Whether its Ryan Kesler, Nikolai Zherdev or Evgeny Artyukhin, what's clear is that many NHL execs believe restricted free agency should in no way resemble free agency. They want it to be a one-way street where a player is forced to accept what he is offered or forced to sit out. ... With respect to Kesler, what's all this about this contract producing wild salary inflation? How can you have spiralling inflation in a league were payrolls are capped and the players are held to 54 per cent of the purse? Fact is, rather than insulting Bob Clarke, fans of the other 28 NHL teams should be demanding to know why their GM didn't make the offer to the young right winger. Also, notice that not one rival GM will go after Clarke with anything but an anonymous quote. ... It's interesting to look back at the NHL drafts of the early 1990s. In 1990, power forwards Owen Nolan and Keith Primeau were supposed to be big, strapping youngsters that would dominate the sport, but both fell short of expectations and saw their careers bogged down repeatedly by injuries. Ditto for the first pick the next year, Eric Lindros. ... We'll know find out whether Anson Carter made the Sedins or the Sedins made Anson Carter. ... Smart move by Matt Stajan to get signed and get to camp. This is probably the most significant year of his career and he needs to be in there working. If he delivers, he'll get his dough. ... If his dream was to play in the NFL, then it is surely too bad Jesse Lumsden didn't make it. But here's hoping his dream now is simply carry the ball, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats better damn well give it to him. ... Back to the Kesler deal for a moment. If he turns out to be unworthy of a $1.9 million paycheque, then either the Canucks or Flyers can decline to offer him a qualifying offer next spring or, under the new CBA rules, can take him to salary arbitration and try to force his salary downwards. There are all kinds of mechanisms in place for teams to control costs - they just choose not to use them. ... Don't look now, but the Pittsburgh Penguins are up for sale to the highest bidder again. Sam Fingold, the fellow who apparently bought the Pens for $175 million, hasn't been able to close the deal.