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Boehlke: My Thoughts On The Possible LTIR Situation And Why I Can’t Truly Pick A Side

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It’s complicated. Very complicated. And when all is said and done, it’s going to remain complicated, even if the Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup. As you read through this, and experience the rest of the Golden Knights’ 5th attempt to win the NHL’s greatest prize, remember that you don’t have to pick a side. You are allowed to have complex feelings about the entire situation. You can celebrate the great moments while also feeling a little dirty about them as well.

Ok, got it? Now, let’s get to talking about it.

On November 4th, the Golden Knights made the bold move of acquiring superstar Jack Eichel. The move was widely celebrated as a giant win for a team that has continued to throw caution to the wind and never stop going full steam ahead in their quest to win the Cup.

But, the rules didn’t, and still don’t, allow Vegas to bring Eichel onto this already strong team without other events taking place. When the Golden Knights added Eichel, their roster sat more than $10 million above the salary cap’s upper limit. Meaning, even though the Golden Knights now have Eichel on their team, he isn’t allowed to hit the ice until subsequent moves are made to satisfy the league’s salary requirements.

Most assumed they’d trade a few players away, but always lurking in the background was this idea taking advantage of the NHL’s convoluted long-term injured reserve rules. A year after the Tampa Bay Lightning hoisted the Cup with a roster $18 million north of the salary cap, the option always seemed a possibility for Vegas as well.

However, it’s not that easy. For it to work, a player has to be injured for the remainder of the regular season and then be healthy enough to play right when the playoffs begin. It would take a stroke of perfectly timed luck that would make hitting the PowerBall seem like a piece of cake. Or… it would take some slightly sinister, slightly shady, slightly unsportsmanlike behavior from a small group of people to caress a tricky situation into the perfect storm.

This brings us to the situation that may be unfolding currently for the Golden Knights. Eichel appears ready to return to action fairly soon, Alec Martinez as well, and that $10 million cap question must be answered, possibly as soon as Wednesday. And, voila, despite playing in the All Star Game and shooting pucks on the Bellagio Fountain just days before, Mark Stone is scratched moments before the second night of a back-to-back in Calgary, and league sources are speculating that he might be the solution to Vegas’ $10 million problem. Stone would take Eichel’s place on LTIR, sit out for the rest of the season, and rejoin the Golden Knights in the playoffs when there is no longer a salary cap.

If that is indeed the case, here’s the timeline we’re looking at.

October 14th, Stone leaves a game against the Kings with what appears to be a serious injury. Five days later, Pete DeBoer says he avoided surgery and is “somewhere between day-to-day and week-to-week.” Less than a month after the injury that was later confirmed by The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun to be in his back, Stone returned to practice. 30 days after the injury, Stone played in a game at T-Mobile Arena.

Following that game, he said this.

With the medical staff, myself, the physical training staff we’ve done a good job getting it solved, getting my body into a position to feel comfortable on the ice, which I hadn’t for maybe a while and I kind of fooled myself into thinking I felt great… I feel good going forward that I’m going to get through the season and I feel as strong as ever. -Stone

36 days and 16 consecutive game appearances later, on December 19th, Stone was scratched from a game against the Islanders. He played in the next game on the 21st, but for just 11 shifts and 7:47, his lowest output of the season. This time it was described that he “tweaked something” and it “wasn’t worth pushing it with him with the (Christmas) break coming up.”

He went on to miss the next four games while participating in practice off-and-on sometimes wearing a no-contact jersey. He’d return to play on January 6th and play four straight games before being placed in COVID protocols. That forced Stone out of a pair of games before he returned to action on January 25th. He played all four games, competed in the All Star Game and Skills Competition before being ruled out yesterday.

One thing is very clear, Mark Stone has been battling through an injury. There’s nothing made up or contrived about it.

But the timing Stone going from a nagging injury that never kept him out for more than a few weeks to requiring exactly an 11-week stint on LTIR at nearly the exact moment Eichel is ready to return seems awfully convenient.

Note: It has not been confirmed at this time that Stone is headed for LTIR or is out for the season. Nor has it even been confirmed that he will miss the next game. But when a veteran reporter like Frank Seravalli speculates that it could be coming, we have to consider it a strong possibility.

