I really don't understand why they gave Bouwmeester a contract before Petro. You can't say that deal isn't being used by Petro's people as leverage for his deal.
I hope they can work something out like glen suggested; a more reasonable base salary with performance-based incentives. Unfortunately, I think Petro holds the upper hand here and will probably get what he wants.
Bouwmeester signing early could have been used as an extra incentive for Petro. The team proving that they are committed to fielding a competitive team and giving him a good partner to play with.
In the end, whether you make 5 or 7 million dollars a year as a player, is there really that much difference at that point? You're getting a crap ton of money to play a game. I guess it's easy for me to sit here and say that I'd take 5 million over 7 million for the greater good of the team. I'm a middle class working man who would be lucky to make 5 million in a lifetime, let alone for a few months of work. It's not unheard of for a player to take a pay cut, but it's a rarity. I guess it's just my wishful thinking that players would want the Blues to win more than they want to make a few extra million a year.
I don't blame players for trying to make as much money as they can. We as fans have this whole touchy-feely loyalty thing in our heads... but ask David Perron where loyalty gets you. At the end of the day it's a business, and these teams are treating players like interchangeable cogs, so the players treat the teams basically the same way. I'm not saying this is wrong, or bad, it just is what it is.
Most NHL players have a brief window in which they can make a lot of money... and they need to make that money last a lifetime. I'm not saying it's not a poopload of money, because it is, but I get where they are coming from.
And after taxes, insurance and various fees from the players association and all that stuff, 7 million a year is actually more like 3.5 million a year. Again, yes, that's still a poopload... but who knows what's going to happen. Petro could sustain a career ending injury 2 years from now. He has to do everything he can to set himself up for life, because he's not going to get many more chances like this one.