According to the Edm Sun,
Despite rumours and an erroneous radio report and the allegedly waiting all day for returned paperwork, Michael Nylander did not become an Edmonton Oiler yesterday.
So upset at whatever transpired when the Washington Capitals announced they'd signed the free agent to a four year deal yesterday afternoon, Edmonton Oilers GM Kevin Lowe was said to be so livid he refused to talk about it, even to a Sun Media reporter parked outside the team officies for two hours.
So what happened? Nylander was probably playing the Oilers off against the Capitals, trying to get a better deal. It looks like Lowe thought this was a done deal until the Caps announced the signing. Seems pretty underhanded by Nylander at least and maybe even the Caps. I'd like to know exactly what happened here.Update: Oilers statement regarding this whole mess is below. It looks like they have been wronged big time here. I'm no legal expert, but if the agent wrote a letter of agreement, would that be binding and his subsequent contract with Washington null and void? Probably not, because the agent signed something, I would think the NHL must have rules in place for this.
The Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club is compelled to clarify the unfortunate and unprecedented circumstances surrounding the Edmonton Oilers and Michael Nylander.
On Sunday, July 1, 2007, Kevin Lowe, Oilers General Manager, and Mr. Mike Gillis, Certified Agent for Michael Nylander, negotiated and agreed to a multi-year NHL Standard Players Contract, starting in 2007/08. Mr. Gillis confirmed same to the Oilers in writing.
The Oilers then proceeded with preparations to announce Mr. Nylander’s
contract agreement on July 2, and concurrently continued with the process of
negotiating with other free agents based upon Mr. Nylander being an important roster ingredient for the future.
However, while the Oilers were expecting the returned, signed agreements from Mr. Nylander and Mr. Gillis, the Oilers discovered through public announcements made mid-afternoon on July 2, that Mr. Nylander had subsequently entered into a long-term contract with the Capitals.
The Oilers can find no precedent for such conduct in our history. The Oilers are examining and pursuing every course of action available in the best interest of the team and our fans. For legal reasons, the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club will not be discussing the details any further at this time.
Wow, very interesting developments!