Kukla's Korner

SENShobo

Category: NHL-Rules

Relating to the rules, rulings, and regulations of the NHL.

Ellis’ Tweets Offered Glimpse Into CBA Battle

From seemingly out of nowhere, Dan Ellis has found himself etched into the public sphere in no time at all, and just as quickly buffed out of it. Based on the reaction of the 12,000+ followers and countless more who would read and reply to his tweets on the subject of money, it would seem less a debate than a Frankenstein’s-monster-eque mob swirling around the outspoken player.

Somehow, I once had the belief that athletes with opinions and more than dried up cliches to offer were the ones the public wanted to hear from.

Given everyone’s economic distress, his own admission of stress over money was bound not to fly with many. But it does highlight the upcoming battle with the end of the current CBA, a battle with four sides. A battle that Ellis’ tweets offered a glimpse of, and of a reality few would believe in.

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A confusing fizzle of a CBA rewrite

The Kovalchuk drama is over, a compromise has been reached, and once again there is peace, and we can think about hockey’s on-ice moments.

Still, that ignores what really went on here, and why it still doesn’t make a whole deal of sense. Avoiding the headaches of opening full-on investigations into the now-grandfathered contracts falls into the realm of good sense, but not everything else. You’re still left wondering who Bettman was serving when he agreed to this, just as much as you’re wondering who Fehr (or whomever really was or was not running or not running the NHLPA when the agreement was made) was serving.

It was actually a peculiar bust of a moment for a storyline that’s kept us watching the papers and trolling the web for the whole off-season.

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Kovalchuk contract arbitration not clear cut

This week, starting today and in an undisclosed location, men will sit down in a small square room with the windows shuttered, and the NHL and the NHLPA will goe toe to toe over the validity of the flag-bearer contract of Ilya Kovalchuk. While the NHL asserts that the contract is “a circumvention of the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” many have been quick to point out that it follows every letter of the law of the CBA.

Rule 50.6 (a) limits compensation in any year of the contract from exceeding 20 per cent of the cap as it was in the year the contract began. With a cap of $59.4 million, Kovalchuk’s high water salary mark of $11.5 million respects this by $380,000. Rules 50.7 (i) and (ii) look at the first two years of the contract—valued at $6 million each—and requires that any year-over-year increase in salary be not greater than the lower of the two years—the largest jump, from $6 million to $11.5 million, flies $500,000 under the radar—while any decrease cannot exceed half of the lower of the two years—the largest drop on the way down from the $11.5 million peak being equal to this $3 million limit. Even the required minimum salary is met throughout the tail of this dragon contract.

But outside the rules, you have to accept that there are valid reasons for wanting a contract with more ups and downs than Rick DiPietro’s. You must see that even in respecting these rules, the contract can indeed be called a circumvention of the CBA, at least in spirit, and one damaging to the whole League.

And you must also be aware that, despite following the rules of the CBA to the letter, the NHL might reveal to the arbitrator that they have some unmentioned trump cards yet to play.

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Waiting To Move Forward, In And From Phoenix

In six days, legal proceedings will finally get started, even though the ‘control over bankruptcy declaration’ issue is hardly the game-changer that will gather the masses. It will only gather the Canadian media.

What has happened already is that Pandora’s box has effectively been opened, and howling out of it have come a million questions that need to be answered. Answered not just by Balsillie, Moyes, and the NHL, answers that affect not only this potential sale, but answered by a host of stakeholders, answers affecting the future of the League as a whole.

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Balsillie: There May Be No One To Stop Him This Time

It’s been less than a day now since the Phoenix Coyotes have applied for Chapter 11 reorganization, and Balsillie’s put his offer on the table.

You may think you’ve heard it all, that Jim tried twice with the Penguins and Predators and failed (Pittsburgh Penguins, Predators, Phoenix, talk about alliteration in takeover targets). Truth is, this may be his best shot yet, as the one most resembling the current bleak state of the economy.

