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03-15-2004, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
I've been talking to some folks trying to pry out some Umberger info, especially considering what I was hearing on Deadline day.
I didn't get very far, but one longtime associate had a "theory" that Slats and Burke made an "aggrement" that the Rangers would not sign Umberger immediately (within the 1st week) so that VAN and more specifically Canadian Hockey does not look back. The big picture was not to set a precedent that would have draftees sitting out ala Umberger so that big market or big spending teams could suck them away from small market AKA Canadian teams. Considering Sather's past with Canadian hockey, this seems to be a believeable theory if not a true one.
Another associate said that Sather's arrogance led him to believe that the Rangers would try to resign him after the deadline in order to pick up the compensatory pick. I do not put credence here for two reasons: 1) The risk of losing him to other teams. 2) The NHL legal office and possible penalties.
The suspicious thing here is that Umberger and his agent aren't talking to ANYONE which gives credence to the first theory. It's an interesting one, just thought I'd share it.
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