in Kamloops at the moment, getting some R&R. I imagine posting will be quite light over the next few days.
Enjoy the last long weekend of the summer.