Clarke prefers dynasties over cap

TERRY KOSHAN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

The dynasty that beat his team twice in the Stanley Cup final in the 1980s or the now-you-see-them, now-you-don't Cup finalists of today's NHL?

Former Philadelphia Flyers general manager Bob Clarke would take the dominance of the Edmonton Oilers, thanks.

"I liked it much better when the Oilers were winning because their standards were so high," Clarke, in town for the annual Conn Smythe dinner to support Easter Seals Ontario, said yesterday. "The rest of us had to get better, and before them it was the Canadiens and the Islanders.

"I wish we had teams now that were good enough to go two, three or four years. The standards of everyone else would have to be raised. If you win the Cup now, players want to make a lot more money. That's where the cap hurts you. When you win now, you have to pay those players and you are not going to be able to pay them all."

Clarke ran the show in Philly as Flyers GM from 1984-1990 and again from 1994-2006, but never was able to sip from Lord Stanley's mug, which he did two times in 15 seasons when he wore the Flyers' black and orange.

Now a senior vice-president with the Flyers, the 58-year-old Clarke jokingly said he is nothing more than a professional fan, talking hockey during the day with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren and having no worries when he goes to bed at night.

Clarke never had a problem speaking his mind, and the NHL is a lesser place without the benefit of Clarke's savvy nature on a daily basis. He resigned as Flyers GM in October of 2006.

Does Clarke, who also was the GM of the Minnesota North Stars and Florida Panthers for short periods, want to be a GM again? Perhaps with the Maple Leafs, who have Cliff Fletcher in that role on an interim basis while the organization searches for a new boss?

Though Clarke said he misses some of the exciting times of the job -- the trade deadline, the draft, free agency in the summer -- he is happy.

"The job is Cliff's and I leave it in his hands," Clarke said. "Toronto is the mecca of not only the NHL, but maybe hockey in the world. It would be a prime GM's job, but there is a lot of abuse that comes with it.

"I'm not sure anymore (whether he wants to be work again as a GM). The longer you are out, the harder it gets to say I am ready to go back."


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