Tuesday, August 03, 2004

On the other hand, this does feel like much ado about nothing. It's perfectly understandable that the Blazers wouldn't just rubber-stamp Burton's return. Would he come back as the best-paid player on the team? Remember, the mechanisms that produced his hefty paycheck (be they legal "franchise player" rules or other things) just don't exist now. Plus the Blazers teams that I know -- post-merger, always losing to the Ice Bats -- have been defense-challenged in part because they overspent on offense (Hardy included, though I'm very much a fan).

And while it's certainly not Brad Lund's job to make decisions for the Burton family, it seems a fair assumption that they'd rather stay in Michigan. It wouldn't be enough for OKC to make Burton an offer; they'd have to blow him away. I don't blame them for not doing that.

Truth is, Smokin' will probably be a second-line UHL forward (with first-line power play time), and he'll make more than the $600 a week I'd pay him on my CHL team.

Now, if I'm Tulsa, I go higher than that just for the PR value. Also, it would look pretty silly if the CHL scoring trophy was named after a UHL player.

And Doug Sauter said something honest and undiplomatic? Shocking.
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