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02-27-2004, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Walker
as per Pierre Mcguire and team 990 mtl. Gonchar will be a healthy scratch which hopefully means there's a deal done.
See the TSN Article at Caps to scratch Gonchar tonight

This seems written by a certain BM:

Edit: Gonchar was scratched and this article is now credited to Bob McKenzie as in this link:

Originally Posted by TSN Staff
For everyone who is breathlessly anticipating the Gonchar trade to go down any minute now, consider this: Gonchar's agent has not yet been contacted by any team about a new long term contract.

And unless the team trading for Gonchar has a severe death wish, logic would strongly suggest that contact, and contract, must happen before any deal with the Washington Capitals is done.

Think about it.

If, as the reports suggest, the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to part with an NHL player, perhaps Nik Antropov, a top prospect, either Carlo Colaiacovo or Alexander Steen, and a first-round draft pick, the Leafs would need to be secure they've got Gonchar locked up for the forseeable future.

Gonchar is a restricted free agent at the end of this season. A team could make him a qualifying offer of $3.65 million and if Gonchar accepted, which by the way is doubtful, his new team would have him for only one year. Two problems there. First, there may not be a season next year and, two, more importantly, Gonchar will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.

The more likely scenario is that Gonchar would reject a qualifying offer and elect to go to salary arbitration. Over the last five years, Gonchar has been the NHL's highest scoring defenceman. In arbitration, it appears he would be virtually guaranteed to get at least $5 million to $6 million a year, and possibly more than that.

But it would still only be a one-year contract because a salary arbitration award cannot cut into the player's unrestricted free agency. So the same conundrum would exist - Gonchar would only be tied up for one season after this one, that is, if there is a season.

Do you honestly think any team, especially the Maple Leafs, are going to deal three quality elements of their future for a player who can walk at the end of next season, and if there's a year-long lockout, will be an expensive rental for only this year's playoffs?

That's why logic says this deal isn't really close to being done until the team acquiring Gonchar works out a multi-year contract extension. That hasn't begun to happen yet. And the Washington Capitals won't give permission for those all-important contract negotiations until they're 100 per cent satisfied with the trade offer they're getting.
So don't stay up on the Gonchar watch. However do stay up watching to see if this thread gets merged into another (edit: now merged to join Gonchar threads already in progress).

Last edited by officeglen: 02-27-2004 at 06:49 PM.
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