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04-26-2011, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by kicksave27 View Post
I'm just mad at beezer because clarke had the choice of Cujo, Ritcher, and Beezer, and went the cheap route. He was the oldest, smallest and slowest of the 3.
It was an interesting and complex set of negotiations at the time. Unlike some other situations where it became fashionable to criticize well after the fact, that decision met with scorn immediately. But there were intriguing subplots that are often bypassed when the issue is broached.

One was Roger Neilson's preference to sign Beezer because of prior relationships in coaching him and because it was deemed the best marriage in terms of the team's style of play through his method of coaching. Neilson was confident with signing Beezer.

Another was the mammoth elements of Toronto-New York and Philly being the three major participants. Clarke offered Richter a sizeable contract with the caveat that the Flyers weren't getting into a prolonged negotiation battle with the Rangers. Richter, as his right, made it known to Clarke that he would ride it out and see the two organizations do battle; later said he wanted to stay in New York all along. If Clarke played the waiting game and Richter re-signed with New York it would have been not only time-consuming but perhaps left the Flyers empty (if Beezer and/or Cujo signed elsewhere). Richter wanted about $7m per season and later said he wanted to stay in New York.

As Clarke said at the time, Beezer was the second highest paid player in team history. Clarke also had the contracts of Brind'Amour and Lindros to consider which also were important factors at the time.

Cujo wanted $6m but length of contract was also an important issue with him. The Flyers had two young goalies in the system in Jean Marc Pelletier and Brian Boucher and the desire was to see one of them win that battle and then take the reigns from Beezer after the second (or third, team held the option) year of a 3-year pact. Boucher progressed and Pelletier was traded in the Brind'Amour-Primeau deal.

As it developed, the sole year Beezer played in the POs was 1999 and that was without Lindros because of the critical health situation with the collapsed lung.

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