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08-09-2005, 09:04 AM
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If somebody gave Bobby an offer sheet in the neighborhood of $3M, the only question would be how many things would Clarke break trying to get to the phone quickly to wish Esche well. I'm guessing that he'd probably turn around and sign Burke or Joseph. I think that ideally, this team wants Esche in goal but that it wouldn't mortgage more of its future financial flexibility to do so, particularly when they have Frank waiting in the wings. Reading this thread, I think many people here have these same thoughts.

Remember that Jay Feaster traded four first-round picks to the Flyers for Renberg and Dykhuis because he wanted NHL help immediately instead of the future picks he received for the signing of Gratton to that contract with mammoth signing bonus. I'd like to also suggest that never has one man dodged a bigger mistake than Bob Clarke with the Chris Gratton signing. I'm sure he looks in the mirror every now and then and goes "whew!"


Edit: About Esche, or restricted free agents in particular, I think the market price for him is a hair over, at most, his qualifying offer. Though they play different positions than Hairy Bob, Gagne, Grier, and Tanguay received and accepted offers at their qualifying amounts. I don't think anybody wants to pay players more than they have to. Furthermore, Clarke also took a firm stand with Richards and Carter, not offering them incentive bonus packages typical for first-round picks with the pre-NHL resumes of those two.

It's a different climate. I think HB will get a fair offer and accept it. If he doesn't the Flyers have options that don't include draining their remaining cap room this year or going into debt in future years.

Last edited by stanley: 08-09-2005 at 09:10 AM.
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