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10-19-2006, 09:56 AM
  #1
skutez
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Scott Howson

Scott Howson was the guest speaker last night in my negotiations class at the U of A. He spoke for about an hour mostly on how he negotiates, his style vs. the agents style and such. He then spoke about some of the current players and their negotiations, trades and free agents.

Some of these things may have been covered here in the past but it was good to hear firsthand information.

Some of the players he spoke about.

Sykora: Negotiations took a long time. Petr wanted a 3 year deal. The oil were a bit leery of a contract that long given Petr was coming off a sub par season. Howson also wanted Petr signed at 2.5 - 2.65. Is playing well and they will talk in the offseason about resigning.

Roloson: Deal came about 10 minutes before the free agent deadline. Roli wanted 4.5 Oil offered 3. Howson was travelling just before the deadline and left it up to K-lowe to finish the deal. K-Lowe gave him 11 over 3 years.

Pisani: Deal was done 4 hours before free agent period. Howson thought Fern would get an offer of over 3 million from another team, wanted to sign him for 2 - 2.2. Fern's agent compared him to Chris Clark (washington) in January when Clark signed at 1.1 and wanted a similar deal for Fern at that point. The Oil chose to negotiate in the offseason and we all know how well he performed in the playoffs, hence the larger deal. Said "Fern chose to roll the dice and was successful."

CFP 1: St. Lou's first offer was Brewer, Torres, Stoll and a first rounder for CFP. Closer to when the deal was done it was Brewer, Woywitka and Stoll.
Finally they agreed to take Lynch as both he and Stoll were considered prospects at that point. Howson's words "Thank god we didn't trade Stoll."

CFP 2: Agent originally indicated that CFP would like to be traded during the offseason in December. The Oil thought he might change his mind with a playoff run and the atmosphere of the city etc... Media started to hear the rumblings of the trade request during the San Jose series and the Oil deflected, denied and tried to bury the story. During game 7 of the final, TSN was set to report about the trade request, Oil said wait and TSN agreed, Strachan broke the story in the interim. 2 days after the season ended CFP had a meeting with Mac-T and K-Lowe, he was emotional having just lost game 7, but did not say himself he wanted to be traded, only that he was leaving town for a vacation and to think about things. His agent called within hours and said he wanted a trade. The agent proceeded to call everyday until he was finally traded reaffirming the request.
The anaheim deal was the best deal and it got better than originally presented at the draft. No eastern teams were prepared to offer what the Oil wanted, there was 3 western teams (including Anaheim) who were prepared to trade but the other 2 offers were not in the ball park.
Howson commended CFP for being a consumate professional during the season and the playoffs. Would like to one day sit down man to man and find out how CFP felt about the oranization, city etc...


He spoke briefly about:
Neidermayer: Offered 4 yrs @ 6.75 (Neids cared about the money not the length)but Brian Burke flew to kootenay to meet him and the rest is history. Said playing in a hockey city that allowed him some anonymity such as Anaheim was appealing to his personality. Plus a desire to play with baby brother.

Comrie: Howson thought it was ingenious to get money out of Comrie to facilitate the trade. Thought it was poetic justice considering some of the offers agents have presented to the team in the past. Even had friends of daddy Bill Comrie approach Lowe and ask if they really wanted 2.5 million from Mike to get traded? Howson said "its a negotiation, and we would probably trade him for a million." Then the NHLPA put tremendous pressure on Mike to not pay. Philly deal came out of left field.

Niinimma: When he went to arbitration his comparable was Dan Mcgillis. Spaz wanted 3 million same as Mcgillis, but went for 2.7 because of taxes in Alberta (lowest in NHL) and a relocation bonus if he was traded during the contract, which he was.

Schremp: Signed him last year because they knew he would tear up the OHL and therefore the price would go up. Said he is his family's meal ticket as his father can no longer work and support his family. The Oil really like Robbie and had him rated 6th or 7th overall but passed at 14 because they werent comfortable with goaltending. When he was available at 25 they couldnt believe it. Had a good camp but too much forward depth and Thoresen was a more complete player. Needs to polish his non-offensive skills.

Best agents to negotiate with: Don Meehan and Pat Morris. Said agent Pat Morris was very persuasive.

He also said there are currently some hard negotiations with a "core player" of the team and these negotiations are ongoing. I figure Smyth or Staios.


Spoke of Jason Smith and how he didnt come into his own until he was traded here. Alberta boy, leader, solid defenseman. Took less money to stay here becuse he is happy and his family likes it here.

Also said one of the main reasons Sykora signed here is because he had played in LA, New York and no one knew him. Wanted to play somewhere where hockey is king. Wanted to be at the gas station and have a fan recognize him and say good luck tonight or great game yesterday etc...

