Flashback Repost: The Rangers 1997 Offer Sheet of HHOF Joe Sakic

On Tuesday night Joe Sakic is going to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The post below, originally from July 19th is a flashback to when the Rangers signed Joe Sakic to an offer sheet in 1997.


On July 28, 1997, Mark Messier signed a contract with the Vancouver Canucks for $20 million over three years.

Following this, the Rangers set off on a path to replace Messier and targeted superstar center Joe Sakic.

In Behind The Moves, Neil Smith said “When we lost Messier [to Vancouver as a free agent], [my boss] Dave [Checketts] comes in and says to me, ‘We should do an offer sheet on Joe Sakic.’… He said, ‘I’m on the board of governors and the Nuggets and Avalanche are broke and [their parent company CEO] Charlie [Lyons] says they are out of money. We’ll front-load [the offer] and they can’t match because they can’t come up with the cash.’

Below is an account from the NY Times and the NY Daily News about the Rangers pursuit of Sakic as a restricted free agent.

August 7, 1997: Joe Sakic signs an offer sheet with the Rangers for three years and $21 million. Colorado has seven days to match the offer and if they don’t the Rangers would be required to surrender five first round picks. There is a chance the Rangers and Avs can strike a deal for Sakic where the Rangers would send players to the Avs instead of the five first round picks.

Sakic will make $17 million in 1997-98 due to a signing bonus of $15 million the Rangers put in the offer sheet. Other RFA players are Mike Modano, Sergei Fedorov and Paul Kariya.

August 8, 1997: The paper writes, “So what if the Rangers boosted the pay scale for hockey players by signing Joe Sakic to an offer sheet of $21 million for three seasons. Who cares if other general managers resent the Rangers’ bid for this elite Group 2 free agent, the kind of restricted free agent who rarely changes teams.”

Neil Smith says, “‘I care more about our fans and our ownership and my own team than I do about the resentment of other people. As long as you are winning, they resent you. And I don’t intend to stop winning.”

August 13, 1997: The Avalanche and Denver Nuggets announce that they will build a new arena downtown that will create revenue and hopefully let the Avs keep Sakic.

Garden president Dave Checketts said of the situation, ”The collective wisdom is they can’t follow the good news with bad. My guess is they will match. I hope they don’t, but I think they will.”

August 13, 1997: Neil Smith compares Mark Messier and Joe Sakic by saying, “Joe plays a much more give-and-go type of game. He’s much more of a darting-type skill player. Much more of an offensive threat, shift to shift, than Mark. Much less of a physical threat than Mark.”

August 14, 1997: Colorado matches the Rangers offer for Sakic and retain him. Pierre Lacroix, the GM for Colorado said of the Rangers, ”The Rangers were very active on the free-agent galaxy. The way they are going, the way they are acting, I’m sure they are going to be the first team to sign an alien and to have an alien to play for their team. I just hope the planet of the alien will have a chance to match.”

It is believed that the Rangers will entertain the idea of sending offer sheets to Sergei Fedorov, Mike Modano or Rob Niedermayer.

August 15th, 1997: The Rangers have now turned their attention to Dallas center Sergei Fedorov. The Rangers think that they will be able to drive a wedge between Fedorov and the Red Wings by offering him a contract worth more than what captain Steve Yzerman is making.

The paper writes, “Should Fedorov join the Rangers, New York would have its own core of Russian stars who understand each other’s language and playing style. Fedorov might make the Rangers a better team than it was last season, even with Messier. His availability and Messier’s departure combine to open a rare window — or door — of opportunity.”

Fedorov held out before signing an offer sheet with the Hurricanes in the middle of the next season. He made a total of $28 million that season due to signing bonuses, salary and playoff bonuses.

November 5, 1997: In the Daily News, John Dellapina writes that Dave Checketts arrogance in the Rangers pursuit of Joe Sakic was a crucial factor in Colorado matching the Rangers offer sheet.

Avs CEO Charlie Lyons said in the paper :

It’s one thing to go after somebody’s free agent, which they have all the right in the world to do.

“It’s another thing to try and justify it by saying, ‘They’re hurt (financially).’ That’s why we did it (sent the picture). But having said that, I think everybody is past it. You just wipe the slate clean and move forward.

“They were under the belief that we weren’t going to be able to pull it off. They miscalculated our vigilance and wherewithal.”

