Of course Nazem Kadri caved.
Then again, he's just received a 75 per cent pay increase and at the tender age of 22 will earn $2.9 million this season as the second line centre for the Maple Leafs.
May we all "cave" at work today in such fashion.
Yes, Kadri wanted more, a lot more, with many more zeroes and more than a two-year commitment. Something in the neighborhood of John Tavares' deal with the Islanders, six years and $33 million.
After one lockout-shortened season, it's hard to say whether his demands were delusional and the product of an inexperienced agent, or perhaps a canny play to set the bar unreasonably high and then settle for a "bridge" contract that's a little richer than most have been involving similar players.
Maybe it will impact similar contractual disputes between the Rangers and Derek Stepan and Buffalo and Cody Hodgson, maybe it won't.
Aside from the financial implications, however, there's a larger story here, and it's that the relationship between Kadri and the Leafs continues to be fractious. Prickly. Contentious.
Pick whatever word you like. But this player and this team remain anything but on the same page.
It's been that way almost since the day Kadri was made a first round pick by Brian Burke, and continues to be so.
The team has never been impressed with his commitment to fitness, or lack thereof, which one might think is a basic for elite NHLers. Kadri has pushed back - although, to his credit, never with angry public comments - and received counter-productive support from media types who never see him practice or play but want to tell the world the Leafs are being mean to him.
If anything, Kadri is one of the rare examples of a top prospect being intelligently and patiently developed by the Leafs, a franchise that has traditionally rushed and wrecked young players.
For that approach with Kadri, the team has been criticized in some corners for unreasonably holding him back.
There's been internal concern about his "lifestyle" and friends. Kadri, for his part, insists he's done everything that's been asked of him along the way, which is sort of true and sort of not true. It's not just been him butting heads with one Leaf figure; in succession Burke, Ron Wilson, Dallas Eakins, Dave Nonis and Randy Carlyle have all found Kadri lacking in terms of professionalism and performance.
Other players call him "The Dream" in the Leaf dressing room, and not necessarily in a complimentary way. He took all kinds of ribbing in recent weeks from his teammates for his exorbitant salary demands, and he couldn't stop himself from publicly insisting he was being "fair" in what he was asking for, which implied his employer was not being fair.
So now he's signed for two years, and now we'll see if he can back up his self-belief with performance. He's made it all about points, which means he will be judged by the points he can produce. If he can't continue at the pace he set last season, Lord knows there will be enough people out there who will scream the team isn't giving him the proper opportunity, as was the case with Mikhail Grabovski.
Which brings us to the truly salient point here; like Grabovski, it's hard to see this marriage between Kadri and the Leafs being a long-term arrangement.
Even Kadri's tweet last night after signing seemed muted, measured and anything but celebratory:
"Happy to be with leafs for next couple years, looking forward to camp #leafnation #best nation"
The Leafs have bought themselves two years to see what they've really got in this talented offensive player. But can you really see this player-team relationship going on much longer than that?
He might be the most talented offensive player the Leafs have drafted since Vincent Damphousse in '86. Or at least since Brad Boyes in 2000.
But Kadri and the Leafs are like bone rubbing against bone right now. The only former top Leaf pick with a similarly problematic relationship with the team who comes to mind would be Al Iafrate, who struggled under a weak organization and with his own insecurities and only truly blossomed after he left Toronto.
Iafrate never believed that the team appreciated him, at least not as much as others. You sure get that feeling with Kadri.
If Kadri succeeds under this contract, it'll be with vindication in his heart and massive financial demands, regardless of how the team does. If he doesn't, this contract fight will resume in two years, and it'll be nastier, this time with Kadri armed with arbitration rights.
The likeliest scenario? Sometime in the next 2-4 years, Kadri will moved elsewhere in the same way Boston moved Tyler Seguin this summer. The Leafs, in calculating fashion, will extract what they can from Kadri's abilities, then move him for maximum value to another team.
It's not written in stone that way. But a great deal would have to change for this to become a happier, long term relationship.
Sometimes players and teams just don't fit.
Kadri and the Leafs are like a Christmas morning sweater two sizes too small.