So let me see if I have this right? You draft one of the best defensemen of the draft in Erik Gudbranson, tell him he will make this team if he shows he can play, he shows he can play, and you don’t sign him and send him back to juniors? That about cover it, Florida Panthers? And why, because of the possible looming threat of having to pay performance bonuses?
So a guy becomes a liability because he might exceed expectations and that may cost more? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work? You include performance bonuses as an incentive for someone to reach them because, in the process, that increased performance will make your team better? Your team that needs damn near every player to exceed expectations to break the decade long playoff drought?
Now, maybe I’m flying off the handle and Gudbranson and his agent were asking for ridiculous amounts of money they had no business asking for, but I doubt it. It’s not like Drew Rosenhaus is his agent. And don’t get me wrong, Erik Gudbranson is not going to be the difference in this team making the playoffs. But when you’re trying to convince an already apathetic fanbase to stick it out a few more years while you get the pieces in place, this kind of PR disaster cannot happen. You can’t announce that a guy has made your squad and then send him back to juniors 24 hours later. Unless you’re the Florida Panthers with an ownership group that has been a joke since they took over, gave the fans a few months of optimism this summer, and then reminded everyone that they’re still the best joke in the NHL.
I’m sure Frank will have more on this, but this is one I had to get off my chest before going to sleep.
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