Everyone's favourite ex-Canucks General Manager is at it again. From TSN, today:
Burke told the Los Angeles Times that the rise in salaries for young players can be traced back to Lowe.
"You go right now from entry-level to what used to be the third contract, thanks to two offer sheets from Kevin Lowe," Burke said to the Times.
"Most [general] managers don't like starting fights with any other managers. . Thanks to the Edmonton Oilers, the second contract has disappeared."
"They're all being re-signed at inflated prices," he explained to the newspaper. "Everything I said a year ago has come true. Every single word."
Brian Burke is generally a good GM. He has his flaws (didn't take Penner to arbitration, shipped Bryzgalov away for nothing, signed Bertuzzi, etc.) but on the whole he's probably still a top-5 GM in the NHL.
That's why it's surprising that he's still being so asinine about this. The salary cap just went up a ton. Salaries were on the rise anyway. The other thing about it is there are plenty of desperate teams out there, and if Lowe hadn't done what he did, someone else would be doing it this year.
The thing about Lowe is he figured out right away that the only way to get an RFA was to overpay. None of this Kesler/Backes close-to-reasonable contract nonsense; if you want the guy, you have to take the hit, both in money and draft picks. Burke can talk all he wants about how Lowe is running his team and his league into the ground, but there's only so much money out there in a salary capped league; the total money spent on players isn't changing any more than it would have otherwise, it's just being allocated differently between RFA's and UFA's. It changes the model that a team needs to use, but it doesn't destroy the system.
And now, Burkie's just embarrasing himself.