So, enough with facts, let’s get into the theoretical and philosophical aspects of it all.

If it’s all legitimate, which it very well may be, the sheer luck of the timing would have to be absolutely astounding.

Stone gets hurt. Recovers and feels better than he ever has before. It’s reaggravated, but only bad enough to keep him out for a few games. He plays a bunch more games, participates in the All Star Game, Skills Competition, and one game after the break, and then boom, can’t play again the rest of the regular season. And it just so happens to time up four days after Jack Eichel was cleared for contact and his return seems imminent.

There’s a part of me that can buy that coincidence, but it’s the final piece of this situation that has me majorly skeptical.

For Stone’s absence to do any good for the Golden Knights, he’d have to return in the postseason, but not a second before the postseason.

The NHL’s rules allow a player to be placed on LTIR when he’s hurt, but he cannot be on LTIR when he’s not. So, this injury must last exactly 78 days and not a day less, because the trade deadline will have passed and VGK will not be able to get back under the salary cap. An injury that doctors could not put a timeline on before, was thought to have completely healed in four weeks, then popped back up multiple times, now has a very specific, definite, and perfect timeline of exactly 78 days. Maybe I’m just a cynic, but that seems way too much of a coincidence to be reality for me.

But, pulling it off might not be that hard. All it takes is the opinion of one man, Mark Stone. If he says he can’t play, then he can’t play. There’s not a doctor in the world that can dispute it and thus no matter how hard the league pushes, no one can tell him when his back is hurt and when it is healed.

This is where it becomes philosophically difficult.

On one hand, the rules clearly allow for this situation to be taken advantage of, and in fact, a team literally did it last year and won the Cup in large part because of it. So, why should anyone feel bad if their team uses the same rule to do it themselves? Put yourself in Stone’s shoes, or Kelly McCrimmon’s shoes, would you sign off on this? I know I would.

But, on the other hand, it clearly goes against the spirit of the rule and thus stands firmly in the way of the Stanley Cup being decided using a fair and balanced competition. That does not sit well with me.

Unless you believe the incredibly coincidental timing (which I’m not sure I can bring myself to do), it would require mistruths to be told about a player’s health, and multiple parties would have to be in on it. From Stone himself to the VGK front office and maybe even as far as to a team physician.

This would be very out of character for the player and person we’ve come to know as the captain of the Golden Knights. So in that sense, it’s almost unbelievable to consider Stone doing this. But at the same time, it undoubtedly gives the team he captains a better chance to win. Would his competitive drive allow him to go this far? Only he knows.

Also, if you want to get really sinister, remember that the trade for Eichel was made AFTER the initial Stone injury, which means this plan to have him miss 11 weeks right when Eichel is ready to play could go all the way back to moments after the injury happened. For lack of a better term, the whole thing just stinks.

Technically, it’s not cheating. Technically, it’s using a foolish rule to your advantage by massaging timelines on a complicated injury. Technically, it’s the league’s fault for seeing this happen a year ago and not making a change to the rulebook to prevent it from happening again. So technically, this is a brilliant tactic by the Golden Knights that will unequivocally raise their chances to win the Cup.

But also, it’s not how a true sportsman would act. It’s a shortcut. It’s a crutch. It’s like taking performance-enhancing drugs if you were guaranteed you wouldn’t get caught.

So, as I pointed out at the top of this article, it’s complicated. I don’t know whether I support the plan or not because I completely understand both sides. And I’m certainly not here to tell you what to believe either. But I get why people would be for it and I get why people would be against it, and whether fans, players, media, the VGK organization, or The Creator himself want to admit it, it will mar this playoff run.

That is, of course, if they actually go this direction, which only a select few know if they will.

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102 Comments

  1. Jerry Crowell

    I’m all for winning the RIGHT WAY. That being said, we don’t know what anyone’s intentions truly are, like you stated. I want Stone healthy and playing. If he plays and we have to trade players, fine.
    Geesh this is hard!!! I also wanna win the Pacific division 1st.

  2. Galdom

    Frank Seravalli made have tweeted it but Galdom’s exact statement made on February 1st in the comments section of Ken Boehlke’s article headlined “McNabb, Amadio, Thompson signings: FAQ On what these signings mean for VGK” is as follows. Copied and pasted…..

