Arturs Irbe : no longer a Hurricane?
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10-17-2003, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
A lot of Irbe bashing here... he's greedy, being difficult, must be broke and needs money, etc...
I don't know for sure what the situation is, but I'm trying to see this from Irbe's POV... maybe it's got nothing to do with greed or being broke?
His NHL career has taken a huge hit... he can accept the buyout and take his chances, continue playing in his current role, or sit out and demand a trade, or just retire... the third and fourth options would be best for the team because then they don't have to pay him - probably not good options for him to take if he wants to continue his career....
the first option also isn't his best option, because his stock is just so low right now, if he accepts a buyout his career is over - and as close to being over as it is right now, he still has a chance to get back, if he proves to play exceptionally well wherever he is - whether that's the AHL or ECHL...
right now all goalies and their agents would know how weak the goaltending market is in the NHL, and therefore I wouldn't if I was an agent, recommend to my client to take a buyout, unless my client wanted to retire... it's too big a risk if you want to continue having any hope of coming back to the NHL.
so that really only leaves him with one option - to continue playing wherever he can get games, and make the most out of those games.
He saw an example in his own organization with Jamie Storr's situation - having to sign temporarily overseas, then finally accepting a last minute deal for less than half he was making last season... he saw the example with countryman Skudra, who had to go back to Latvia to continue playing hockey... maybe Irbe doesn't want that.. maybe he believes that he can still get back on track and be an NHL goalie?
taking a buyout in a weak goalie market will not help him, if that's his focus...
it's easy for us to say the guy's being greedy or difficult, but we really don't know the situation as well as he does or his agent... maybe this all has nothing to do with money, maybe all he wants is to keep that window of opportunity open to try and prolong doing the thing he loves - playing in the NHL - and walking away from the *only* thing that is keeping that window open - a legit NHL contract - is probably something he will not do until he feels he has no other choice?
If I was in Irbe's situation, and I wanted to continue playing, I would do the same thing - not because of greed, but because of risking throwing away what could be the last chance of continuing an NHL career.... and if he's determined, and plays well, then humiliation is not a factor - what people remember is perserverence if he can find a way to succeed through all this.... personally, I don't think humiliation is a factor at all - even if his career is over, getting $2.7 mill to play the game you love, wherever that is, is more humiliating to the franchise paying it, then the player earning it.
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