Since finding out about the Wulder Susheski trade I’ve been itching to talk about it. What it looks like from the outside is quite a bit different from what it really was on the inside and thanks to the help of a few friends I’ve got a bit of an insiders look at this trade.
If anyone remembers that fateful game last year when the Roughnecks lost to the Rush they might also remember Susheski was a key part of that win. Now he’s playing for us and it’s going to be hard for me — and I suspect some other Roughneck fans — to be happy about that. It’s not just because he used to play for a rival team but it seems that we received the shorter end of the stick on this particular trade.
Getting the worse side of the deal with the Wulder Susheski trade is probably the best we could hope for and let me tell you why. Jason Wulder is 35 while Susheski is 27. Wulder has reached the point of becoming an unrestricted free agent which means he could open up negotiations with any team in the league that he wanted to, privately and without the consent of the Calgary Roughnecks. In the blink of an eye, Wulder could walk into the Roughneck office, announce his departure and the team would not be able to keep him, even if they matched the offer on the table.
What that effectively does is cut out General Manager Kurt Silcott completely. My best guess is that he didn’t like this very much. To Silcott, Wulder is more valuable if he can be traded — even though the fans love watching Jason play and none of us want him to leave. This leads us to the decision by Silcott to make Wulder a franchise player.
Each team can name up to two franchise players. Each franchise player then receives the max pay — as decided by the NLL and the PLPA — plus 20%. This also gives the team the ability to control that player again. Franchise players are not allowed to enter into their own negotiations as they would have being an unrestricted free agent. So, in essence, Silcott put Wulder back under his thumb by making him a franchise player.
A little background information
Now would probably be a good time to give you some background on the hostility I have towards this trade and Silcott’s dealings with Jason Wulder. According to some sources, in Silcott’s opinion Jason is currently receiving a salary that is entirely too high for the amount of productivity he brings to the team. Meaning Silcott doesn’t think Wulder is much of a player and definitely doesn’t deserve the amount of money, whatever that sum is, that he is receiving from the Roughnecks. Apparently this has been Silcott’s opinion for the last few seasons and Silcott is probably sitting in his leather chair patting himself on the back right now.
If I were to take a quick poll right now and ask everyone if they agree or disagree with Silcott’s assessment of Wulder, I would say that the “disagrees” would win. He is an energetic, dynamic player that puts more emphasis on giving his teammates opportunities than himself. Being an unselfish player makes him a key person to have on the team. That’s not even mentioning what he actually does post as far as goals, assists and loose balls go.
According to some people, Jason has been very, very disappointed with the way the Roughnecks organization is being run. Lack of professionalism would probably be a good reason for that disappointment. At one point last season Jason went several weeks without pay. I don’t know about you guys but that would piss me off too.
His lack of confidence the Roughneck organization just kept adding up and, as much as it pains me to say it, Jason Wulder made the decision to leave the Roughnecks. Because of his unrestricted free agent status this was very easy for him and he started shopping himself around. It wasn’t long after Jason had narrowed his choices down — or making a decision — when Silcott hit him with the franchise player designation. It seemed that Silcott had been holding some back door discussions about sending Jason away while he was looking for his own way out. Now you can see why I said Wulder was put back under Silcott’s thumb.
The good news for Jason
I’m told that in the end everything worked out quite well for Jason. He had previously been speaking with Paul Day about joining the Edmonton Rush and when the trade announcement was made Jason had no qualms with it. As a fan of the Roughnecks I’m going to miss watching Jason play all season but now I understand what was going on and wish him all the best playing for his new team. Good luck Jason, remember us when you come back through the city and give a wave to section 122.