Thursday, August 28, 2008

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.

The team that has agreed to terms with the 22-year-old has yet to be confirmed.
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.

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.



At 6:08 p.m., August 28, 2008, Blogger rananda said...


At 6:20 p.m., August 28, 2008, Anonymous ]effadams#2 said...

First thought.

The Canucks make the offer then turn around and trade older defenceman to Tampa for some help up front.

But who am I and what the hell do I know.

At 6:29 p.m., August 28, 2008, Blogger Sean said...

My guess is Colorado. They lost Sauer and Finger, have a decent set of forwards and just signed Sakic. Could be their push.

At 6:42 p.m., August 28, 2008, Blogger Earl Sleek said...

I'd guess, based on the fear-tactics I've read over the last few weeks, that this is somehow the work of the KHL.

At 6:46 p.m., August 28, 2008, Blogger Darrell said...

I thinkt hat the team needs to fit the following criteria:

1) Cap Space
2) The 3 required picks
3) Not be threat for the #1 pick overall
4) Budget space

A quick rundown of the teams with cap space, budget space and who I perceive as not really sucking leaves me with Colorado, Montreal and Vancouver. Due to how tight Mezaros at $5.2 mil would put Montreal and Colorado to the cap, if I had to put money down it would be on Vancouver.

At 6:55 p.m., August 28, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

I thought Montreal traded their 2nd rounder in the Tanguay deal... or was that Washington's 2nd rounder (from the Huet trade)?

At 7:06 p.m., August 28, 2008, Anonymous jealous broadcaster said...


Wouldn't this be an interesting move from Fletcher if he is trying to stick Ottawa with either a inflated salary for matching or, a thin blue line and some sort of a moral blow to the provincial rival!

Ottawa has really gone down hill in a hurray, this predicament doesn't help!

Can anybody else hear Eugene Melnyk screaming all the way from his tax sheltered Atlantic Island??

At 8:00 p.m., August 28, 2008, Blogger Stevens8204 said...

I was thinking Toronto as well in anticipation of saying goodbye to Mccabe but who knows.

At 8:06 p.m., August 28, 2008, Blogger Valerie said...

Hey, for that kind of money, they (who ever it is) can have him. Ottawa may not be in a rebuilding year per se (well maybe now) but they were going to be in a re-grouping year at best. So take the picks and reload for the future. I wouldn't be all that upset to see another early exit as long as we see good effort on the ice this year.

At 8:59 p.m., August 28, 2008, Blogger Robin said...

While i don't mean to sound like i am bashing anyone here, but i can't see it being Colorado.. their prospect cupboard is one of the barest in the league.. plus with this possible signing they would only have .180 left in their cap.

Also, I can't see it being Toronto.. the Leaf nation would be in an uproar over the chance of losing Tavares..

Montreal.. solid D already..yea I'm a habs fan..

Van City.. same.. they have solid D, but they do have lots of cap space with a GM who isn't afraid to shake things up..

Atlanta is a good thought considering their lack of D.. but .. I'm going out on a limb and putting my money on Phoenix.. loads of cap space, a suddenly young exciting team that lost two good D man acquiring Olli.. so why not go after a solid D to be there with Jovo, Morris, Sauer etc.. plus they have 17 million under the cap..

Go Phoenix and make me feel like a genius haha

note: long time reader big fan.. but Mirtle.. you must be dying for the pre season to start

At 9:00 p.m., August 28, 2008, Blogger Down Goes Brown said...

Toronto doesn't have a 2nd next year, it went to the Islanders in the Schenn deal.

At 9:23 p.m., August 28, 2008, Anonymous Ryan said...

It's gotta be a playoff-bubble type team. No contender can afford to commit that much salary to Meszaros, and no bottom-feeder can afford to give up that many picks for him. Phoenix or Columbus, I think, and I agree with Robin and think Phoenix is more likely.

At 11:41 p.m., August 28, 2008, Blogger MF37 said...

FWIW, the following teams don't have the required 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks in 2009 (and therefore could not have tendered the alleged offer sheet):

San Jose
Los Angeles
Tampa Bay

At 12:10 a.m., August 29, 2008, Anonymous Geoff said...

Good God, I hope it's not he Canucks.

Somehow I feel like it's Phoenix. They'd instantly have sa solid top 4 to balance out what they now have up front and in net, and insurance in case Morris leaves next year...

At 3:54 a.m., August 29, 2008, Blogger The Puck Stops Here said...

I think it is Tampa Bay. The reason the team has not been announced yet is that they need to re-acquire their 3rd round pick from Pittsburgh to do this legally under the CBA. However, that doesn't stop Oren Koules from signing him and challenging the NHL to stop it.

It does seem like a CBA flaw that a team cannot sign a restircted free agent for lack of a 3rd round pick. If this is right, look for an arbitration case before the NHL on this point.

At 5:39 a.m., August 29, 2008, Blogger dave said...

Betting on Columbus. Their offseason moves reflect a win-now philosophy, even if they aren't really in a position to contend yet.

At 9:08 a.m., August 29, 2008, Blogger FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Anyone else wonder if this whole 'offer sheet' rumor nonsense was initiated by Meszeros' agent to spur negotiations?
2) The team declared an 'impasse'. Believing that you may lose an important player for a couple of draft picks may give them impendence to get a deal done

At 9:11 a.m., August 29, 2008, Blogger Derek from Cloud9 Sports said...

Let the Fire Brian Murray rage commence!

At 9:55 a.m., August 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ faux: "impendence"

Did you mean impetus? :)

At 10:22 a.m., August 29, 2008, Anonymous steve 62 said...

Ever wonder why they signed Vermette first? Mez is not worth 5 nor 4 nor 3. If he wants to play on a lesser team for more money let him go. He folds under pressure and cannot contain other team's first or second line players. But just like Brian saying they were at an Impasse this could be just another chess move.

