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08-07-2005, 10:09 PM
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I agree, the big paycut was a great PR move for Paul. But a couple things.

1) No team in the league was going to pay him anywhere close to $10 million in 2003-04.

2) No team was going to be able to pay market value for Kariya and Selanne. The idea of them going to a team as a package deal inherently included a major discount.

3) The way the deal was engineered by Don Baizley was done specifically so that Kariya could be a UFA after the 2003-04 season. Remember, under the old system, once Kariya was not qualified by Anaheim, he became a UFA. However, had he signed for a penny above $1.2 million (the league average at that time), he would have been an RFA the following season. Under the old system, players who had been in the NHL for 10 seasons and were making under the league average in their 10th season could be UFAs before age 31.

In other words, had Paul signed for, say, $5 million with Colorado in 2003-04, he would have been a RFA after the 2004-05 season had there not been a lockout or would have been an RFA this year and not enjoyed the rights of being a UFA.

So yeah, Kariya took a big paycut. But they also wanted to do the deal so that Kariya could be unrestricted after that one season and choose to go wherever.

I should add, by the way, that I'm not ripping anybody for doing the deal that way. It was a great idea, it just didn't work out for Paul and Teemu.

nashtrash25 is offline