Some players like that and Howson said that is part of Edmonton's appeal to prospective free agents now as E-town may not have been a free agents first choice in the past. Said CFP wanted that attention as well when he first came here.


I asked him about arbitration and why most players/teams settle before going in, was it because it was hard on both sides? He said not really, in arbitration you get to see the player/team offer only 2 days before the hearing starts. At that point you then know the expectations and it is usually easier to get a deal. Also arbitrators do not know much about hockey. Said one time an arbitrator asked how long a period was? Teams/players may not feel comfortable putting their trust in a third party who is unfamiliar with the game.

Thats all I can really remember about what he said. It was a great class and he speaks in this course every semester. Business students at the UofA should take the class its a good one ORGA 412.

skutez


Last edited by skutez: 10-19-2006 at 11:23 PM.
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10-19-2006, 10:02 AM
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oiler4ever
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Excellent job skutez. thanks for posting

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10-19-2006, 10:09 AM
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I am thinking that core player is Staios. Ryan is a KEY player, of that I have no doubt.

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10-19-2006, 10:45 AM
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I regards to the hard negotiation thing.

Didn't one of the dailies (I think Matheson) just print the other day that an extension for Staios is being negotiated right now and hopefully there will be a done deal by the end of the week. If it's not done at the end of the week, the negotiations will be put on hold until after the season.

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10-19-2006, 10:55 AM
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jnewton91
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I was in the class too, Scott's talk is pretty much the highlight of the semester and the reason many people are attracted to the class I'm sure. I would have to guess it's Staois too, but it sounds like the Oilers are standing pat on their initial offer.

He talked about Moreau's contract negotiations, said Moreau's agent compiled a whole dossier on Ethan, and "created" statistics such as SHG, SHP and GWG combined and showed that he was in the top 10 in the league or something lol. Howson said he made Ethan "look like another Ryan Smyth." Great stuff.

He also talked about valuing Ryan Smyth for the upcoming negotiations. Said if Smyth scored 7 more goals than Doan, who's making $4 million or $4.5, and kind of mused out loud that they're similar players - so should Smyth be making more? Probably...

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10-19-2006, 11:17 AM
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theoil
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This post just made my day. I know guys come here for different reasons but for me the numbers and the negotiations of managing a team are a huge part of my interest. So the Cup run cost the Oilers about 1.4 mil per year for four years on Pisani (I am surprised they didn't shorten the deal to two years at that number) and Rollie probably picked himself up an extra mil a year and an extra year out of his playoff run. A long time since the Oilers had to pay the price of success.

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10-19-2006, 12:17 PM
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Giant Moo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skutez View Post
Also arbitrators do not know much about hockey. Said one time an arbitrator asked how long a period was?
Geeeez. Yet Another Reason to get rid of arbitration.

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10-19-2006, 12:37 PM
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IslandOilerFan
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Outstanding post, it's great to get some insight into the workings at that level.

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10-19-2006, 12:54 PM
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Trizent
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Easily best post on this or any other board in memory.

Thanks.

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10-19-2006, 01:01 PM
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Easily best post on this or any other board in memory.

Thanks.
Agreed!

It was so good I read it 3 times over!

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10-19-2006, 01:12 PM
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Homer Thompson
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Thanks for the great posts.

That is one great behind the scenes look at the business.

Best thread in a long time.

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10-19-2006, 01:45 PM
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dasivon
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wicked read. thx

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10-19-2006, 05:42 PM
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Asiaoil
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What the hell were they thinking if they didnt want to give Fernando $1.1 in January? Did they really think he would sign for less as a free agent?????? Penny wise and pound foolish in this case.

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10-19-2006, 05:52 PM
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Other Little Mikey
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Originally Posted by Asiaoil View Post
What the hell were they thinking if they didnt want to give Fernando $1.1 in January? Did they really think he would sign for less as a free agent?????? Penny wise and pound foolish in this case.
I don't know. Around January I wasn't conviced they should keep Pisani. Sure ate those words in the playoffs.

The guy I'm really worried about is Smyth. I feel a big payout coming, and I love him and want him to be an Oiler for life, but ... eeep. IMO there's no way we can keep Sykora unless the cap goes up again or something else changes, and I'm not sure I want something else to change ...

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10-19-2006, 05:53 PM
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theoil
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Originally Posted by Asiaoil View Post
What the hell were they thinking if they didnt want to give Fernando $1.1 in January? Did they really think he would sign for less as a free agent?????? Penny wise and pound foolish in this case.
Yup. Cost them an extra 1.4 mil a season and put pressure on Pisani to do things that he is probably not suited to over the long run. Too bad nobody asked why they didn't grab him at 1.1. That's a reasonable price for a reliable 3rd liner who can chip in with 15-20 goals for you.

