The Penguins took the first step towards another Stanley Cup yesterday by resigning both Bill Guerin and Craig Adams to new deals. But what makes the signings so incredible, is that both guys took pay cuts to stay with the team.
Guerin agreed to a one year, $2 million contract for next season after making $4.5 million last year. Now just take a minute and consider what he has really done. He decided to move his family from Long Island to Pittsburgh to take a job, and he took a 56% pay cut. How many of you would do that? Adams, too, took a pay cut. His was a much smaller cut from $600k per season down to $550k, but these days, this kind of supporting role player would usually find the biggest paycheck they can and take it. This kind of selflessness just doesn't exist in professional sports anymore.
In an age of free agency, salary caps, and excessive contract for mediocre players, these two players showed the rest of the league, and maybe all sports, that there are things more important then whether you sign for $4 million or $4.5 million. They showed that the desire to win sometimes means that you need to make a sacrifice. They showed a type of character and class that has been missing from sports for so long. When sports fans think back to the "good old days" when players played for teams and not for contracts, this is what it was like. Those days seem to be long dead, but Guerin and Adams have given us hope that they could be resurrected.
And a news flash for all of the other free agents about to hit the market, this is how you build a championship team these days. If you really want to play for the best and win titles, sometimes you have to think of the team before the individual. Bill Guerin and Craig Adams were nice enough to lay out a path for everyone to follow.
So hurry up....get in line.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 Jason Ioli 1 comment