At 11:44 a.m., August 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, at least we have Heatley and Spezza another seven years or so. Lock-out and salary cap really helped here in Ottawa like media and fans hoped for. Not.

At 12:41 p.m., August 29, 2008, Anonymous Martin said...

First of all, I'll remain skeptical until TSN has the story.

For fun, here ar my thoughts:
- No cellar dwelling team will give up their 1st, 2nd and 3rd rounder, so eliminate Toronto, LA and Atlanta
- This leaves 12 teams with cap space

I don't see the fit. Montreal needs a scoring forward, not a D.

See Montreal. Earmarking $5m to a defence takes away teh option of an impact forward, which keeps them as a bubble team. Meaning they'd be giving up a lot. I don't see it

Rebuilding, already have good defense. I don't see it.

I see a need on defence, but I have a hard time imagining Maloney giving up 3 high picks.

What Snow does is a mystery, but this would make little sense.

Nashville will NOT be overpaying and giving up picks for a defence

They've already put together a mobile defense corps, but I could actually see Meszaros fitting here. Especially as part of a bid to keep Gaborik.

The picks they'd give would be high picks, so I dout it, and I never believe GMs do such big moves out of spite. I don't think so.

I like the fit of Meszaros in this situation. Liles is far from a blue chip as an offensive D, they have enough youth that they can afford to sacrifice the picks, and the picks won't be great as they should finish high.

I buy the fit, but I don't see Howson & Hitchcock docking the boat with an offer sheet.

Corvo, Pitkanen and Kaberle give Carolina enough options that they don't need to overpay for an offensive D.

Though they need an offensive D, I think memories of Vanek may keep Regier from going the offer sheet route.

Sorry for the long post, but in the end, it comes down to, if it's true, I think Colorado & Minnesota are the frontrunners. But I think this rumor is a dud.

At 1:08 p.m., August 29, 2008, Anonymous Conrad said...

My impression is that the offer sheet is seen as a contentious tool to use. Some are more comfortable using it than others. Vancouver has already tried, and I know there's a lot of pressure there for them to do something. I could see Meszaros ending up there as the first step in a multi-part deal that ends with Vancouver landing another forward.

For the most part, though, I think this is a lot to pay for a D in his third season, especially with the last one being a bit of a flop. It seems like for that reason it has to be a team trying to make the cap floor or one only slightly above it. LA, Phoenix, Columbus...I'm sure any teams missing one of those picks can pick one up somewhere for a prospect, especially with LA and Phoenix's system loaded with young talent.

I don't think this would steam Murray...what other reason does he have to hold a press conference to announce that there's an impasse except to signal to the other teams to start the bidding? In the end he could end up with cap space to swing a deal for another D (with either Chicago or Anaheim, who are over the cap and dealing from a weak position), and still have three picks to show for it, including another first rounder in next year's deep draft. This could be a really smart move.

At 1:12 p.m., August 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good ole Eklund, or in this case the Senator Blogger on Ek's site is suggesting T-Bay has reacquired their 3rd rounder from Pitts. Take it for what it's worth.

At 1:48 p.m., August 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not Edmonton?

If only we could get rid of Sourey (AHL or Trade)

At 5:42 p.m., August 29, 2008, Blogger The Falconer said...

I'm thinking perhaps it is Florida.

Everyone knows that Bouwmeester is leaving. So FLA signs Meszaros and then perhaps offers JBo to Ottawa in a trade to get their picks back. In effect FLA might be setting up a blockbuster switch on defense.

At 7:08 p.m., August 29, 2008, Blogger Eric said...

He's heading to Tampa Bay for Filip Kuba, Alexandre Picard & San Jose's 1st rounder in '09. TSN's got the report up.

I like this more as a Sens fan than losing him for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd. Sucks that it won't be Tampa's first rounder but we needed to get a body back on D and Kuba fits the bill. A team whose best player is heading into his age 36 season should be focusing on the short term.

At 8:59 p.m., August 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, man! Kuba can replace Mez short term but Picard is useless. This sucks big time but what can you do. It takes cojones to offer Mez 3.5M already in January when it was much more than now. Now he is gone and Murray can't be too far behind.

At 9:31 p.m., August 29, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok James you need to give us your impressions on that TampaBay team...what the hell is going on there ? They only have 5 defs and a sh*tload of forward...put the salary cap in the mix and you get a headache. Plus the goalies are not that simple will they manage that ?

At 12:43 a.m., August 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On defence Tampa is counting on Janne Niskala to score 30-40pts. as QB for their number one PP. Risky but possible.

They'll trade Jussi Jokinen for sure and they might get number six D for him.

At 12:56 a.m., August 30, 2008, Anonymous Anshu said...

I'm happy with the deal Murray got. I'm not that big a fan of Meszaros, and I think his overall play has been declining lately, not improving. He may one day be a great D-man, but I agree with Murray that he isn't that now, and shouldn't be paid like one.

And I like Kuba. I think he's a decent all-around player, who hopefully won't be as glaringly error-prone as Meszaros was the last 2 seasons.

We'll only really be able to assess this deal a few years from now, when we know how that 1st round pick turns out. But for now, I'm happy.

At 12:40 p.m., August 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But who will take Mathieu Schneider now that Teemu Selanne has informed Finnish media that he is returning and Ducks are trying to make room for his salary?

I wonder if Burkie likes Teemu's comments in the media...

At 9:40 p.m., August 30, 2008, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

Can I interest the Lightning in a slightly used Andeas Lilja?

At 10:10 p.m., August 30, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I interest the Lightning in a slightly used Andeas Lilja?

He would give them that veteran, Stanley-Cup-winning experience to help their youngsters mature ... :)


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