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10-19-2006, 05:57 PM
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copperandblue
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Yup. Cost them an extra 1.4 mil a season and put pressure on Pisani to do things that he is probably not suited to over the long run. Too bad nobody asked why they didn't grab him at 1.1. That's a reasonable price for a reliable 3rd liner who can chip in with 15-20 goals for you.
Playing the 'what if' game.

If he did sign on the cheap in January does he still have the run in the playoffs that he did?

Money is a big motivator....

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10-19-2006, 05:57 PM
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gr8haluschak
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I am assuming your prof was Fischer, he is pretty good with getting someone from the Oilers in to speak. Two years ago he brought in Lowe and last year as well I think someone on here posted he brought in Lowe again.

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10-19-2006, 05:59 PM
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theoil
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Originally Posted by Other Little Mikey View Post
I don't know. Around January I wasn't conviced they should keep Pisani. Sure ate those words in the playoffs.

The guy I'm really worried about is Smyth. I feel a big payout coming, and I love him and want him to be an Oiler for life, but ... eeep. IMO there's no way we can keep Sykora unless the cap goes up again or something else changes, and I'm not sure I want something else to change ...
Well, right now we have an extra 4 mil of cap room. I don't think we are in too much trouble. In fact we have the 5th lowest payroll in the league at $40,110,167. Only St.Louis ($38,738,633), Nashville (37,755,368), Pittsburgh (35,933,263) and Washington (32,474,221) are lower. San Joese is a bit of an anomoly since they traded with NJ for Malakhov at around $3 mil who isn't playing but is eating cap space. They would be about the same as us without that move.

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10-19-2006, 06:01 PM
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theoil
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Originally Posted by copperandblue View Post
Playing the 'what if' game.

If he did sign on the cheap in January does he still have the run in the playoffs that he did?

Money is a big motivator....
Yup. And you can't possible win all of these. I still think they went a little long with the contract but its not like we are overpaying him hugely.

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10-19-2006, 06:11 PM
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If this is the class I think it is...





Noooooo, I just had to take Jurisprudence then. We get to read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

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10-19-2006, 06:17 PM
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Giant Moo
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This "1.4" argument is fatally flawed. Who is to say that Fernie would have produced the way he had if he had signed a contract beforehand? Certainly if you're in the playoffs, that's your time to shine, if you're negociating a new contract.

Hindsight is 20/20 but I think some of you have foggy glasses on.

Edit: copperandblue beat me to it... damn VPN.

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10-19-2006, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by skutez View Post

Pisani: Deal was done 4 hours before free agent period. Howson thought Fern would get an offer of over 3 million from another team, wanted to sign him for 2 - 2.2. Fern's agent compared him to Chris Clark (washington) in January when Clark signed at 1.1 and wanted a similar deal for Fern at that point. The Oil chose to negotiate in the offseason and we all know how well he performed in the playoffs, hence the larger deal. Said "Fern chose to roll the dice and was successful."
Talk about a bad move by Lowe.

If Fernie wanted 1.1 in January, you give it to him. Absolutely ridiculous that the Oilers wanted to drag it out.

Cost them an extra 1.4M * 4 years = $5.6M.

Fernendo didn't roll the dice here. Lowe/Howson did.

It's moves like these (as well as Moreau's contract) that is preventing Lowe from becoming elite

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10-19-2006, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giant Moo View Post
This "1.4" argument is fatally flawed. Who is to say that Fernie would have produced the way he had if he had signed a contract beforehand? Certainly if you're in the playoffs, that's your time to shine, if you're negociating a new contract.

Hindsight is 20/20 but I think some of you have foggy glasses on.

Edit: copperandblue beat me to it... damn VPN.
Maybe not, but I can't imagine he's not the same player he is today.

I really don't know why the Oilers wouldn't have locked Fernando up at 1.1

Also really worrisome that they seemed to get their *** kicked by Moreau's agent (SHP + SHG + GWG? ...).

Having said that, great post, thanks for the information! Also great negotiating by the Oilers in the St. Louis trade.. subbing in Lynch for Stollie, wow. Oilers still win that trade, but it looks a helluva lot better on St. Louis than it does today.

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10-19-2006, 06:49 PM
  #24
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Originally Posted by PunjabiOil View Post

It's moves like these (as well as Moreau's contract) that is preventing Lowe from becoming elite
Lowe is the biggest reason for the Oilers run last year, the guy is the best GM in the league right now in my opinion. One or two bad moves do not depreciate his status.

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10-19-2006, 06:55 PM
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Did he mention any other offers for CFP #25?

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