Late yesterday afternoon, I tried to follow the chronology of the "Doug Weight Returns to the Islanders" signing information and found that it had spanned a full 24 hours and over 75 different Twitter users.
I heard it first on NHL Live on Monday afternoon and it was credited to USA's Kevin Allen. At first I didn't think much of it because Doug himself had spoken to any reporter that would listen expressing his desire to stay on Long Island and return to the Islanders.
It wasn't really news, but it IS June so it was covered like it was a hot topic. Late Monday night, I write a quick entry on HockeyBuzz about the possibility of Doug returning and what it may mean to the locker room. It was only meant to get conversations started as it is -- JUNE. Dumbass that I am, I didn't post a link to it because it wasn't anything important. Had I known... Had I known...
By 9:45 am yesterday, the Tweet went out that Doug had been signed, or should I say, had been JUST ABOUT signed, with only a few details pending. But from the time line I saw, that wasn't the first news bulletin to hit the wire. It doesn't matter any more anyway. Word spread quickly and like a game of telephone little pieces were added to it each time. Perhaps that's what happens because of Newsday's pay wall or because it WAS really a SLOW media day for hockey, but it went out over and over and in multiple languages.
At precisely 1 pm, GM Garth Snow put down the golf clubs and called into NHL Live for a few minutes. When asked about the contract, he said that they were "pretty close to getting a deal done." and that he was "looking forward to a healthy Doug Weight in our room."
So the deal that isn't exactly finalized and signed was Tweeted out later last night as being worth $800-900,000 plus bonuses.
Call it smart, call it a mistake, call it misplaced loyalty, call it whatever you wish. I call it keeping a good man around who has been friend and land lord to John Tavares.
So now here's another line in the water. While I was driving to work yesterday, Hockey this Morning on XM said that the two week NHL buyout period had started. I sent out a Tweet wondering if Brendan Witt would be bought out or not. Oddly -- NO ONE picked up on it.
Witt has one more year remaining on his contract and it is worth $3 million. He played the final games of last season in Bridgeport. Do we really expect him to be paid $3 million to play in Bridgeport? Would any other club want the veteran defenseman for something -- anything?
Good question, right? The sad thing is Witt is a great guy. He truly is!! But he just wasn't the player last season that he had been when he was given the 3 year contract. It happens. So -- Now what?