NHL Comedy Central: Blues Sign Steve Bernier to Offer Sheet

Josh LewisSenior Analyst IJuly 8, 2008

Doot doot doodle oodle oot doot do do, doot doot doodle oodle oot doot do do.

That's the tune emanating from NHL front offices this evening as news breaks that the St. Louis Blues have signed San Jose Sharks... er, make that Buffalo Sabres... um, ah, Vancouver Canucks winger Steve Bernier to an offer sheet.

The terms of the deal? $2.5 million for one season.

If that doesn't ring any bells, it should. It's exactly the amount of money the Canucks offered to Blues RFA David Backes last week, though that deal was for three years.

When was the last time you saw an offer sheet for one year? Probably never, because it defeats the purpose of the mechanism. Any team would match a one year offer sheet, even for outlandish money, because it doesn't throw a wrench into their long-term salary structure.

Throw in the fact that $2.5 million is a reasonable salary for Bernier, and that the Canucks have more cap space than a six-year-old wearing Barry Bonds' headgear, and it's abundantly clear that this is nothing more than a humourous example of payback from Larry Pleau & company.

You touch my young talent, and I'll grope yours, and I'll humiliate you in the process.

Of course the offense-starved Canucks will match the offer. (In fact, my cell phone tells me they just did). But it would have been funny to see Mike Gillis wait the entire week before matching, just to mess up the Blues' free agency plans.

Did I mention that the Canucks just got Bernier from Buffalo last week for draft picks? Or that the Sabres just got him from the Sharks at the trade deadline?

Yup, this certainly adds new meaning to the NHL's silly season.

Gary Bettman might have shut up Burkie and Lowe (might being the operative word), but he hasn't taken the sense of humour out of NHL general managers.