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06-09-2004, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Originally Posted by
An unproven free agent who we already know has a high asking price. I'm going to guess no.
Unclear what his asking price really is. Some reports that Burke low-balled his first offer and took a very hard line stance last summer. Other reports that Umberger wants 1st round equivalent money (or signing bonus)--probably since he was a first rounder (16th pick in 2001). Burke cut his losses with the trade to the Rags.
Rags couldn't get it done either so now it seems that the Pens may sign him as an UFA. I don't blame the kid for exerting his leverage as an UFA to choose his best option.
Hell, I can't predict how this kid will turn out but the risk in signing him is not that great--really. Sign him to a 2-way contract heavily weighted to incentives. If he makes the club (if there is a season), it will be as a #2 centerman. He gets NHL money and incentives--which is as it should be. If he doesn't make the big club, he stays in Chicago to develop at AHL money. So long as DW doesn't go overboard with the signing bonus (and I'll bet this is the bone of contention) the Thrashers' will be financially OK.
I doubt the Pens are in any better position to make this deal. I would just build the organization a little differently than DW. This seems to me a risk worth taking.
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