Comrie Must Pay to Quack

Detroit is treating Curtis Joseph pretty badly, sending him down to the AHL one day, bringing him back up the next. But geez. Look at Edmonton and Mike Comrie. That’s just brutal.
The Oilers are demanding $2.5 million from Comrie — from him personally — before they’ll trade him to the Ducks. The deal is all set with Anaheim. Edmonton just wants the cash from their hometown hero.
It seems this is the first time a team has ever forced a player to pay to be traded (l:laexaminer;p:laexaminer).
Comrie is checking to see if this is legal.
This whole mess is a message from the Oilers, though. As longtime victims of exorbitant salaries in the league, they’re now trying to switch things around. Instead of being held hostage by demands, the Oilers are now taking hostages. If this works, imagine the implications. Miserable players couldn’t demand trades without worrying the price will be too high. Holdouts could essentially cease, since the players would probably be better off taking their team’s original contract offer.
Look at Alexei Yashin. You can’t argue with what the Senators got from the Islanders for him (the pick that became Jason Spezza and Zdeno Chara), but imagine if Yashin had been forced to give up cash, too. Like a percentage of his salary for the duration of his Islanders contract.
I have no idea if any of this is legal, and it sure sucks for Comrie, but the implications for the league are really interesting.
I think it’s funny that Lowe himself demanded a trade out of Edmonton. When then-Edmonton GM Glen Sather finally traded Lowe to the Rangers, I don’t recall Sather asking Lowe for a “placement fee.” But maybe my memory isn’t so good.
Terry Jones kicks in his two cents here. Basically, he thinks Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe is evil.