Thursday, September 4, 2008

the marcus nilson affair: questions

everyone's new favorite blog reader, shep (who joins us from sweden), has been posting some interesting comments lately about the plight of marcus nilson and, to a far lesser extent, anders eriksson.

initially he linked to a fabulously translated article dated june 26th, but yesterday shep did all the work for us, quoting from an article on, published september 2:


"Calgary stops Nilson from fleeing
"They refuse to buy out me"
At Calgary - against his will.

Marcus Nilson forced back to Canada.

-- I was hoping that Calgary would buy out me. But they refuse, said Nilson.

Now begins the majority of NHL pros to go over to North America to prepare for camp and the season.But the Calgary Flames Marcus Nilson, World Cup players this spring, is not satisfied with stepping on the flight across the Atlantic next week.

-- I was not playing so much last year and had hope that Calgary would buy me out. But they refuse. Now I do not know really what is happening, said Nilson.

...The reason for the schism between Nilson and Calgary is spelled Mike Keenan. Keenan has decided to Nilson does not belong to the Flames future.

-- It will not work between me and Keenan. Just accept that and work on, says Nilson.

He does not know is where to play hockey in winter. The Russian league is an alternative, if the Calgary Flames drop Tre Kronor player"


i believe this story was also reported yesterday morning on the fan960. but it does pose an interesting question, with all of the current international transfer agreement stuff:

if marcus nilson wants to play in russia, currently he can't because he's under contract with an NHL club. i believe the rule is "hockey clubs [from different international leagues] would show 'mutual respect' for players currently under contract."

the confusing part (to me) is as follows:
while darryl sutter waived nilson late in june, he did not buy out his contract. WHY ???
- is he still hoping he'll get a return on the veteran in a nilson-for-player/prospect/draft pick deal ?
- does he intend on forcing #26 into a flaming C (or flaming QC) in 08/09 ?
- is he trying to send a message to the team that HE, and nobody else, will dictate the state of player contracts, no matter how much complaining ??
- is he just being a jerk for the sake of being a jerk ??
- does he LIKE being over the cap ???

on the other hand, if nilson wants out of his contract and the flames ALSO want him out of his contract, without nilson having to retire from hockey, i have NO CLUE what happens. can the contract just be terminated ??? does it have to have NHL approval ??? is there compensation of some sort ???

and DAMN why couldn't we be in this predicament with eriksson instead ??!?!

[shep: you should really start your own blog...]


shep said...

haha thats nice of you but i dont think so, i really wouldn't know what to write so i'll just chime in with some comments here and there if thats ok:)

Kent W. said...

All good questions.

I think Nilson could maybe choose to stay in Europe and get "suspended" by the Flames. I dont know if that would free him up to sign another contract with someone else.

What a ridiculous mess this is, and so easily avoided too.

1.) Sutter SHOULDN'T have re-signed Nilson a last summer when it was fairly clear he was going to passed on the depth chart by a bunch of people. Especially to a multi-year deal and ESPECIALLY to contract @ 1M/year.

2.) When it became clear that Keenan had no use for Nilson, Sutter should have found some way to cut the guy lose. Last trade deadling, this past draft day, etc. Of course, trading a player like Nilson (who can be replaced by younger guys) is tough when he's tabbed to make $1M (DURRR!).

3.) After realizing that no one would want Nilson at his price point, Sutter most certainly should have bought him out. Especially if he knew (and he must have) that Nilson had no intention of returning to play under Keenan.

This isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things. But it is just so...bloody stupid.

walkinvisible said...

with my very limited swedish, i'm pretty sure by this article that swedish elite team skellefteƄ want to sign nilson.

hey, sutter ! problem solved, man....