And let me quote Lyle Richardson from Spectors Hockey who does a great job summarizing the entire sitaution:
Artyukhin is represented by Mark Gandler, who has a reputation as a hardliner in negotiations with GMs (witness his handling of Alexei Yashin during his contract holdout with Ottawa several years ago). Feaster has decided to stand firm, and considering he own Artyukhin's rights until 2009, time appears to be on his side. However, if he needs to bolster his roster elsewhere, Feaster could shop his rights at some point.
Gandler is the one who caught my attention in all of this. I look at his quotes from the Times article and he does what he can to spin this any way possible:
"I am surprised the team continued to build up the anger that was there a year ago, but now it's kind of busting through the seams, " Gandler said. "The offer in itself is proof of that anger. The punishment aspect of the offer is so obvious, it hits you right in the forehead."
"And the punishment element. You've got to prove yourself. You've got to, as they say, shut your yapper and show up. ... Basically, he is not going to crawl back into the locker room and ask forgiveness of some people."
Newsflash Mark: You are not Ari Gold despite getting your way with another client with thanks to "Mad" Mike Milbury you are not the NHL's power broker. You can't set the market price for a less-than-one-season NHL veteran as high as you've been gunning. 17 career NHL points does not vault Artoo to elite status. Not by a longshot.
Do we like Evgeny here in Tampa Bay and what he contributes to the team? Absolutely. Are we stupid enough to think that he's worth what you expect to get for him? No chance.