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Columnist: Flyers’ offers for Parise, Suter were “gamesmanship”

Jul 3, 2012, 6:15 PM EDT

Braydon Coburn #5 of the Philadelphia Flyers checks Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on May 6, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Flyers 4-2.
(May 5, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

Do the Philadelphia Flyers really want Ryan Suter and Zach Parise or are they just feigning interest in them in the hopes of driving up the price? Philadelphia Daily News columnist Sam Donnellon thinks Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is engaged in a bit of “gamesmanship.”

Donnellon argues that the Flyers offered 12-year deals worth at least $80 million to each of the two superstar free agents despite the fact that neither player had expressed much interested in playing for Philadelphia.

Donnellon goes on to suggest that Holmgren’s motivation was to drive up the price with a high earlier bid.

In fact, the columnist thinks that Parise’s delay might be a direct result of “the Flyers’ fat offer and the reverberations it created.”

It certainly wouldn’t be surprising if some teams put in bids on Parise or Suter simply to test the waters or even just to make it harder for their competitors to get either player at a discounted price. I’d go as far as to say it’s expected. However, given the way the market’s been going for the past few years, if anyone is surprised by the notion that Parise or Suter could command offers in excess of $80 million, then they haven’t been doing their homework.

Parise and Suter are taking longer than anticipated to sign and they’re the only ones that can say why that is. At the same time, it’s not like they’re being unreasonable, especially given the importance of this decision to the rest of their lives.

So in the end, I remain skeptical that the Flyers’ bids have thrown a wrench in the process, but if Philadelphia has really managed to drive up the price for Suter or Parise, then Holmgren has helped his team out in the long run.

It would be a low risk game for Holmgren to play, seeing as the worst case scenario is that one of them actually signs with Philadelphia. That might complicate their cap situation, but it certainly wouldn’t be a bad problem to have.

  1. jernster21 - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Per previous articles, Suter already said he didn’t want to play in Philly anyway, whether that’s true or not, who knows. What I do know is that no one wants to play in Philly unless they’re granted a OTTSCC (only trade to stanley cup champion) clause since the only other thing they’re guaranteed is someone on the team banging their wife/girlfriend.

    • chap6869 - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:52 PM

      Oh, I get it, that was your attempt at humor…..Yeah, it didn’t work!!!

    • handsofsweed - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:38 PM

      God, I’m a 20+ yr Pens fan, and even I didn’t think that was funny.

      • sizzle299 - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:47 PM

        tip of the cap to your comment and username sir.

    • obamablowz - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:51 PM

      Look at next year’s UFA’s…..Holmgren is a genius if Pittsburgh signs either one of them. 110 for Crosby, 100 for Suter or Parise, both good players but in my opinion 100 million plyaers. With all that space in two or three players Flyers can get a few of the UFA’s next year. Unless of course one of those two sign with Philadelphia then UMMMMMPH!!!!

  2. lordfletcher - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    Suter is going to the Wild or Wings, Flyers are out…. MN picked up Suter’s agent in their plane so both the Wild and Wings could speak with Suter and agent at the same time… Writing is on the wall

    If Parise goes to MN, they get Suter too.

    If Parise goes to Pitts, Suter goes to Detroit.


    • ray2013 - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM

      I didn’t know Suter and Parise were so close that they’d form a package deal. Who knew?

      • lordfletcher - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:32 PM

        money talks and MN does offer a great option for both players, most fans just don’t see it.

        Parise would be the hero in MN and Suter is the REAL help this team needs. Suter wants to be close to home, that is obvious, so it’s MN or Detroit. Parise wants to win but for the Wild getting Parise, they are selling hope and the package deal of Suter / Parise + a trade (my guess, for another top 6 and or top 4D)

        this is why things are taking so long…..

        read Michael Russo’s posts on Twitter, he has been doing great work for the Wild / Penguins and Red Wings… first class beat writer

  3. freneticgarfieldfan - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    The sole purpose is to get Philly into the news, over and over again. Some people get really tired of that.

  4. JB (the original) - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    So, do you think that NHL UFAs ‘collude’ like players in the NBA do, seeing who’s thinking of going where, ‘teaming up’, etc. before coming to decisions, or does the player pool being spread globally sort of negate that sort of behavior?

