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03-15-2004, 08:22 PM
Park #2
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Originally Posted by Kodiak
You and Edge keep bringing this up, but I don't see why Pittsburgh would be so quick to deal the pick. They don't have to sign him right away. They can wait and see what the new CBA does in terms of cost certainty and rookie contracts. If they still don't like the situation and decide they cannot afford Ovechkin, then they can deal him for as good a package as they would get on draft day. I don't see why being 19 as opposed to 18 would drop his trade value any.
I certainly believe it's possible that they pick Ovechkin, keep his rights until after the lockout passes and the new CBA is agreed to and then trades him. The point is that Pittsburgh cannot afford to pay one player the bonus/salary that Ovechkin would bring. They could not do it this year with Fleury, and their financial situation grows worse by the day. Ovechkin cannot be sent down to Juniors like Fleury was to avoid salary commitments.

However, since Pittsburgh would need to trade him for young and cheap talent, trading him on draft day would probably get them a good return (and they'd be able to still draft a player that THEY like).

Let's take a hypothetical: The Rangers trade Lundmark, Umberger, and their #1 (which let's say is 6 overall) for PITT #1. Lundmark, a Group II will probably have a contract for $750,000 next year. Umberger will likely be about the same. Right there, PIT picks up two solid players in THEIR lineup for the BASE cost of a 1st overall salary. By moving down to the 6 pick (and they might even trade down from there), they will save up to $5 million dollars if not more and still come away with a pretty good player. They cannot afford to pay the bonuses the Ovechkin would require in his contract.

Read this article in reference to Fleury last year to get a better picture:

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