NHL players who were on a team’s “freeze roster” as of March 16 will be paid 8.1 percent of their base 2020-21 salary on Oct. 31. Under terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between the league and the Players’ Association, that is the only payment these players will receive until the season commences.
The rest of the hundreds of pro players who were on minor league rosters at the time of the COVID-19-induced pause … well, they will get nothing. Just as they apparently will get nothing until AHL and ECHL seasons begin. Let’s say, if they begin.
For if the structure of the NHL’s 2020-21 is fraught with uncertainty, the entire minor league operation is in question. The AHL long ago announced that the season would begin on Dec. 4, but that appears to be wildly optimistic. More to the point, it is difficult to conceive how the minor leagues can proceed without gate-related revenue.
The NHL has appointed a committee of club executives, including, but not limited to, Edmonton’s Ken Holland, Winnipeg’s Mark Chipman and Toronto’s Kyle Dubas, to investigate hypotheticals that might apply to the AHL and minor league seasons.
One would have to believe that the “alternate site” concept adopted by baseball this season would be under consideration, with taxi-squads formed that might skate in either local practice venues or perhaps as part of a group in centralized locations.
Conclusions and plans of action will of course affect the progress of prospects within every organization. More than that, they will affect the livelihoods of thousands of individuals within the industry. It seems inevitable that more pain is in store.
I’ll tell you this. Whenever I see a projected Rangers’ lineup that does not have Alexis Lafreniere in the top six, but rather on the third line with the Blueshirts stacking left wings Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and Lafreniere, I hope this does not reflect the views of management.
This, too: You’d better believe that Morgan Barron’s and Vitali Kravtsov’s respective cap hits of $1.775 million per, as opposed to Phil DiGiuseppe’s $700,000 or Kevin Rooney’s $750,000, will play a part in roster decisions out of training camp.
Barron and Kravtsov have entry-level bonus packages of $850,000 apiece. Per capfriendly.com, most bonus clauses kick in after 42 games played (or what would become the prorated equivalent of a truncated schedule).
Kravtsov, on loan to the KHL, might not be summoned to North America before the second half of the Rangers’ season, anyway. In that case, the cap hit would become moot.
But Barron, nominally a center whom management had pegged as a winger had the Cornell product been allowed to join the Blueshirts for the qualifying round, would almost certainly have to be substantially better than the competition in order to avoid playing the first half of the year in Hartford … if there is an operational AHL team in Hartford.
Doug Armstrong has the Stanley Cup to vouch for his work as Blues general manager, but I’m not sure I fully appreciate how St. Louis wound up committing $13 million per to the top defense pair with neither of its components named Alex Pietrangelo.
Torrey Krug at $6.5 million for seven years, I get, absolutely. The guy has been a dynamic force since he made his debut in the 2013 playoffs for Boston. But Justin Faulk extended for seven years at $6.5 million last September after his acquisition from Carolina that was always going to jeopardize Pietrangelo’s tenure as captain, no, I don’t get that at all.
Yes, the pandemic has had some impact on the way teams have approached free agency this offseason.
But the free-agent cap squeeze was not only foreseeable, but guaranteed as the primary function of PA membership’s decision to limit dollars in the system in order to limit escrow. The cap squeeze isn’t a bug, it’s a feature of the collective-bargaining agreement, and it’s one for which the players campaigned.
We’re told that the PA has been encouraging at least specific players to go to salary arbitration rather than to settle. This seems ludicrous, since for every dollar Teammate A earns through arbitration, there will be less under the cap for Teammate B.
It’s a zero-sum game, and I don’t see why advice like this is beneficial to the group. Maybe that’s just me.
Yes, of course, Lafreniere received the maximum bonus package as the first-overall selection, though Kaapo Kakko came in $200,000 shy, as second-overall, of the max $2.85 million.
But, checking and rechecking, there is Igor Shesterkin, also with the max bonus package. Shesterkin was a fourth-rounder in 2014, 118th overall.
The 24-year-old netminder isn’t the only player drafted in the fourth round or later to receive the max package, but according to the fine folks at capfriendly.com, Shesterkin is the only player ever selected that late to sign with, and thus get the max from, the team that drafted him.
Will Butcher, selected in the fifth round and 123rd overall by Colorado in 2013, got the max package from the Devils after becoming a free agent in 2017.
And Corban Knight, selected in the fifth round and 135th overall by Florida, received the max package from Calgary in 2013 after his rights were dealt following four years in college that would have led to free agency.
So the Devils, they improved up front with the acquisition of Andreas Johnsson, on defense with the acquisition of Ryan Murray, and in goal with the free-agent signing of Corey Crawford. More than a decent week for general manager Tom Fitzgerald.
Who are the guys who will play for the Rangers for cut-rate prices the way Jason Spezza and Joe Thornton are playing for the Maple Leafs?
So, No. 13 for Lafreniere to triplet up with Mat Barzal on the Island and Nico Hischier in New Jersey.
Best Threesome wearing the same number the same year(s): No. 27 in the mid-nineties, Scott Niedermayer, Alex Kovalev, Derek King.
Best All-Time Threesome wearing the same number: No. 9, Andy Bathgate, Clark Gillies, Zach Parise.
Unless you want to pick No. 30, Martin Brodeur, Henrik Lundqvist, Kelly Hrudey.
Yep, you probably go with the goalies.
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