June 1, 2001: Dave Anderson writes that Sakic would be the perfect player for the Rangers to go after in free agency and for Glen Sather to start remaking the Rangers. The Rangers are also reportedly looking to try and sign Patrick Roy and Rob Blake.

All three players re-signed with Colorado.

2012:In the Denver Post, Adrian Dater writes, “when the Avs matched the Rangers’ offer, Lyons sent Rangers GM Neil Smith and president Dave Checketts a framed photo of Nelson Rockefeller, flipping the bird (from the 1968 Democratic convention).”




69 comments
DarrolRayFanClub
DarrolRayFanClub

Have the Bills signed Orton to a 6 year deal yet? Matter of time. 

jabronijet
jabronijet

I expect a Jets win but Buffalo will not be easy. Orton is better at this point than EJ and he has some credible targets. Those two running backs are not as bad as some are making them out to be. Spiller and Jackson were only around 4 yards per carry so the drop off is not that big. The Bills are fierce up front and can bring the heat and stop the run. Their secondary while barely average is better than last season. I see a close game but the Jets will come out the victor.

Off topic would anybody have a problem with ADAP as our RB along with ivory and the rookie we gonna draft as our 3 backs next year

Joe/Orlando
Joe/Orlando

So is it Losman or Orton that's starting for the Broncos this week?

As an aside, was there ever a worse name for a QB than "Losman"? It's like a kicker with the name "Wideright".

WW85
WW85

"Denver Broncos"  Bassett: You are a sometimes brilliant writer who rarely checks his work over before he posts..  Please have someone read your stuff before you post it.

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@MeAtBaLLPaRmX


GREAT link to start the day with..........thanks!!!


I Love this guy, specially doing Gruden, he's the BEST !!!

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@Disgruntled Jets Fan


The kettle calling the pot black?? What do they say Disgruntled "birds of a feather flock together " ?? 

Their history speaks for them and can't be revised !!

Harvin knows the Jets are his last stop on the Gravy ($$$$) Train so he has to put on his best behavior but, even then we'll just have to wait and see !!

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@Disgruntled Jets Fan


Hate to tell you there Disgruntled but the ONLY thing SAS was wrong on is he failed to credit Ivory along with Richardson to Idzik....the ONLY thing !!



MikeFrancesser
MikeFrancesser

@Hanknaples

Hopefully, his agents have made it clear that if he blows it with the Jets, he can kiss the last few years of his mega deal goodbye and the chances of any team giving him big money again are pretty much non-existent.  Hopefully,  the light just goes on for him and he can hold it together for a few seasons.

BDarc23
BDarc23

@Hank

As long as he is on his best behavior i don't really care what his motivations to do so are

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@BDarc23


Absolutely true...and people can change....but but you have to admint, the Jets FO, specially Rexy is to whitewash a players unsavory history to credit themselves !!

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@Brendan


Finally you admit i'm honest, straightforward and mostly on target......thanks !!!

MeAtBaLLPaRmX
MeAtBaLLPaRmX

Why are you guys hating on SAS? He is absolutely right in this video

MikeFrancesser
MikeFrancesser

@Hanknaples

On the day I was born
The nurses all gathered 'round
And they gazed in wide wonder
At the joy they had found
The head nurse spoke up
Said "leave this one alone"
She could tell right away
That I was bad to the bone

Disgruntled Jets Fan
Disgruntled Jets Fan

Hank, you and SAS are indeed alike: you're the clowns that find themselves immensely entertaining, but no one else does. So of course it figures you enjoy his work.

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@Disgruntled Jets Fan


Thanks!!! For someone that has SEVERAL Nationally syndicated shows and is EXTREMELY popular and RICH, and KNOWLEDGEABLE........ to be compared to him, I thank you for the compliment!!!

MeAtBaLLPaRmX
MeAtBaLLPaRmX

No, the guy who is a horses behind is the guy your name implies

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@MeAtBaLLPaRmX


You have to try tp really understand the mental state of today's Jets fans!!

They are emotionally battered bunch and on top of that generally bashed by most !!

WW85
WW85

@Hanknaples SAS is spot on in this video. Idzik is a CATASTROPHE & left Ryan to hang out to dry.  1000% accurate.

