Lemieux give his raise back
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12-02-2003, 05:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Originally Posted by
Vlad The Impaler
He indeed did the right thing. It is funny however that some Pens apologist were defending Mario for taking that raise in earlier threads.
It just confirms what I and a few others have had to say about this: It was wrong under the circumstances to take that increase in the first place.
After trading Straka, it would have been difficult for Mario to justify that salary under the circumstances (despite the fact he is one amazing player who does deserve even MORE). I'm glad he made the right thing.
PErsonally, I think he's entitled to getting as much out of that organization as he can.
The reason the Penguins still exist is because he decided to roll over his back-pay into equity into the team. True, he would have only received a fraction on the dollar if he cashed out, but it would at least be something. He's had nothing but headaches since he's taken over ownership.
I also think the whole back-pay issue is something he needs to be commended for. I'm not sure when he first agreed to deferring salary started, but based on the amount that was deferred at the time of the original bankruptcy, it likely started happening while he was still at the top of his game. Mario had the option of making the organization pay him in full at that time, or trade him to someone who could. Instead, he chose the deferring option. If he left at that time (by demanding a trade), he probably would have sunk that team.
I think he's now at the point where he's not willing to sacrifice too much to ensure the longevity of the franchise. The only reason why he's not getting the $10 mil that he hoped for is because the money isn't there. In order to the organization to pay him that much, it would require more capital to be invested in the organization to sustain the bigger loss that would occur because of it. As an owner, that money would have to come out of his pocket. What's the point of doing that?
The Penguins have become a complete joke as far as I'm concerned. It's painful to watch a team operate like this. It won't last long though. Their outcome will result partly on a new CBA, and partly on a decision regarding how much public money they will get for a new arena. If it's not enough at that point to keep this team going, they'll probably either fold or relocate.
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