    “Definitely. Wasn’t really insinuating that Eichel be the guy. Just wondering if a guy like Mark Stone who doesn’t look like he’s 100% might “mysteriously” need some time off to heal his back further.”

    Yes I just referred to myself in the third person and yes I just padded myself on the back. Lol

    • Daryl

      I was right there with you…. And as soon as he was ruled out last game, I said it’s beginning

    • THE hockey GOD

      looks like we both have the same stalker pervert, on queue every time you post something the guy with his head so far up the farce of franchise keyster shows up. Sees the proctologist at least once a day. Rarely makes any worthwhile comments about anything. Known RL hater, has no clue what is going on in the game. Took too many pucks to the head. Leading contender for the Kevin Iole most unsophisticated “fan” of the year award.

      ignore the prevert, tell the troll to go back to their smelly cave

      • That is pretty harsh., calling a guy a pervert for an opinion he posted. Aren’t we allowed our opinions? I had sooo much trouble with that kind of negative response…why not just allow us our opinions, whether you agree or not?!? Just sayin…

        • THE hockey GOD

          real TS, it’s gone way beyond “having an opinion” ; stalker mentality. Like you experienced.

        • Daryl

          Because the only opinion that matters is the little weenie’s….. thg gets so upset when your opinion isn’t the same as his. And you know you aren’t allowed to call him out b/c in his mind he can never be wrong

          • THE hockey GOD

            pervert stalkers have mental issues, seek therapy lots of it. Has nothing to do with opinion, but with your perverted actions.

            Fuck off, stalker.

          • Daryl

            And now I’m perverted as well LMFAO.

            I come back every day so I can read what nonsense you have in store for all of us. Curious, how much are you getting from RL to defend him like you do????

          • THE hockey GOD

            stalkers are perverts

            so are people who make things up, then say they “call people out ” for making things up.

            buzz off stalker pervert, seek therapy , you need it , lots of it.

      • knights fan in minny

        someone needs a vacation

      • Daryl

        It called reading compression…. Obviously not a strong point with you. I was going to let this one slide so others could laugh at you but figured I’d let you in on the secret…

        I agreed with Galdom!!!!

        • THE hockey GOD

          only stalker perverts like you think that way, post has nothing at all with anyone “agreeing’ with anyone.

          stalker

  3. Tim

    It seems reasonable to keep Stone out. Besides his goal to win the shootout a few games ago that’s one of the few highlights all year. He’s not doing us much good being half good so there’s no sense to have him play. Taking off two and a half months until May 1 would give him time to heal. being his back he may recover or he may not. Either way at the moment were better not playing hime. His 9 million gets us close to the cap so it’s a win win for the Knights.

    • Daryl

      Not exactly the point… Giving him time off to recover is one thing, milking it until the playoffs when he can play before only to save Cap space is another thing

      • Tim

        Daryl, I don’t think he’s faking and as far as milking repeat after me Tampa Bay

        • Daryl

          Oh no I don’t think he is gaming at all…. I’m taking about being ready to rtun but staying out longer for Cap reason

  4. B

    Whatever it takes, right? Convenient for Tampa, right? Any rules broken?
    There are no guarantees that the LTIR juggling will win the Cup, so I applaud Kelly and George for finding and exploiting loopholes like this, should it go that way. If this gets questioned and investigated, they would need to address what Tampa did, or make a rule change after the Cup is awarded this year.

    • Daryl

      The situations are not exactly the same…

    • sb

      Tampa bending the Rules didn’t hurt them one bit. They won Cup #2 (yes, their 3rd Cup), had their Parade, sold zillows of jerseys. Right now, today, no one is making any big deal out of what Tampa did last year. Hasn’t hurt Tampa one bit. Months later, no one cares. And months after Vegas wins the Cup, they will have had their Parade and sold zillions of jerseys ………. and no one will care. WIN THE CUP. PERIOD. I saw this the day Vegas got Eichel. When asked, McCrimmon clearly said no one can predict who might be on LTIR when Eichel is ready to play. The Tampa Tactic was in play. Clear as it gets. McCrimmon was not one bit concerned about that cap hit. Vegas MGT fully intended to utilize the Rule just as Tampa did. More importantly, Stone needs this break. Most likely his future hangs on this. I think this back problem is real and it could cost him his career. Mickey Redmon, Detroit Red Wings. Back injury ended his career. Stone needs this break.

