If you haven't heard, "The Superstar" Max Talbot has signed a 5-year deal worth $9 million with the Philadelphia Flyers. Considering Talbot was Mr. Pittsburgh these last several years, this was quite a shocker. We all knew he was leaving, we just never thought it would be to the Pens' in-state rivals.
I'm not mad at Talbot. The man scored two of the biggest goals in the franchise's history, played hard when he was here and was an active member of the community. And let's not forget he told a radio station that Alexander Ovechkin is a douche. He will be missed.
|It was fun while it lasted, Max. Of course, now these once funny |
pictures now serve as proof that you're a douche.
But let's be real, the Pens offered him a 3-year deal and he turned it down. Seeing as Talbot only produced eight goals and 21 points in a season where the team needed everyone to step up their offensive games, that offer was probably in the $1 to $1.5 million per season range. He tested free agency and got a significant raise and the security of a 5-year deal. I can't blame him for leaving, even when considering the team he went to.
Talbot also said all the right things in leaving. He wasn't bitter. He didn't say the Pens were low-balling him. He said he enjoyed his time and the fans here, and that he's making a business decision. Can't argue with that.
Now don't get me wrong, if Brooks Orpik destroys Talbot as he crosses the blue line I will cheer as loud as any Pens fans. All I'm saying is that I appreciate his time here and will never boo him.
Then there was the conclusion to the whole Jaromir Jagr ordeal today. He signed with the Flyers for $3.3 million after supposedly telling the Pens and Mario Lemieux that his heart was in Pittsburgh.
There are two things that are clear here. One is that Jagr wanted what was best for Jagr's pocket, and two is that he still thinks he can be the face of the franchise.
On that first point, Jagr and his agent can deny all they want that it wasn't about the money, but it was. Jagr's agent Peter Svoboda told "The Fan" today that Jagr made what he thought was the best move for his career, and that money had nothing to do with it. Svoboda even went as far as to say Jagr got a 1-year offer for more than $6 million from an NHL team that turned him down.
Anyone who is buying that is living in a fantasy land. No one would pay that kind of money to a 39-year-old who hasn't played in the league for 3 years. No, Jagr wanted to get paid the most he could in the NHL and based his decision on that. Not his heart or where he thinks he can win next year.
|You think this hurt, Jagr? |
Wait until you get served some free candy.
This brings us to point No. 2. Now I've never spoken to Jagr and don't know his inner thoughts, but I'm thinking he saw the Flyers trade away their two biggest offensive stars and thought he could fill the void. At best, he would have been the third biggest star on the Pens. On the Flyers, he becomes the most recognizable player on the team. You think that doesn't feed his ego just a little bit?
While the way Jagr and Svoboda went about Jagr's decision was selfish, I also can't get mad at Jagr. This is who Jagr is. Pens fans were hoping he had matured with time, but he hasn't. He is still a me-first kind of guy. That would be OK and easy to ignore if he were still putting up 50 goals a season, but he's not. I will cheer against him with all my might because he is a Flyer. Not because he didn't come back to Pittsburgh.
Pens GM Shero was smart to let these two players sign elsewhere while he resigned Tyler Kennedy to 2-year deal and Steve Sullivan to a 1-year deal. And Talbot and Jagr were smart in that they got more money then they could have got here. Before we critique either of them, we need ask ourselves what we would do for raises in excess of $1 million.
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