Ducks' Burke blames salary rise on Oilers' Lowe Staff

7/3/2008 3:22:42 AM

After signing free agent forward Corey Perry to a five-year extension worth $26.63 million on Tuesday, Ducks general manager Brian Burke had some choice words about the new salary climate in the NHL and Edmonton Oilers general manager Kevin Lowe.

Burke told the Los Angeles Times that the rise in salaries for young players can be traced back to Lowe.

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

"Most [general] managers don't like starting fights with any other managers. . Thanks to the Edmonton Oilers, the second contract has disappeared."

"They're all being re-signed at inflated prices," he explained to the newspaper. "Everything I said a year ago has come true. Every single word."

Burke and Lowe have been at odds since the Oilers put forth a five-year ($21.25 million) offer sheet to Group II restricted free agent Dustin Penner. The Ducks did not match and Penner became an Oiler.

At the time, Burke explained he had no problem with a team putting an offer sheet forward offer sheets but the money involved was the issue.

"I think [an offer sheet] it's a tool certainly a team is entitled to use," Burke said last July. "My issue here is this 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 who is fighting to keep his job."

The Ducks' GM was also critical of the process employed by Lowe and the Oilers.

"I was not notified of this until an agent faxed it into us," Burke told Canadian Press in July. "I thought Kevin would have called me and told me it was coming. I thought that was gutless."

The verbal jabs continued and on the TSN 2007/08 season preview show the Ducks GM had more to say.

"If I had run my team into the sewer like that I wouldn't throw a grenade at the other 29 teams and my own indirectly," said Burke.