Edmonton: ‘We’ll Pay You $10 Million a Year Mr. Derek Boogaard’

OK. First, I’m going to apologize. I have to dip into ESPN Insider content, just because E.J. Hradek’s had some nice stuff yesterday. Like when he asked what exactly is wrong with Edmonton GM Kevin Lowe and his massive offer to Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek and his low-balling of team heart-and-soul Ryan Smyth:

In Friday’s case, the Sabres weren’t in a salary cap bind. After losing Daniel Briere and Chris Drury to unrestricted free agency earlier in the week, the Sabres weren’t ready to let another player go. And, they told the Oilers they planned on matching the offer. Basically, there was no chance the Oilers would get Vanek. That makes you wonder: Why did Lowe do it?
Maybe he wanted to make a statement to his fan-base. Or, perhaps, he’s gone a little batty after coming to the realization that players aren’t too interested in coming to Edmonton.

Larry Brooks brings up another interesting point: Why is small-market Edmonton over-inflating the market for guys averaging around 30 goals a year?
Edmonton isn’t the only dysfunctional stop in the NHL, though. I’m not quite sure what’s going on in Buffalo. Did they really not extend any kind of offer to Daniel Briere? And as Bucky Gleason suggests, why would anyone sign to play in Buffalo, given how they treat their players. Obviously, Matthew Barnaby, who loved playing in Buffalo and was treated like royalty there, is the exception to that question.
Also, how does Devils GM Lou Lamoriello think Sheldon “I Don’t Play Any Kind of Defense Ever” Souray is a good fit for the team? They can’t actually be pursuing him, can they? Is this the year the Devils move to a run-and-gun offense?
The Isles also might be interested, although late last week Hradek reported Souray might be holding out for the Rangers.
Also, some people want hockey to stay in Nashville.
Also, please don’t judge us by our most hipster-laden examples. Thank you.