Six pack of NHL stupidity

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:43 AM ET

OTTAWA - As NHL GMs got ready to go on a spending spree Friday, at least one league executive was prepared to sit back and watch the insanity.

I think the smartest teams will be the ones that do nothing, said the executive approximately 90 minutes before high noon. Were just going to watch what everybody else does and then make our decisions.

No kidding. Even with the collective bargaining agreement set to expire next September, that didnt stop teams with room under the salary cap and especially those trying to get to the $48.3-million cap floor from throwing around cash on unrestriced free agents.

The stupidity reached a feverish pitch as desperate GMs and their sidekicks filed into the Toronto office of Newport Sports to try to entice Brad Richards to sign.

With those thoughts in mind here were some of the more shocking deals in the first 48 hours of free agency (including some that were signed before players hit the market):

C Brad Richards, NYR (9 years, $60 million): He was the best player available and this turned into a predictable feeding frenzy with Richards choosing his destination Saturday. It got so dumb the Calgary Flames in a brilliant public relations move offered Richards a nine-year, $65-million deal. How this unfolds should be fascinating to watch.

D James Wisniewski, CBJ (6 years, $33 million): GM Scott Howson is on the hotseat and this could be the deal that gets him fired at the end of the season. Wisniewski is going to help the Columbus power play, but youd think Howson would have learned when he signed Mike Commodore. Nope, not a chance and Howson cant afford many more mistakes.

D Christian Ehrhoff, BUF (10 years, $40 million): Yes, I get it, new owner Terry Pegula wanted to flex his muscle in his first year with the Sabres. But this is just bizarre. Were not talking about a Ray Bourque or Bobby Orr here. Ehrhoff will get $18 million in the first two years.

D Ed Jovanovski, FLA (4 years, $16.5 million): There were a few teams hoping that at 35, Jovanovski might want to take a one-year deal to win a Stanley Cup. He could never have imagined that a team desperate to get to the salary cap floor would allow him to cash in the way he did. GM Dale Tallon cant even buy out Jovanovski and escape the cap hit if this doesnt work. This one is shocking.

F Erik Cole, MON (4 years, $18 million): He scored 26 times last season and made the most of those goals. Cole tried playing in a Canadian market with the Edmonton Oilers and that was a disaster. Hes going to have even more pressure in Montreal and theres nowhere to hide when it goes wrong. Making $4.5 million a year, he had better produce.

F Scottie Upshall, FLA (4 years, $14 million): Upshall has bounced around a lot in his career. It hasnt really worked for him anywhere. You can criticize and of the deals that Tallon agreed to in the past couple of days. The Panthers had better hope the 22 goals last year in Columbus can be repeated.

I cannot believe some of the deals, said the executive Saturday. Well, enjoy the lockout.


Videos

Photos