On Friday, Anaheim GM Brian Burke spouted off in a media conference call regarding the offer sheet made by the Edmonton Oilers to Dustin Penner. Anyone who read the release is sure to have realized that Burke pulled no punches, and is a little contradictory (I mean, Burke claims to have no problem with offer sheets, then cries foul about the offer to Penner). Today, I'll try and translate General Manager-ese, to provide you with further insight and help read between the lines of Burke's statements.
First, a little foreplay.
Offer sheets are a part of the CBA, a part of the NHL, and in the short term, they are here to stay. Do GMs like them? If you ask Buffalo's Darcy Regier and Anaheim's Burke, no. Not at all. In fact, apparently it's a backhanded move to make one. That's too bad, because these guys just come off looking like a bunch of babies. They really need to grow up a little. Whether or not you agree with Lowe's actions, you have to admire the guy for doing whatever is necessary to improve his team (whether Penner for a load of draft picks is actually improvement is another story). It's like parking tickets. Yeah, everyone hates them, but as long as they're part of the law, you're going to have to live with them, like it or not. Don't like em? Try and get the law changed. I don't remember hearing a lot of bellyaching from owners about offer sheets after the new CBA came into effect. Do you?
"I will not be announcing whether or not we will match the offer sheet to Dustin Penner. I’m coming back to
Translated: Remember when I said I would match any offer for Penner? Yeah... About that.
"I have no problem with offer sheets, they are part of the CBA... I think it's a tool certainly a team is entitled to use. My issue here is this is the second time this year in my opinion Edmonton have offered a grossly inflated salary for a player, and it impacts on all 30 teams and I think it's an act of desperation by a general manager who is fighting to keep his job."
Translated: I don't wanna look like a mook for complaining about offer sheets. After all, we let them be a part of the CBA. But I'm friggin' pissed. I mean why the Ducks? Why us? Couldn't you have made an offer sheet to, and I'm just being imaginative here, Zach Parise? Kevin Lowe's an ass. We're not friends anymore! Oh, and you know what Kevin? You're a shitty GM! There. I said it. Jeez, I've been holding that in for SO LONG.
"I was not notified of this until an agent faxed it into us. I thought Kevin would have called me and told me it was coming. I thought that was gutless."
Translated: How dare you not call! You're such a jerk! OHMYGAWD, I am like so totally never talking to you again. I am like soooooooo pissed!
"Kevin Lowe has been in Penticton this week. Tonight is the induction ceremony for the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame and I certainly think this could have waited until Monday. I don't think it shows a lot of respect for the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame."
Translated: They're pissed too and I'm gonna start shit! You are never allowed in the B.C. Hall of Fame again Kevin Lowe! You hear me?? NEVER!!
"It should be pretty clear why I'm irate."Translated: The B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame!! The Mothafuckin B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame!! Why doesn't anyone ever think about the B.C. HHoF and their feelings?! HUH?! Just because it's not the NHL HHoF doesn't mean they don't have feelings!!
"He's not obligated to [notify me of the offer beforehand]. I would have done this differently, but then again I wouldn't have done this. I think some guys would have done it that way, yes."
Translated: I mean, we all jerk off. But to admit to it publicly in front of the whole school? Who does that? Seriously. Not cool... Do I think some guys let it go in the shower? Yes. Yes I do. But that can get messy. I wouldn't have done it that way, if, you know, I did it.
"I can't read his mind, especially when he hasn't called me. Call Kevin and ask him."
Translated: He said he loved me and he'd call me again! It's been three months and he still hasn't called me! I don't know what to do anymore. I'm a complete mess. Where is my Ben and Jerry's?? *runs off sobbing*