IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Gauging the value of aging stars
PATRICK MARLEAU: Many have embraced the cause for bringing former captain Patrick Marleau back to the San Jose Sharks. A lifetime Shark, he opted for a 2-year deal in Toronto in the twilight of his career. He made good money. During the offseason, he was traded to the Florida Panthers. They abruptly bought out his contract and released him to become a free agent. To date, he has not signed with any other team. So, the San Jose fans rally for Marleau to be brought back. They want him on a line with Joe Thornton (also not signed yet by the Sharks.) Here is the problem in today’s sport. The issue is that Marleau has been paid money that has priced him out of the market at this stage in his career. This has been a common offseason trend in the NHL as well as other leagues. Of the seven “bought-out” players, only three have landed with new teams. In the age of salary caps, players need to understand their worth. Marleau may have but one season left. Is he valuable? Yes. The question arises, “At what price?” If a “twilight” player wants to continue in his career, he must arrive at a humbling price that will keep him in the game.
DRAYMOND EXTENDS EARLY: The Golden State Warriors decided to wrap up Draymond Green for another four years. The deal is for $100 million. He has an opt-out after year three. Golden State will see Steph Curry’s deal expire in 2022. Klay Thompson is locked in until 2024. The Warriors were amicable to extending Green after losing Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins in the off-season. With Thompson out until after the All-Star break, it will be interesting to see how Steve Kerr and company can compete in the wild West.
KERR/POPOVICH WEIGH IN: They are at the USA Basketball training camp in Las Vegas. Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich have long been outspoken on gun control. Their comments are interesting. Kerr said, “Someone could walk in the door in the gym right now and start spraying us with AR-15.” Popovich stated, “It’d be a lot better if people in power got off of their (expletive) and got something done.” This is where politics collide with sport. Entitled to their opinions, one does have to wonder when mass shootings might enter the realm of organized sports.
RAIDERS SET FOR MOVE: Construction is going very well and the Las Vegas Raiders appear set for the 2020 NFL season. This upcoming campaign should be the last in Oakland. The Las Vegas complex will be named Allegiant Stadium (Allegiant Travel Company). Allegiant reported to have spent $20-$25 million for the rights. It is a $1.9 billion stadium in which $750 million will be funded by taxpayers.
NOT JUSTIN: Shane Bieber is a Cleveland Indians pitcher who has been much decorated since his splash in the big leagues in 2018. However, despite his accolades, his Topps Stadium Club card says, “In each of his three big league appearances, JUSTIN was particularly comfortable on the road.” If only he could sing!
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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