Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Dear Mr. Hedges

Mr. Hedges,

As a loyal follower of the Columbus Blue Jackets and the National Hockey League, I feel it my duty to inform you that the holdout you have masterfully guided Nikolai Zherdev through is about to come to an end. Today, Joffrey Lupul signed a 3 year, $6.935 million contract, and all your squabbling about comparables ends right there. There isn't a more perfect comparable to Zherdev than Lupul. For example:

- They are both top 10 draft picks, one year apart.

- Their rookie and second seasons are the exact same years.

- Their career points are a difference of one in favor of Zherdev. Lupul does have one more goal than Nicky, though.

- Their rookie scoring numbers are identical.

- In their second season, Zherdev managed one more point in less games.

That's it in a nutshell, to use your words. Meaningful discussions with Columbus in June is laughable, you were waiting to see what Lupul would get and Doug was waiting to see what Lupul would get. Well, Lupul got $35,000 more than Doug offered you a week ago. Regardless of what you told the CP, Zherdev's different set of circumstances on the ice, which is what he gets paid for, is apparently now worth roughly $6.935 million.

Have fun trying to prove why your client deserves $2.065 million more than Joffery Lupul.

Tim Wingfield