On Friday July 16th at 9:45am Don sent me a text message stating, "george wants to offer eric a one year deal, please call me." When I called Don he said that you were prepared to sign eric to a one year, 1.850million dollar deal. He told me that you didn't want to sign the deal then because you were working on a trade and you didn't want eric's signing to get in the way of that trade by increasing the other team's leverage.(While Don wouldn't elaborate, I assumed you were trading a center and you didn't want the other team to realize you had a surplus at that position). Don did require that Eric commit to the deal at that time however, because he stated that you didn't want to be in the position of making a trade and then finding out that eric changed his mind and wouldn't accept the offer. I told him I would call him back shortly and give him an answer. After speaking to Eric, I called don back and told him that eric would agree to the deal. Don said based on that you would move forward with the trade....he predicted that the trade would take anywhere from 2 to 5 days to complete and that eric would be signed by the following week. Don knew, as he and I had discussed, that we were negotiating with other teams at that point. Of course in order to make the commitment to you we had to cease those negotiations. By doing so we obviously passed up other opportunities for eric because eric wanted to play in washington , believed the deal to be fair, and grew to love his coach and teammates there. Eric and his wife decided that washington was also a wonderful community for them to raise their family, which includes 2 young daughters.
Don agreed to stay in touch over the next few days to report on the progress of the trade. Don sent me a text message confirming our agreement.
Don and I connected via text message over the next few days and it was relayed to me that you were still working on the deal and that you still hoped to be done by friday the 23rd of july. Don called me in the late afternoon of the 23rd to tell me that ,while progress had been made, the deal still hadn't been completed at that time and that you were hopeful to complete the trade the following week.
For the purpose of this email , I will not go thru each and every conversation (via text and by phone) that I had with Don over the four weeks following july 23rd but suffice it to say that they were all the same in sum and substance, that you were still working on the trade and that you hoped to have it completed shortly.
Up until that point it was never a question as to "if" the trade would take place but "when" it would take place. That was until I received a call from Don on August 17th in which he told me that you were still working on the trade but if we were getting "restless" then we should "move on." I explained to him that at this point in the summer....5 weeks after our offer and acceptance, that there were no other places for eric to move on to. That all of the teams that we were negotiating with in early july had themselves moved on when I told them that eric would no longer be available to negotiate at that time. While don expressed that he was trying to be fair I explained to him that saying that 5 weeks later.....less then a month from training camp , when most teams have their rosters situated, was anything BUT fair and that the time to have said that to us was 5 days after the offer and acceptance not 5weeks after it, when every other opportunity eric was looking at had been filled by other players. To further complicate matters, Eric had to prepare his family for the following season by finding a place to live and getting his children registered in a school . Upon my request and at Don's direction eric has been in contact with your team manager, Ian Anderson, since the first week of August to assist Eric in the above mentioned tasks as well as moving his house belongings from Minnesota to DC. During the first week of August your organization sent a moving company to eric' s house in Minnesota to size up and prepare for the move. The company scheduled a move for September 1. Because it was getting late in the summer eric and his wife had a tough time getting their children registered in a school in DC but ultimately prevailed in getting the last spot in one of the schools that came highly recommended by some of eric's teammates. Ian had connected Eric with a real estate broker and Eric signed a lease on a house in DC for one year. School is scheduled to start on september 1st. Obviously, eric and his family need to be in Washington by then. Of course. Eric, who has been training hard all summer, need to continue to skate in the days leading up to training camp and had made plans with several teammates to start skating at the facility on september 1st. On July 29th, eric received an email from Ian Anderson with pre-training camp instruction and schedule. Ian told eric in the email that he had to send it to him under separately because the deal had not yet been "announced".