NHL: Brian Burke Blames Kevin Lowe For High Salaries

Matt EichelSenior Writer IJuly 3, 2008

Don't expect Brian Burke to be sending Kevin Lowe any birthday invitations this season...again.

In his latest fit, Burke has blamed Lowe for the rise in salaries for young talented players such as Thomas Vanek, Corey Perry, and most notably Dustin Penner.

After signing Penner to a five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet, Burke had his hand forced to let Penner go for the betterment of the Ducks.

"You go right now from entry-level to what used to be a third contract, thanks to two offer sheets from Kevin Lowe."

Burke's squabblings come days after he re-signed forward Corey Perry to a five-year, $26.63 million extension. Perry will make slightly over $5 million a season. Other talented young players, such as Buffalo's Thomas Vanek, are going to earn around the same amount. The stock of these young talented stars is rising at an increasing rate.

"I think [an offer sheet's] a tool certainly a team is entitled to use. My issue here is the second time this year in my opinion Edmonton have offered a grossly inflated salary for a player, and it impacts on all 30 teams and I think it's an act of desperation by a general manager trying to keep his job." Burke commented.

Just recently, players such as Joni Pitkanen, Sean Avery, and others have been signed at above-average prices for their respective abilities. Burke blames Lowe for all of the above and more.

"They're all being re-signed at inflated prices."

Don't expect to see Lowe at Burke's birthday party, charity golf outing, or anywhere else where the two will be in close vicinity...it's just not going to happen.