      • Daryl

        I don’t think it will make a difference but I do think ppl will be talking about it for a long time. People are talking about it now and bringing up TB. Broadcasters are throwing comments out there now about whether Stone stays put longer than he needs to just to save Cap space. The TB situation was a little different and because they were able to exploit the loophole first, it will look real bad for VGK to turnaround and do it.

        As I said on another post, IMO, this would be a form of legal cheating. It’s a matter owhether Stone can live with himself afterwords or not.

  5. Joe

    Let us be the reason they change the rule next year. Win the damn thing.

  6. They have rolled the dice doing everything else, not sure intregrety is high on their list of standards so why not. Seems keeping Eichel out till playoff time given what he went thru holds more water and less to faced but if mgt really took a lesson from TBL mgt what’s good for one should be good for all. I frankly am shocked the rules didn’t change as what TB did was so obvious. I do believe it taints the entire league and truly doesn’t reward the real champion.

  7. Galdom

    Probably something that will be addressed at the next NHL collective bargaining agreement.

  8. Jeffrey

    A sportsman would play by the rules. And the rules dictate Stone can heal up and rejoin the team for playoffs.

  9. Truthfully, as bad as the NHL is at disclosing injuries, they reap what they sow here. This league has been bad at transparency when it comes to player injuries, so for all we know, Stone has been playing injured to hold down the fort until he could get this actual needed rehab. Spirit of competition does not extend to player safety. If the NHL is going to hide injuries to pressure players into returning, this is fair game too

    • This is a super interesting point that I hadn’t considered. It’s absolutely true.

    • Galdom

      I’ve always hated the leagues lack of transparency on injuries. I thought the reasoning was to not allow other teams to know for competition reasons. I didn’t think it was malicious as pressuring players to play. Perhaps I am naïve.

      As gambling becomes more prevalent in the NHL I think they will have to disclose injuries. I believe the NFL does.

    • THE hockey GOD

      their policy is to protect players, not pressure them into doing anything; we have had this discussion before.

      the NHL created this salary cap BS and they must deal with the consequence, conflating the too is irrational.

      if everyone knew where every was hurt, that is useful information for the opponent

      you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make the horse drink it

    • THE hockey GOD

      actually it’s not hard to figure out how a player gets hurt in game by watching and looking at them, and going back to replays. TSN has excellent features that allows different angles and views. Players spend hours watching the tapes. It is not rocket science if you really want to know, put in the hours. No one said this was a free lunch.

    • THE hockey GOD

      More players than you know about play hurt in the NHL, NHL players are notorious for doing so. Even with multiple injuries. their love of game some times goes beyond the call of duty putting not only themselves at risk for further injury but their own team at risk because they are unable to perform or contribute effectively to team performance. AFter all it’s a team sport, and to the sophisticated fan they know that it’s not the goalie’s fault every time the team loses. So it’s an uncool balance between playing for love of game versus giving another player a chance.

      Unlike players in other sports who remove themselves from the game with a hang nail (or hang over).

    • Just asking, as a matter of interest, where in the world did you come up with this idea? “If the NHL is going to hide injuries to pressure players into returning, this is fair game too”. Why would the NHL pressure players into returning injured? Do you have any idea of the liability involved in that sort of thing – they may be crazy with some of their stuff, but they are not nuts? Does your doctor discuss your health or injury on the internet, of course not – these players are intitled to the same privacy? Besides you’re knowing what the injury is or was, frankly is none of your business or anyone else’s. I am surprised at Ken’s response as well – not that it matters.

  10. Daryl

    It’s not a matter of how you play the game, it’s all about whether you win or lose the game. That seems like VGK philosophy if this is the road they take

  11. Goaltending is a very big deal, too. Not one mention of a struggling Robin Lehner in this article. The guy can’t play one game that he doesn’t give up at least 3 goals! The VGK have to score at least 3 goals to MAYBE win a game. At what point does McCrimmon trade this dude away so we can better field a complete effort to win a game? Their “backup” goalie just finished with a shutout! So, I say either bench Lehner, or trade him for a better $5mil goalie. THEN maybe we’ll celebrate a Stanley Cup victory. But, not until then regardless of Eichel’s return.