    • ray2013 - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:31 PM

      That’s what Schultz just did. He decided which group of players he wanted to team up with for the next couple of years.

      • icdogg - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:40 PM

        In Schultz’s case, though, he was going to get the same contract regardless of where he signed, so it was only logical for him to use other reasons to decide where to play.

  5. icdogg - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    The contention seems ridiculous to me. Then again, there are those dumb TV shows where people bid on storage lockers they don’t want just to drive someone else’s price up. This would be about that level of stupid.

    I think if the Flyers did offer contracts to Parise and Suter, it wasn’t just to mess with the rest of the league, it was probably a legitimate attempt to try to get the two players. That being said, it seems a long shot.

    • handsofsweed - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:49 PM

      Personally, I think they did it to try and tax the Rangers, Devils and/or Pens, on the chance that Suter/Parise signed with one of those 3. Hate the Flyers for it, but don’t blame them. It’s nasty, but smart.

    • cleverbob - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:48 PM

      If your only frame of reference for market manipulation is a reality show, you’re not paying attention.

  6. andyreidisfat - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Just want to add that the so called Daily news writer who wrote this has ZERO evidence. He is a moron who is wrong more than right. Thats all.

    • icdogg - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:24 PM

      Yeah, he’s a hack. Doesn’t seem very intelligent either.

  7. theawesomersfranchise - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Really? Very doubtful, it’s just asking for many GM’s to target the Flyers players when they become free agents. People don’t throw around 80 million dollar contracts to play silly games like is being suggested. If so, Homer might wanna deny any of this or he can enjoy the repercussions when his young guys have their shot at free agent bucks.

    • icdogg - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:23 PM

      I don’t think he needs to deny it because it’s too stupid for most people who think about it to believe.

      These players would not pick the Flyers as their first choice, and the Flyers know it, so in order to have a chance of getting either one of them they have to come up big, which apparently they have. This might serve to raise their price for someone else but that is not what their intent is.

  8. dkphilly1122 - Jul 3, 2012 at 8:32 PM

    Haters will do whatever they can to give the Flyers a bad name. They put in offers to try to sign them. Like the other guy said, the guy from the Daily News is an idiot without a clue. Why would Homer throw that kinda offer out there IF he had NO intentions of signing either, or both. That’s an awful a lot of money to joke around with. People hate all day long on the Flyers cause they have a legitimate shot at the Cup yearly now with there young studs. All they need is one or two good defenseman and it will put them over the top. Any young player would be smart to sign with the Flyers or a team young like them.

    • sizzle299 - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:02 PM

      No Philadelphia beat reporter has ANY CLUE about hockey or the Flyers organization. This town has such a hard-on for the Eagles and Phillies than only the lowest of the low get sentenced to be a Flyers reporter. Which really is a shame because the team is one of the top franchises in the league with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable fan base [in general] – which is more than you can say for the Eagles or Phillies. It never ceases to amaze me the drivel and recycled trash articles these clowns turn out day after day. They will say and write anything to get a headline and get mentioned by other media outlets. Notice how half the articles on here there is no substantiation for their claims, and Prohockeytalk makes sure to mention that the ONLY support for the article is the one single moron report in Philly who just make the sh&t up. The lesser known blogs, whose articles are written by regular fans, are head and shoulders better written, more analytical and more knowledgeable of the sport that the asshats at the major media outlets.

      • prostock75 - Jul 4, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        FS at the Daily News is a hockey guy through and through. His whole family has been involved with hockey forever in the Philly area

    • obamablowz - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:05 PM

      I’m neutral but I think they did it to make a team in their division pay more taking a bigger cap hit to sign them.

    • obamablowz - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:39 PM

      I’m not here to troll or start a beef buddy….but who is hating on the Flyers? When they win a cup and people talk trash I thought that made “those” people “haters.” What are they hating on, making the playoffs a bunch of years?

    • cleverbob - Jul 3, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Just because they put in an offer doesn’t mean they had a contract drawn up and ready to sign. It’s easy to throw out some preliminary figures with terms and conditions, then back off after planting the seed ‘Inception’-style.

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