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Translating GM Speak

The GM Translator 2000 EZ.

By Brad Lee

In today's rough and tumble world of National Hockey League general managing, sometimes you have to read between the lines when it comes to player movement and disputes with other teams. That's why St. Louis Game Time spent our economic stimulus check on the GM Translator 2000 EZ machine. Now we can figure out what team general managers and presidents mean when they make comments on league news, like when the Blues signed Vancouver Canucks forward Steve Bernier to an offer sheet and the Canucks quickly matched the offer on Tuesday.

In announcing the offer sheet signing ($2.5 million for a one-year contract), Blues team president John Davidson said,

Steve is a good young player who would play a big part in our youth movement.

We plug that short sentence into the GM Translator 2000 EZ machine, and out comes what JD really means.
Fuck you, Vancouver. Did you notice we signed Bernier for the exact same amount you signed Backes? Neither are worth that much next season, but you'll have to pay Bernier that much to keep him. Did I say fuck you, yet?

We love technology! What an invention. Let's see what else Davidson said about the signing.
Our coaches and scouting staff are extremely positive about him.

Sounds harmless. Wonder what the GM Translator 2000 EZ is going to spit out. It's dot matrix so it takes a second to print the readout. It's a long one.
We could not care less about Bernier. We know you're going to match the contract. This is a message to all the Kevin Lowe wannabes out there who know we'll have a fair number of unrestricted free agents in coming seasons. And when we have a guy come up, we're going to send a copy of our press release to every team in the league to send a message not to fuck with our guys. Vancouver, we even made it a one-year deal so we can do this all over again 12 months from now.

All that from one sentence. That's a better invention than the iPod. Let's see what Vancouver had to say about the situation when the Canuckleheads announced they were matching the contract. Here's what Vancouver general manager Mike Gillis said:
Steve is a highly regarded young offensive player in our League. As we have stated with his right-handed shot he will be a great addition to our top six forward group and an asset to our power play.

A light just started blinking on the translator machine thingamabob. It overheard me reading that quote out loud. I think it just emitted an electronic laugh. Here's the printout.
You know, we know, everyone who has seen Steve Bernier knows that 90 points in 177 NHL games is not worth $2.5 million next season at age 23. In fact, this contract could totally throw off our salary scale if this guy sucks it up this coming season. But we need offense and couldn't justify trading a second and a third round pick and only end up with a second round pick to show for it. We may be a dumb organization, but we're not that stupid.

The translator machine is on fire. Literally. There are flames shooting out of it and smoke and warning bells. Maybe this last quote from Gillis was too much for it to handle.
We have a great deal of respect for the St. Louis Blues, John Davidson, Larry Pleau and their management team. The offer sheet to Bernier is a clear indication of how highly Steve is thought of in our League.

Not often do you see one team's GM mention another team's front office by name in a press release. We put the flames out. The GM Translator 2000 EZ was able to spit this out.
We hate the St. Louis Blues, John Davidson, Larry Pleaua and their management team. The offer sheet to Bernier was a low down, no good, snake in the grass move. You have not heard the last of Mike Gillis. I will make you pay!!!!

Well that was enlightening. What have we learned today? Let's review.

  • Almost any young player with offensive upside can be a millionaire with little more than two full NHL seasons that aren't even all that good.

  • Unrestricted free agency is like the Wild West. Anything goes.

  • Mike Gillis and John Davidson will not likely send each other Christmas cards this year.

Did you learn anything else from the GM Translator 2000 EZ? Tell us in the comments.