Kukla's Korner Hockey
What was once one of the best-run players associations in sport headed up by Goodenow and others who had nothing but the best interests of their constituents at heart has fallen into a group of confused, leaderless wildebeests waiting to be slaughtered at the next CBA watering hole.
-Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province at Canada.com where you can read more.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Maybe morale was as low when Alan Eagleson was representing the players in a felonious manner. Maybe it was this bad when the players regretfully recognized that Bob Goodenow had been right when he told them they would have to be willing to stay out into a second full season in order to withstand the NHL’s demand for an imposition of a hard cap. Maybe it was this bad when Ted Saskin violated the union’s trust, and maybe it was this bad last year when Paul Kelly was thrown out the door at 3 a.m.
But according to a variety of individuals familiar with the current state of NHLPA affairs, morale within the union and among the players never has been worse than it is now.
The search for an executive director essentially has hit a wall. The fact of the matter is that the five-player search committee that has been in operation for eight months simply has been unable to attract the caliber of candidates for the job that the union expected.
from Jim Kelley at Sports Illustrated,
If I were a member of the search committee charged with finding an executive director for the National Hockey League Players Association, I would be afraid to open my e-mail in-box. Hockey players are blunt and the words attached to messages from, say, Marc Savard, Roberto Luongo, Chris Pronger, Marian Hossa and others are likely to read something like this:
Hey (name here),
You lazy SOB, get your good-for-nothing self off the golf course and your head out of your arse. (Name of NHL Commissioner, lawyer, administrator or arbitrator here) just got the okay to put his hand in my pocket and “review” my already reviewed and signed contract, and you’re letting them get away with it?
Bad enough you Bozos were asleep at the switch and let Richard Bloch back in as an arbitrator, but then you go and lose what should have been an open and shut case regarding the cash in Kovy Kovalchuk’s change cup, and now we’re all subject to an “investigation” of deals that have been signed, sealed and approved by the league itself. This would never have happened if you guys hadn’t sacked Bob Goodenow, let alone stopped listening to him.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
There is a feeling out there, however, that the NHLPA should have been far more picky in choosing an arbitrator for an issue as eventful as this one.
This is a big loss for the PA and one that could lead to further losses if the league challenges a 12-year Luongo deal that pays out 94 per cent of its worth in the first eight years.
Or a seven-year, $34.45 million Pronger deal that takes him to age 42 and pays out 97 per cent of its salary after year 5.
Or Savard’s seven-year, $28.05 million deal, which pays just $525,000 in the final two seasons.
But the Kovalchuk camp was in a hurry and the league was pushing for Bloch.
We never cared much for Bob Goodenow, but he wouldn’t have allowed anyone favoured by the league to preside over something as important as this.
For the good of everyone – teams, agents, players and fans – the cap rules must be clarified in the next CBA. In the meantime, we’re all left guessing…
-Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports. More on the Kovalchuk arbitration decision.
via Liz Mullen tweet,
Breaking—Arbitrator rules in League’s favor in Kovalchuk case, source says
added 5:22pm, via Nick Kypreos tweet,
Kovalchuk remains UFA. Confirmed by sources.
added 5:37pm, from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
(Bill) Daly released the following statement with regard to the decision by Bloch that the League properly rejected the contract agreed to by the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk:
“We want to thank Arbitrator Bloch for his prompt resolution of a complex issue. His ruling is consistent with the League’s view of the manner in which the Collective Bargaining Agreement should deal with contracts that circumvent the Salary Cap.”
added 6:59pm, from Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice,
The NHL Players’ Association also released a statement through spokesperson, Jonathan Weatherdon.
“The NHLPA is disappointed with the Arbitrator’s ruling to uphold the NHL’s rejection of the contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk,” the statement read. “The NHLPA is currently reviewing the decision and will have no further comment at this time.
added 7:06pm, from Damien Cox of The Spin,
The Kovalchuk decision, meanwhile, addresses a growing sentiment among teams that the front-loaded, long-term deals were becoming a competitive advantage to a handful of teams since two-thirds of the league’s clubs couldn’t dream of signing such contracts.
Some GMs said the NHL needed to put it’s foot down when Kiprusoff became the first to sign this type of contract back in 2007.
“I wish the NHL had started this five years ago,” lamented one GM.The NHL says it is still investigating the contracts signed by Hossa and Pronger.
via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
• A quick Tomas Kaberle update: Seven days left to trade him. Seven teams, according to Brian Burke, have made offers, none of them good enough to pull the trigger on. Burke expects a busy week. The clock ticks.
• The strange off-season of the San Jose Sharks continues: First, signing Antero Niittymaki to play goal. Then, signing Jamal Mayers to play whatever it is he plays. Like any of this takes them closer to that elusive Stanley Cup.
• Player agent Bill Zito says there is strong interest in sudden free-agent goalie, Antti Niemi. But what is he supposed to say? That he and Niemi misread the market and the Chicago Blackhawks by winning at arbitration and losing the best goalie gig in hockey?
• Something the players need to fix in their next collective bargaining: The timing of arbitration hearings. When you schedule arbitration more than a month after free agency begins, it makes it too convenient for teams to walk away from the awards they aren’t happy with.
from Jonathan Allen of SearchEngineWatch,
At SES Toronto I met Casey Rovinelli, Director of Digital Marketing for the National Hockey League Players’ Association. He explained to me that the NHLPA had yet to start on the fundamentals of building a search engine optimization strategy. In particular, he mentioned that despite being an authoritative source on NHL hockey players, the website often did not rank highly for searches about the players. Casey was keen to get started on an SEO strategy, so I offered to roll up my sleeves.
What follows is a How-to guide to begin optimizing your website for search engines, using the NHLPA.com as a live, working example.
Look For The Strongest On-Page Signals First
Whenever I perform an SEO audit for a website, the first thing I look at is the page titles.
continued and a good read especially for bloggers…
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,
The arbitration hearing that will determine the immediate and potential long-term future of star left wing Ilya Kovalchuk has wrapped up in Boston and now the hockey world, specifically Kovalchuk, the New Jersey Devils and the NHL, wait for arbitrator Richard Bloch to render a decision on the matter.
Bloch has until the end of business Monday to rule on whether the NHL was justified in rejecting the 17-year, $102 million contract Kovalchuk signed with the Devils last month. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly stated at the time the NHL rejected the contract that it was doing so because the deal circumvents the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
added 3:20pm, via Tom Gulitti tweet,
I’m told don’t expect the Kovalchuk ruling before Monday.
from Mark Everson of the NY Post,
If, as expected, arbitrator Richard Bloch rules in favor of Kovalchuk, perhaps as late as Monday, his contract will be immediately validated. But then the Devils will have to find a way to shed some $5-6 million in salary-cap liability by season’s start to get under the $59.4 million lid and still have wiggle room for injuries.
Vital players would have to go, perhaps among Bryce Salvador, Colin White and Dainius Zubrus, either by trade or waiver/demotion.
Most important, such a verdict would validate heavily front-loaded contracts that the NHL claim circumvent the CBA, and become a major NHL demand for the next pact.
Should Bloch back the NHL and find that the contract is indeed an end-run around the CBA, Kovalchuk would again become an unrestricted free agent, and teams like the Kings and Rangers, as well as the Devils, would again be able to bid for his services in a more straight-forward salary arrangement.
Although it appears unlikely, the NHL then also would have the option of initiating its own punitive action against Kovalchuk and the Devils. A circumvention ruling off a league-filed action could cost the Devils $1.5 million in fines, with a similar amount deducted from their cap limit. Kovalchuk himself could be liable to a fine of $250,000-$1 million.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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