    • It’s actually 4 goals. VGK, on average, needs 4 goals or better to beat the better teams in the league with the goal tending tandem they have. Sure, they had a good week or two. That is why I said “average” and against the better teams in the league. There are at least 7 or 8 teams that are better than the VGK in the league right now.

      I still have a large bet on the Kings winning the Pacific Division.

      There are a few teams out there looking to upgrade their goaltending. Edmonton for sure, Calgary is pretty set, Kings possibly. It is quite possible that we may be seeing MAF back in the Pacific Division. Of course, he could wind up in Colorado as well, but they are tight on CAP.

      • THE hockey GOD

        “It’s actually 4 goals. VGK, on average, needs 4 goals or better to beat the better teams in the league”

        actually the league average is slightly under 7 goals per game, so your statement applies to virtually every team in league, not VGK.

        Furthermore look at the prior road trip, VGK actually won games with less than four goals per game.

        So when they play their game , on the road, they can win with less than four goals per game; that is when their game is most effective.

        So that same old dog, don’t hunt no more.

        • Sorry but the most recent road trip has been the exception, not the rule. Four goals, 4, are needed for this team to get to a Cup round and win it with Lehner.

          That’s a fact that is irrefutable based on the evidence. There is no way Lehner will be able to play above his ahead for the entire playoffs. So, the alternative is for VGK offense to score 4+ goals on average through the playoffs.

          Coghlan has looked pretty inconsistent and Petro better save himself for the playoffs.

          • THE hockey GOD

            i hear ya loud and clear.

            you say they need four goals a game to win, under certain conditions

            I say when they play their game then can win like they did on the “outlier” road trip.

            Let’s see where this goes. I don’t think the team has the sharp shooters in line up to win these high scoring contests. I could be wrong though, The future will tell.

            BTW NHL rules changes caused increase in goals per game this year, but I think you already know that.

        • Daryl

          Just like last game? If that’s right, none of those goals were on the goalie

    • THE hockey GOD

      only people thinking RL is struggling are the RL haters and people who are clueless when they watch games; aka per Kevin Iole “unsophisticated fans”.

      And here come my pervert stalker on queue as usual with his lopsided posts.

      wait for it

  12. Tim

    Transparency is an interesting topic should they or shouldn’t they release injury reports. I believe Karlsson, Patch, and now Whitecloud injured and management reported they had suffered a broken foot. That’s fine because the opposing team can’t take advantage when they come back from a broken foot or wrist . Now when it’s an upper body injury it’s a whole different ballgame. Have you ever had rib damage it hurts like hell, how about a rotor cup, or separated shoulder, again they hurt like hell. I know I’ve had them all playing sports. When you come back from those upper body injuries if they’ve been disclosed believe me the opponent will target you hoping to re-damage that certain area. In my opinion that’s why I agree on some injuries yes and some injuries no to disclose

    • THE hockey GOD

      “That’s fine because the opposing team can’t take advantage when they come back from a broken foot or wrist . ” what prevents them from not taking advantage? Ever hear of a slash to the wrist, or foot area, or kick to foot area ? They know exactly what part of the body to target. Only thing they may not know is if it the left or right foot/wrist.

      Dirty players in the league, and there are plenty of them will use every tactic to their advantage especially during the playoffs. EAstern European players, and in general European players skilled in hockey are infamous for kicking at other players lower limbs. Especially players from Eastern part of Europe.

      • THE hockey GOD

        “skilled in hockey” sorry mis statement, meant to read “skilled in soccer” . my bad

  13. Body injury is a big deal

    • THE hockey GOD

      welcome to jungle friend !

      how you get that funny looking e in your name?

      yes BI is big deal, mores so than BO which will turn the ladies off in heart beat.

  14. Pistol Pete

    Ken states in his excellent article that “Stone can take Eichel’s place on the LTIR”. Does this mean Stone can literally move into the “slot”. The regs state the player must miss 10 games and 24 days due to the injury. I assume this means starting at the time of the most recent break due to injury and not in Stone’s case a recurrence of the same injury, thus the 10 games and 24 game requirement was fulfilled at a previous stage of the injury.

