Every year the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) conducts a poll among more than 500 players asking a wide-ranging variety of topics.
In the Golden Knights’ first season there were just two mentions of Vegas related items in the poll. Last year that number jumped to five. This year takes the cake with seven total Golden Knights mentions.
We’ll start with the team related ones. First, in a bit of a surprise, the Golden Knights were voted to have the second-best jersey in all of the NHL.
Last year T-Mobile-Arena was voted as having the best atmosphere in the league. This year that category was left off, but that didn’t keep Vegas away from the arena related items.
The best individual honor received by a Golden Knight went to Marc-Andre Fleury.
It’s been two and a half weeks since the Golden Knights last suited up. Their 3-2 overtime victory in Edmonton was their final game before the league pause.
You miss two weeks without doing anything, your wind goes, your legs go. They’re not nearly the same. Not like an NHL player needs to be. Two weeks is probably the most they can miss, and then it becomes a real hard struggle to get back in a hurry. -Pierre McGuire, TSN Montreal
Established players hit camp around the second week of September, and their first game isn’t until early October. That allows them plenty of time to get the rust off, build endurance, strength, and prepare for a lengthy 82-game season. Most, if not all, are ready to get back to work by camp because they’ve been training and playing scrimmages with other NHL’ers. I’m sure you’ve heard of Da Beauty League or the Comm Ave Classic.
Outside of injuries, players rarely spend two weeks or more off the ice during a normal NHL season. So why is it that easy for players to lose their condition after all of the hard work they put in the offseason and regular season?
Two weeks if they haven’t done anything. A lot of guys will tell you if you miss five days it’s tough to get it back right away. It takes two or three (games). Usually after two weeks players start to lose whatever they had built up to this point during the regular season. It becomes really difficult to get it back on the track. -McGuire
As the pause continues, it’s no surprise the NHL is preparing for a severe loss in revenue. It’s not to suggest they would rush to play, but like most of us, the league is facing serious financial issues. It’s already started inside the league office.
Just filed to ESPN: the NHL is temporarily cutting league office employees salaries by 25%.
According to sources, the NHL is hoping that the temporary pay cut among league office employees will prevent them from making any layoffs during this uncertain time.
The NHL has informed the NHLPA that revenue losses could range from the best-case low of a couple of hundred million dollars to a worst-case amount of up to one billion dollars, The Post has learned. -Larry Brooks, NY Post
The NHLPA spoke with player representatives and explained the escrow share could reach a loss of 21% if the season and/or playoffs are canceled. Under the current labor agreement, it’s possible player contracts would be paid only 65% of their salary for 2019-20.
The season is approximately 85-percent complete. The discrepancy reflects a combination of the 6-to-10 percent of revenue generated by the playoffs and the fact that a full playoff would come at the cost of the remaining 15-percent of the season that would not be played. No wonder the players are pitching the idea of resuming the season in some form and playing for the Stanley Cup in August and September.-Brooks, NY Post
For a team like the Golden Knights who were expected to make a deep run, the pause takes significant money out of the players’ pockets. Playoff shares, according to the NHL are distributed by “A single lump-sum payment of $6,500,000 shall be made by the NHL to the players on account of a player fund, which shall be allocated to the players on clubs participating in the various playoff rounds and/or based upon club finish, as shall be determined by the NHLPA, subject to approval by the League.”
Without the postseason, players stand to lose a good chunk of change, and because of their escrow agreement, they stand to be impacted financially even more than the owners.
Players and owners split the NHL’s “hockey-related revenue” 50/50 (players get their share in salaries). At the end of the playoffs every year, both sides get together and count up how much money the NHL made that season. They then use that number to estimate how much it’ll make the next season (a five per cent bump is a typical ballpark guess). The salary cap, which is designed to make sure the players get 50 per cent of the revenue and no more, is then set based on that number.
But because it’s impossible to predict exactly how much revenue will come in, a percentage of every player’s paycheque is held in escrow until the money is counted at the end of the season (it isn’t always the same, but 15 per cent is a good ballpark number). If the NHL does really well and exceeds the revenue projection by a significant amount, all that money is returned to the players. But if it doesn’t, the owners get to keep however much they need to ensure they end up with exactly 50 per cent of the revenue. –Jesse Campigotto, CBC Sports
Earlier it was confirmed by Gary Lawless that the NHLPA and NHL have agreed to the rules of a potential Expansion Draft should the league indeed choose to expand. The biggest hurdle was what to do with players who have “No Movement Clauses” and “No Trade Clauses” in their contracts.
We now know the agreement states that the players with no movement clauses must be protected and players with no trade clauses do not necessarily have to be protected by their current team.
A No-Movement Clause prohibits a team from moving a player by trade, loan or waivers, or assigning that player to the minors without the player’s consent. This keeps the player with the pro team unless permitted by the player to move the player by one of these means.
A No-Trade Clause is less restrictive, as it only places restrictions on movement by trade. A player with a No-Trade Clause cannot be traded by a team unless the player provides consent.
It’s nice the rest of the media world has finally caught on to the idea that this thing really seems like it’s going to happen. With the “leaked” expansion draft rules coming out last week media members everywhere are trying to figure out how it will affect their teams.
There are still a lot of rules to be figured out, especially one that was brought up by our good friend Frank Seravalli (we’ve never met Frank but if we say he’s out friend maybe he’ll actually want to be our friend. This works sometimes. Ask Dana how he became friends with me and Jason.)
The NHL has not yet made a decision on whether teams will be allowed to trade players and/or picks to an expansion team in exchange for a guarantee to not select certain unprotected players. -Frank Seravalli