I voted 'valuable member of the D', though truly more for the concept of Jay McKee than the Jay McKee on the ice.
He's a good man, he appears to be a company man, and he seems to be getting shanked. It is possible that his best years are behind him, but again it's less than comforting the way he seems to be discarded by the management. I like to see a little more respect and consideration for time served. Maybe management couldn't realistically give Jay what he wants, but they could make more of an effort to make him feel valued, and more of an effort to avoid publicly humiliating him.
I have a feeling this one will come back to bite us in the @ss.
He's a good man, he appears to be a company man, and he seems to be getting shanked.
He's not a company man. He's held out in the past and is one of the most militant NHLPA player reps. During the lockout, when guys like James Patrick and Rob Ray were providing the voices of reason, McKee opposed a salary cap until the bitter end. He's the most anti-management player on the Sabres since Mike Peca. If there's an ulterior motive behind the Sabres actions, that's it. There may also some resentment towards McKee from the other players for leading them in the wrong direction.
I have absolutly no problem with what the sabres are doing here. Does it suck for McKee? yeah.
But one year at 1.X million is perfectly reasonable for someone with so many question marks. Frankly, anything longer could tie the sabres hands with respect to player decisions in 06 and 07.
If he's still a stud, I don't imagine that his desire not to leave the area will change after this year. Especially if he's able to remain part of what they are building. If he feels scorned and moves on, well then that's the calculated risk that management has to take, and frankly, while he's been a great player for us, he is easily replaceable in free agency.
I probably could have been in plus territory on that blue line.
Either way, him and Rhett were very impressive in that run. He is our best defensive defenseman; he may be one-dimensional, but there is no other player on our roster with that dimension, so that makes him valuable to this team.