    In any case, it does seem Stone has a condition requiring long term treatment so I’m ok with him going on LTIR. We’ll see as the remainder of the season progresses how the term of his injury goes and if he can return before the playoffs.

    • Pistol Pete

      I can see where he’s got a chronic condition where he can play but not at full capacity ie. ideally the condition requires long term treatment and recuperation but at the expense of reduced output for the team therefore they have tried to play him in a compromised state to benefit the team by helping win games and having the captain in the ice. Now with Eichel coming in, the possible increased production affords Stone a more appropriate longer term treatment and recovery. Whether the treatment period will extend through the regular season remains to be seen. Whatever the outcome they have more time to work the cap out if Stone is able to return before the playoffs.

      • sb

        I absolutely believe that Stone has a serious back problem. He came back to help the team and test out the back. It’s a nagging injury. He deserves to take as much time now that he needs. Back injuries can/have spelled the end of some players careers. Stone needs to be careful here. It’s his call and no one elses.

  15. I had noticed Stone’s physical distress before he was initially put on IR..he seems to have been hurting most of the season. We all noticed how slow he has skated.. Hard to recover fully with a nagging injury, and when he returns NOT fully healed, more IR time results. This is that time. I don’t like the optics and timing of this whole Eichel/ Stone $$ cap mess, it DOES look questionable. It is within the rules, just doesn’t sit very well…

    • Pistol Pete

      I mean I think they have been playing him all year since the November injury at less than 100% and it’s paid dividends as he’s averaged a point a game which without checking the W/L with him playing, can’t hurt. Plus he’s the captain and you want him on the ice. So as I implied above, with Eichel coming in is the ideal time to LTIR Stone. Whether they end up fudging the situation so he’s comes back in the playoffs we’ll see but for now he’s out and Eichel can come in with no trades, assuming Stone can go right on LTIR (the 10 games and 24 days requirement is already fulfilled?).

  16. But, PP, playing Stone when hurt has just aggravated his injury, requiring yet MORE IR. Yes, we would like the C on ice, but at what physical cost to him? Will his injury plague him long-term as a result of repeated tweaking of it? IDK…

    • THE hockey GOD

      they gave the A to no. 3 in last game, if you noticed, no C in the game. 67 seems lost without 61. Very little impact since coming off IR. Is 67 playing hurt ?

    • Pistol Pete

      Whether they should have kept him out earlier until fully recuperated remains unknown because the details of the injury have not been disclosed. The point now is that with Eichel coming in, this is an ideal time to put Stone on LTIR because it eases the cap crunch and hopefully Eichel will more than make up for Stone’s absence. They may be prepared to either make the necessary moves to get Stone back in under the cap to complete the regular season or for the completion of his recuperation to coincide with the beginning of the postseason. The latter will probably smell of exploiting the LTIR rules similar to TBL.

  17. FG

    I think lost in the LTIR debate is what is actually best for Mark Stone? He now by definition has a chronic back injury that, despite conservative management with periods of rest and I assume medications/injections, continues to interfere with his profession. If he had a sedentary occupation, it may be tolerable. Given the failure of conservative management (missing 20 of 48 games and impaired play on the ice), I would assume there is strong consideration of surgical management. His impact on the team can not be understated, and VGK needs Mark Stone at 100% to reach its potential. That would not appear to be achievable given the current course. What is best for Mark Stone may be surgery and his recovery would TBD. That would end the LTIR debate, but VGK still faces questions on what to do with Reilly Smith, Dadonov, and Martinez. They still need to $5 million to sign RFAs for next year, making a Dadonov or Martinez trade likely at some point. If Reilly Smith can not be resigned, should he be traded prior to the deadline, rather than lost for nothing? It will be an interesting next 5 weeks.

  18. DC

    Nice article, Ken. We hall hereafter refer to this as the “Lightning Maneuver.”

