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Old 09-13-2006, 12:15 PM   #5525
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,627

Bobby Clarke responds to the hoopla over Kesler signing an offer sheet with the Flyers:

"I don't give a (expletive deleted) if nobody likes me, I could care less," Clarke told TSN. "But they shouldn't be getting mad at me, I didn't put the (offer sheet) rule in the collective bargaining agreement. If they're mad, they should call Gary Bettman and complain to him. Get mad at Gary Bettman. He's in charge of the rules, not me. I didn't realize there were some rules we're not allowed to use."
"I'm trying to make my team better," Clarke said. "There's a rule that says we can put out offer sheets. So I did it. You know, it's funny, they made new rules so we're operating in a system where we all get to spend the same amount of money. Philadelphia and Detroit can't spend any more than Nashville or Anaheim. Those are the rules. We all live by them. No one can accuse Philadelphia or Detroit of spending more money than everyone else now. But when I go and use a rule that is there, everybody is all over me about it."
"To me, our thinking is completely backward," Clarke said. "I lost Kim Johnsson to (unrestricted) free agency because the Minnesota Wild gave him $4.8 million. Well, the Flyers had to give (revenue sharing) money to Minnesota and other teams and I don't like that but it's the rules. And then Minnesota takes that money and signs my player and there are no rules to say I can keep him if I match. I wish I had all the options with Kim Johnsson that Vancouver has with Kesler. They can match and keep him or they can let him go. It's up to them."
"Sure, in the old system, teams always matched offer sheets but this is a new system with a salary cap and you have to make hard decisions that affect your team not just for this year but the years to come, too," Clarke said. "I don't know that Vancouver will match. Maybe we get the player. That's the idea. It's a few days to training camp, the player wasn't signed and we have a need for that type of player in our organization. Why wouldn't I try it? Everyone says it's causing salaries to go up. That's crap. We've all got salary caps and if it is true it drives up salaries, well, doesn't Boston signing (Zdeno) Chara to a $7 million deal or Chicago signing (Martin) Havlat to a $6 million deal drive up salaries, too? Give me a break.
"A lot of guys in this league like the rules when it suits them and they don't like them when it doesn't. Too bad for them. I'm just playing by the rules that are there. To be honest, I'm surprised more teams aren't doing it.

Since this doesn't affect the Avs, I really haven't had a strong feeling either way. For the most part, I find myself agreeing with Clarke.

Last edited by Jori; 09-13-2006 at 12:21 PM..
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