MikeFrancesser
MikeFrancesser

@Hanknaples @MikeFrancesser @MeAtBaLLPaRmX

Because in general, he is a horses behind.  And by "in general" I mean 99% of the time.


Based on his track record, I could not care less what he has to say about the Jets, or really anything.  He may be right, but I'm sure he hasn't said anything that hasn't been discussed here ad nauseum over the last few months.

MeAtBaLLPaRmX
MeAtBaLLPaRmX

I've been emotionally battered my entire life. I've been a Mets, Jets, Islanders, and knicks fan for 32 years now. I know

MeAtBaLLPaRmX
MeAtBaLLPaRmX

Yes , because I like SAS. He tells it like it is. He's like that with the Knicks as well. Just because he's opinionated, doesn't make him a jerk. Fatcesa just likes to hear his own voice

Brendan
Brendan

@WW85 You are getting ridiculous, WW. 


Catastrophe? Chill. 

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@MeAtBaLLPaRmX



Ohhh I know, I know all about that because I've also been Mets, Jets, Islanders and Knicks fan for about FIFTY (50) years now....except that I was lucky to be at the epic center of the Mets, Jets and Knicks golden years to alleviate some of the suffering !!!

Brendan
Brendan

@MeAtBaLLPaRmX SAS knows NOTHING about football. I know this for a fact. My good friend worked with SAS for years, SAS knows basketball, but knows nothing about other sports. 

MikeFrancesser
MikeFrancesser

@MeAtBaLLPaRmX


He's opinionated, for sure.  And I happen to think most of his "opinions" are designed to generate a reaction, and are fairly stock/boring.  That doesn't make him a jerk, it just makes him static/noise in the room.  It does make him a jerk and a moron when he says women that get hit by football playersshould stop provoking them.  


I'm not sure what MF has to do with anything.  I'm mocking him with my screen name. 

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@Brendan @WW85


The only one being ridiculous is you!!

Dispute his argument instead of insults, as always !!

WW85
WW85

@Hanknaples @WW85 Well I dont actually agree with everything SAS said later on, but he is accurate that Idzik left Ryan to hang in Idzik's noose. I think Idzik is a catastrophe. Playing Moneyball as though we are dirt broke,  

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@Brendan @MeAtBaLLPaRmX


Interesting you say that because what SAS is saying is nothing short of what EVERYONE, experts, players and fans have been saying....and HE is wrong???

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@MikeFrancesser @MeAtBaLLPaRmX


And I've really been thinking all this time that you were really Mike Francesser....Thanks a ton  :p(  !! 


Now I have to go tell all my friends that I have been mislead, that I really haven't been corresponding with Mike Francesser !!

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@WW85

Agreed...but you must look at the WHOLE state of the Jets  the whole picture !!

The Jets D has NOT been holding it's own at crunch time the last couple of three years and if it's not one thing is another!!!


And THAT must attributed to Coaching !!!  

Brendan
Brendan

@Hanknaples No, I say that any time someone posts an SAS video or transcript here. 

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@Brendan


Agreed, catastrophe is SLIGHTLY over the top BUT what really IS a catastrophe is Rexy constantly building every one UP (Fans mostly) in order to give them HUGE FLOPS.....that IS a CATASTROPHE !!! 

WW85
WW85

@Brendan @Hanknaples IT's a football catastrophe, not a life catastrophe. We are 1-6 because of one man's  decisions. In football terms, that's a catastrophe, isn't it?

WW85
WW85

@Hanknaples The Jets D back end is awful because of Idzik, not Rex. We do NOT currently have a single NFL starting caliber CB. Rex begged his GM for 1-2 in the off season & Idzik gave him crappola. Idzik drafted a NON cover hard hitting safety even though we had Dee Milliner & that's it on the outside. Idzik is horrible. Could he get better? Sure, but it's a disgrace that he left the NYJ in this situation.

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@Brendan


Could your hate of him have anything to do with with being on the wrong side of all his opinions??

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@WW85 @Hanknaples


Just one question 85, what is wrong with grooming DB's??

Isn't that what COACHING is all about???

Hanknaples
Hanknaples

@MikeFrancesser



Dixon

Lankster

Miller

Lowery

Coleman

Barrett

Buckley

Trufant

Etc.

Etc.

Etc.


Mike you sure you want to do this?