Kukla's Korner Hockey
Martin Erat’s new seven-year, $31.5 contract with the Nashville Predators has been rejected by the NHL.
All that means is that it is likely to be re-jigged to conform to the CBA and re-submitted for approval. Erat’s contract was rejected because it violates a clause in the CBA that regulates year to year fluctuations in salary.
For example, if you take the first two years of contract, the higher salary in those two years can’t be more than double of the lower salary. After that, the salary can’t fluctuate up by more than 100% of the lower salary and can’t fluctuate downward by more than 50% of lower salary.
On that basis, Erat’s contract doesn’t cut it on a number of levels.
The contract is expected to be approved after some changes, but geez, Nashville—probably a good idea to get that sort of thing figured out before releasing the details.
Update 11:38am May 14: John Glennon in The Tennessean reports the problem appears to be nearly resolved—
The Predators and forward Martin Erat have shifted some of the terms in Erat’s seven-year contract to conform to the standards of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement. Both sides have signed the new deal and are now awaiting its approval by the NHL.
From the Nashville Predators:
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed restricted free agent forward Martin Erat to a seven-year, $31.5 million contract.
“Martin Erat is a perfect example of this organization’s philosophy,” Poile said. “He came to us as a seventh-round draft pick, and grew steadily into an elite player when given an opportunity to succeed. He has continued to take on more responsibility and is an integral part of our team moving forward. We look forward to his leadership and production for the next seven years.”
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
“I will be shocked if the Nashville Predators don’t have the biggest increase in payroll — both percentage-wise and in sheer dollars — of any team in the NHL,’’ said David Freeman, who heads the team’s ownership group.
“There’s always been that chicken-and-egg question about who should go first: Should the team increase its payroll and then hope fans and sponsors follow suit? Or should the fans and sponsors put up the money, and then the team will spend the money? We are very clearly saying we’re taking the lead. We’re spending the money first.’’
from John Glennon of the Tennessean,
The Predators are expected to announce new multi-year contracts for the coaching staff and scouts at a morning news conference today.
The current contracts would have expired in June, but the new deals will keep the staff in place.
Update 1:37pm ET— From the Predators website:
President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today contract extensions for head coach Barry Trotz, associate coach Brent Peterson, assistant coach Peter Horachek, goaltending coach Mitch Korn, video coach Robert Bouchard as well as medical and training staff and members of the scouting department.
from Ken Campbell of the Hockey News,
...And like another CBA poster child – the Buffalo Sabres – the Predators have rewarded their fans by essentially stiffing them. Former owner Craig Leipold sold the team before getting a sweetheart deal to own the far more lucrative Minnesota Wild, but before doing that, forced Poile to strip the organization of some of its top veteran players in a desperate cost-cutting move.
This is where it must end. And it must end with the Predators doing everything they possibly can to sign goaltender Dan Ellis to a long-term contract extension. If they do, it will require a complete about face by team management, which, before the playoffs, seemed intent on allowing Ellis to depart as an unrestricted free agent and next season go with the tandem of Chris Mason and prospect Pekka Rinne.
But the way Ellis, who turns 28 in June, played down the stretch and in the playoffs should change everything. He recorded the best save percentage in the league during the regular season and was spectacular in defeat for the Predators, even though he was victimized by a one-bouncer that got past him in Game 6.
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Now, there was more to Detroit’s role in the victory than just luck. They unloaded a barrage of rubber (43 shots, to be exact) at Ellis – out-shooting Nashville 21-4 in the second frame – and Chris Osgood was up to the task in net for them when he had to be, stopping 20 Preds shots for his 11th career playoff shutout.
But this is also not to say the Red Wings come out of the series closely resembling a can’t-miss Cup contender. Their streakiness was again exposed and may a higher power help them if Osgood falters in the same way Dominik Hasek did in Games 3 and 4.
from the Tennessean,
“This moment is kind of lousy,’’ Freeman said. “Ultimately you just want to win. In the bigger picture I think everybody, and I mean everybody, has done a nice thing for the city. I think the city has found a hockey team they genuinely like.’’
Freeman recalled a moment last summer when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman asked him why he thought he could make the NHL work in Nashville when Leipold could not.
“I told him this city, given a second chance, would realize how important this franchise was and how lucky we were to have the NHL. I felt this particular team was perfect for this season and this city,” Freeman said. “The city seems to have really wrapped their arms around them and seems to love these guys. They are a great group of guys to love and it hurts to see them lose.’’
Nick Lidstrom’s goal seemed to take a little steam out of the Predators.
added 7:00pm, Watch the game highlights from the NBC broadcast…
from Jessica Hopp of the Tennessean,
Today, in front of a national NBC audience, the Predators host the Red Wings in Game 6 with a chance to again tie the series. But to parlay recent playoff success into a larger fan base and greater national recognition, observers say the Predators need to do one major thing: defeat Detroit.
“The big step for them is they have to win this playoff series,” said Pierre McGuire, a national hockey television analyst who won two Stanley Cups as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization in 1991 and 1992. “This gives them huge collateral going forward.”
For now, in Nashville, at least, hockey fever has taken hold.
from the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs Blog at CBC,
There’s still some mystery surrounding Arnott’s ailment, which the Predators have at times described as flu-like symptoms and possible food poisoning. But Trotz on Saturday didn’t rule out the possibility that Arnott is suffering from post-concussion syndrome, dating back to the end of Game 3 when he collided with Alexander Radulov while celebrating the game-winning goal.
Arnott didn’t play in the 3:48 of that game, after which Trotz said the captain suffered some “whiplash.’” Arnott did play in Game 4.
“Before I become a doctor I am going to let the doctors make that decision. ... I am not going to speculate on that,’’ Trotz said.
more on the Wings and Predators…
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org