Posts Tagged ‘NHL CBA’

The NHL’s CBA Works Against Player Development

July 14th, 2011

The newly amended Collective Bargaining Agreement following the NHL’s 2004-2005 lockout created a number of significant changes to the NHL; some foreseeable and some not.

The biggest impact from the CBA is the hard salary cap and the significance now placed on talented prospects and rookies.

The economic reality of today’s NHL makes young and talented players (that’s the polite way of saying “cheap but effective players”) an extremely valuable commodity. Common place knowledge now, but GM’s like Jim Rutherford and Bryan Murray figured this out years ago.

While the salary cap limits the amount a team can pay players, it certainly has no bearing on the number of scouts, coaches, and development professionals an organization can employ. I’ve never understood why big market teams don’t invest more in their player personal departments and development programs (the Toronto Maple Leafs being one of the few exceptions).

If I were running a hockey team, I’d be putting my players on custom development programs with my best trainers, scouts, coaches etc… the moment after I drafted them. Seriously – right after the photo on the podium, I’d show my newly drafted prospects a treadmill backstage with their name on it. Then I’d have them board a flight to my team’s gym and practice facility for the rest of the summer.

But wait! You can’t do that.

» Read more: The NHL’s CBA Works Against Player Development

Hockey Blogger Code and Secret Societies

August 5th, 2010

When it comes to blogging about hockey there are a lot of rules many aren’t familiar with. There’s a Code. A hockey blogger Code. It’s pretty much like a Secret Society thing except we all attend the meetings from our parents basements. And we don’t drink wicked beer out of even wickeder mugs like that Simpson’s Stonecutters episode… we drink grape juice out of no-name juice boxes. Or whatever mom bought on sale this week from Costco!

Now I’m going to do something a little crazy today. I’m going to share the Code and information about the Secret hockey blogger Society. I can’t believe I’m going to reveal highly confidential information in such a public forum. Usually it would be blasphemy but I’m 92% sure I’m not even welcome in the Society. Kind of like how David Blaine isn’t welcome in the magic community. You know, because he’s all creepy and weird. Or Dominic Moore and each NHL team he joins every trade deadline.  Anyways I’ve made you wait long enough. Below is the hockey blogger Code and some background about the Secret Society. Please don’t tell anyone you read it here.

Various excerpts from the Code:

  • The Code requires bloggers to be sharp and savvy when it comes to NHL trade rumours. The Code teaches us to question virtually every trade scenario and call “bullsh—” on anything that sounds remotely fake. Doing this helps lend credibility to rumours we either really want to happen or really want to believe for no apparent reason.
  • It’s not enough to simply love DownGoesBrown, praise him and retweet his blogs. The Code requires you to take it to the next level by leaving strange and obscure comments on each of his articles. Some common examples include “This post was deliciously funny,” “I spat my coffee all over my computer and now you owe me a new one” or “I think you made me fart from laughing so much.”
  • The Code requires you to churn out as many blogs, tweets and emails as possible during trade deadlines, UFA frenzies or other large hockey news events. Note: you’ll get all your information from Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger but do not use their names when recycling their news. You can refer to them as “your sources.”
  • A good and quick way to build credibility with your readers is to remind them what you wrote, said and predicted last week. No one’s ever going to click on your shameless self-promoted links but they might believe you. It’s basically no risk.
  • Even though you don’t ever agree with anything the man says or writes, the Code requires you to follow Damian Cox on Twitter.
  • Speaking of Twitter, the Code encourages “retweeting” other blogs and links regardless of its quality. It’s also cool if you retweeted the link without reading it.
  • Saying “there isn’t much to write about” is generally an acceptable excuse for being lazy. Or for “having a life and leaving my basement.”
  • A good way to drive traffic to your website is to trade blogroll links with other popular hockey sites. It’s a pretty honest thing sites do to grow readership and respect within the online blogger community, however, sites that follow the Code usually pull the “McGuire Maneuver” instead. Here’s what you do: First you lay the ground work by getting an agreement with another site to trade links. Next, set expectations that you are very busy for the next few days. Then you wait until the other site adds your site to their blogroll and… wait for ityou never put their site on your blogroll!!! How awesome is that??!? Why is this called the “McGuire Maneuver?” Because it’s so stupid and so annoying no one will ever admit to talking to you in the first place.

General information about the Secret Society:

  • We don’t actually understand the majority of the NHL’s CBA. We just pretend to. Basically it’s such a mess that we can get away with making it up as we go. To my knowledge no one has been caught making things up. Whenever the NHL and NHLPA rewrite the next CBA, we’ll have a field day making up new crap from scratch knowing we got away with all the lies from the last CBA!
  • For a little while we capped the number of bloggers who could be a part of the Secret Society. Even though we did this, bloggers from Philadelphia and Chicago kept taking up all the open and not-so-open-spots which basically screwed it up for the rest of the group.
  • Hockey bloggers sometimes get a bad rap. As a Secret Society, we felt we needed to be taken more seriously. So like any organization thinking clearly, we asked George Laraque to be our official ambassador. Turns out he was too busy to accommodate our request. Something about helping the “French-Bloc’s right to a 25th Stanley Cup…”
  • Those newly acquainted with The Code and it’s Secret Society are highly sought after. There’s usually lots of competition from other groups and societies which usually results in bidding wars and regrettable offers made. Our Society usually outbids the Los Angeles one because we offer 17-year commitments like the Jersey Shore girls offer “good times.” And because the LA Society can’t recruit sh—.
  • In the early days of the Secret Society, Eklund was invited to join. He accepted and faced his initiation of having to push a large rock up a steep hill. After pushing the rock up a quarter of the hill, Eklund devised a short sighted scheme to avoid completing the task by forecasting unbelievable weather changes. He often claimed “calm before the storm,” followed by a “something big is about to go down” warning in an effort to avoid the daunting rock push. These quotes linked to a strange ranking system that always seemed to change. No one understood this ranking system despite hearing numerous explanations. Eklund never finished pushing the rock up the hill and is now a sworn enemy to the Society and its bloggers. As such, he is not privy to the secrets of the Code. Unless he reads this not-so-secret blog. Crap.

Stay classy, hockey blogger Code and Secret Society.

NHL buyouts this summer

March 16th, 2009

Hello my cyber-friends!

It’s been a while since I last showed up for work. Let’s just say I engaged in one massively long pants party and leave it at that.

With the NHL’s annual trade deadline over and done with, General Managers will start evaluating their rosters and looking towards next season. In the past, GM’s have looked at July 1st as a huge opportunity to bolster their rosters and improve their squad. In recent years, teams like the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks certainly seem to have done that.

However, given the bleak economic outlook both north and south of the border for the foreseeable future, there is a certainty that league revenue will drop next season. Everything is pointing to the unavoidable fact that the NHL’s salary cap will definitely drop in the 2010-2011 season. And it could be a significant drop too.

I really think that we’ll see a flood of buyouts this summer because some teams have way too much money committed to their rosters for next season and for seasons beyond. For example, the Philadelphia Flyers already have $54.8 Million signed for next season, and they still haven’t signed impending UFA’s Mike Knuble, Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki. Essentially, they’ve got no goalies signed for next year right now and a few holes in their defense too. Something has to give – Especially if their goaltending can’t carry them deep into the playoffs this year.

The New York Rangers have a similar problem with $42 Million committed for only 14 players for next season. Here are Rangers whose contracts will expire at the end of this season: Antropov, Morris, Valiquette, Mara, Rissmiller, Betts, Dubinsky, Korpikoski, Calahan and Zherdev, to name a few. The Islanders would kill to have a team this good! Anyway, assuming the salary cap doesn’t increase next season, that leaves the Rangers with approximately $14-15 Million to sign a back-up goalie, 4-5 top 9 forwards and 2 defenseman to play in their top 4. I’m also assuming the Rangers spend up to the league maximum. Good luck with that.

Here is a list of players who I think are very likely to be bought out this summer. It’s worth noting that many of the players below are great players and would be a great addition to many teams in the NHL. The problem is that with an uncertain economy, there’s virtually no chance of these players getting traded… unless a similar salary is traded the other way but that doesn’t solve anything. Teams that are overspent will be at the mercy of the smaller market teams that haven’t won the recent UFA sweep-steaks. I bet the Minnesota Wild are very grateful that Marian Gaborik turned down their 8 year, $88 Million contract offer earlier this year! Ditto for Senator and Thrasher fans who saw Brian Campbell reject 7 and 8 year contracts worth over $8 Million per season, respectively. It’s also worth noting that teams could just demote these players to the minors (like San Jose did with Kyle McLaren all year) and not have their salaries count against their cap. However, the teams are still on the hook to pay the full salary. Go ask Pittsburgh, as Miro Satan is still making $3.75M to ride the bus in the AHL. Owners don’t really want to pay these kinds of salaries for zero benefit and besides, it doesn’t exactly look good for a team when it just sends its players down the AHL because they struggle with basic math.

Players very likely destined for buyouts this summer:

Dustin Penner – Edmonton Oilers – 3 Years, $12.75M Remaining
Tom Preissing – Los Angeles Kings – 2 Years, $5.5M Remaining
Shean Donovan – Ottawa Senators – 1 Year, $0.6M Remaining
Mike Rathje – Philadelphia Flyers – 1 Year, $3.5M Remaining
Radim Vrbata – Tampa Bay Lightning – 2 Years, $6M Remaining
Mikael Nylander – Washington Capitals – 2 Years, $8.5M Remaining

Players potentially destined for buyouts this summer (less likely):

Jonathan Cheechoo – San Jose Sharks – 2 Years, $7M Remaining
Jason Blake – Toronto Maple Leafs – 3 Years, $10.5M Remaining
Daniel Briere – Philadelphia Flyers – 6 Years, $34M Remaining
Ryan Smyth – Colorado Avalanche – 3 Years, $16.5M Remaining

What are your thoughts on this? Will we see more buyouts than ever this summer or have I been spending too much time playing with James Westfall and Dr. Kenneth Nosewater? You tell me.

Your reporter in the field,


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