He’s been a dog sitting on a porch, chasing every car that comes by until they pass him by. Always chasing, never catching, and never knowing what he’ll do when he finally catches one. I’ll let you know whose words those are when Jim’s PR gets back to me, but regardless it’s about time we find out just what the ol’ dog might do.

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Canes’ No Goal Points Out NHL’s Tech Gap

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but word on the street, or out of the NHL’s head office at least, is that the National Hockey League has the most tech savvy fans of any major league sport.

I know it’s been two days now since Carolina evened their series in Boston, but yesterday’s cause was defending 5-on-5 overtime. Those who watched the game appeared to be treated to the Canes taking a 3-0 lead not once, but twice.

You can’t help but find a hint of something there between those two statements, whether you label it irony, contradiction, or just some kind of philosophical mismatch, and certainly one that needs attention.

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Do Or Die, But Keep Overtime The Same

Over 100 shots on goal. Over 100 hits. Over 100 minutes of hockey.

That was Anaheim’s 4-3 win in Detroit yesterday, just over a minute into the third overtime period.

Don’t be fooled though; that represents exactly what hockey should be, whether it’s over in 60 minutes or still filled with smouldering hate after 120.

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Someday Hockey Fights Will Be Introduced To The Dodo

Yesterday I posted a story regarding a Violence in Hockey Symposium, a good quick read with some very telling tales.

It’s a far cry from a strong League-wide open discussion or stance on the issue, but that day will come.

Fighting will never completely disappear from the game, but evolution is only natural, with more issues entwined herein than a Buffalo-Ottawa melee.

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More Blows Directed At Fighting In Hockey

From the CP, via TSN,

Former NHL referee-in-chief Bryan Lewis says fighting in hockey is on the way out.

Lewis was part of a Violence in Hockey Symposium staged Tuesday by the Middlesex-London Health Unit, a gathering of hockey officials, coaches, media members and a former professional player at the London Convention Centre.

“I believe the screw is finally being turned,” Lewis said in an interview.

“I think it’s slowly being removed from the game.”

The symposium, attended by 98 coaches, trainers and administrators, sought recommendations leading to a decrease in injuries resulting from gratuitous violence on the ice.”

Read on for some very good points and telling tales. I expect I will be adding to this discussion sometime this week.

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Hearing Expected For Ruutu’s Bite

From TSN,

Sources tell TSN the National Hockey League is expected to schedule a hearing today to determine discipline for Ottawa Senators forward Jarkko Ruutu following a biting incident Tuesday night in Buffalo.

Paul posted a better clip of the incident earlier, and there indeed may have been a bite, even as Peters waltzed between hand-flailing and looking merely bothered that the refs didn’t see anything worth acting on when he flashed them his thumb and his mouth. My question is, if a guy’s got your arms blocked, backing you into the boards, and perhaps ramming a big, hard thumb in your mouth, what is the League-advised protocol?

Definitely better bites on hand to be had in the various Scotiabank Place restaurants.

Update - 3:40PM EST

As posted by Alanah, Ruutu has been suspended for 2 games.

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About SENShobo

Native of Northern California.  Hockey fan since 1998... sort of... there's a hiatus in there that I still can't explain.

I want to know about anything and everything related to the sport and the spectacle.  I watch, I react, I write it down.

My interest in the Sharks was initially a matter of geographic convenience and regional loyalty because that seemed to be how it worked.  I had no prior interest (at all-- AT ALL) in professional sports of any kind.  When I met hockey, it might have set off a chain reaction of general sports fandom.  It hasn't, I don't think it will.  At all.

Since then, that interest developed into full blown (mostly sort of usually almost completely) exclusive loyalty to the Sharks.

I started blogging a couple years ago on wordpress. I still occasionally put things there that I don't think fit here because they are not about the Sharks. Wherever my words wander, here on Kuklas Korner, they will (usually) hang on to a teal thread.

I can be found in cyberspace on Twitter @petshark47, or emailed at talkingstick@petshark.net

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