  19. THE hockey GOD

    And the leading contenders for Kevin Iole most sophisticated fan poster on this forum (myself not included because as you all know my posts are beyond reproach based upon this week’s activity include the following:

    DC- keeps positive posts coming
    Real real real TS- another one on board with pervert stalker
    K.F.I.M. – keeps the riff raff in check
    Arnold the Brain- odds watcher
    Galdom – spot on poster, very good with historical review of stats to keep the
    fake fans in line.
    Biker- comes up with gem once in awhile, despite obvious hate for ThG still made the list

    Tim- positive, seasoned poster, another eternal optimist
    FG, Joe, B, Jeffry TheChosenONE, DMR, Walt – infrequent positive contributors
    Rich Sacammano- MIA recently, season ticket holder, friend of Kramers
    Sean- seems like a broken record at times, bettor that wants full disclosure
    Richie- Rich – good posts , most of the time.
    pistol pete- one of the most positive posters on the site, always with different
    view

    If you didn’t make the list than you know you are either
    1- stalker pervert
    2- troll
    3- no added value to content
    4- hoodlum material only posting to stir the pot.

    • THE hockey GOD

      oh Blitz should be added to list, good human being all around. Sorry I left Blitz off.

      and add no. 5 to list above, fake posters with multiple identities.

    • Daryl

      I live so rent free in your empty spaced head!!!!!

      • THE hockey GOD

        more proof of your perverted stalking behavior; which betrays your sick mental state. seek therapy, sicko, you need it.

        LOTS OF IT, go stalk someone else pervert. What part of FUCK OFF is not clear to you troll ?

    • Is THAT what you got from my post, my just wondering why his opinion warranted your “pervert” label?? I think I just suggested that we all allow opinions to be voiced, as long as no harrassment is intended. And NO. STALKER PERVERTS ARE NOT ON MY FRIEND LIST. Sorry to offend. Can we all get along???????

    • I have a hard time understanding why you are listing posters, and grading us all. WHO DOES THAT? Good grief, man, settle down. We ALL have differing opinions…it’s OKAY. it’s called Legitimate Discourse!!

      • THE hockey GOD

        Real TS

        so you want me to add your stalker Alex/paulie tj/ etc to the list ???????? And others that mimic their behavior ?

        No matter how hard you petition that line of though I will leave pervert stalkers off the list. Like I said, it has nothing to do with opinion, but their creepy , perverted stalking posts.

        STALKING and harassing people over and over again IS NOT LEGITIMATE DISCOURSE !!!!!

        • Is Daryl ALSO an imposter? I Can’t keep up. Being harassed for months, I understand your frustration. I honestly did not see any TROUBLE in Daryl’s posts here. I also haven’t noticed any recent harrassment on this site. ( to my relief) If you’ve felt otherwise, my apologies. I do know your posts can BITE a bit. Just saying. If you put me on your ” shit list”, I’ll just have to live with it. Again, sorry to offend. I’ll leave that skill to our site imposter!

          • THE hockey GOD

            you are not on shit list, U R ok and he doesn’t stalk you with a post every time you are on

            I have no idea about this person you mention as being an imposter.

            The others are pretty obvious with their avatar’s matching but names changing.

          • Daryl

            I’m not an imposter…. Basically, thg supports RL and makes excuses for him for every bad game. Myself and a few others have called him out on it and he gets oissed. He also blamed MAF for losing the series against MTL last year for which I also called him out on it. He doesn’t like getting shown up so he gets upset and starts calling you names

      • THE hockey GOD

        i didn’t grade you all, I think I gave you all high marks for your posts. No grading. Just calling out all the great people on the site.

        You want me to take your name off the list of positive posters ?

        Only people excluded were those falling into one of the five bottom listed traits of silly behavior which has nothing to do with grading or opinion or anything else you want to throw on top of that. They are clearly stated.

  20. THE hockey GOD

    nice article Ken, picking up on your tweets from yesterday to make a story about it. Lots of sophisticated fans from around the league was on that thread.

  21. I’m not sure this situation presents the ethical dilemma that Ken posits. There is no doubt that Stone has an injury that has been nagging him for the entire season. It will not improve without sufficient rest and/or surgery. Like any hockey player, he has tried to fight through it. But now he has the luxury of giving his back the much needed rest and PT. So if you are Stone, here is the question: Could you use 11 weeks of PT to get your back in position to play for the playoffs? Why wouldn’t he answer “yes.” And even with that rest, there is no guaranty he will be ready to play in the playoffs or that such play risks aggravation or further injury. In short, what is in Stone’s best long term interest may be taking the time his back needs to heal. It just so happens, that also solves the Knights’ cap situation.

    • THE hockey GOD

      I agree with your assessment Pdawg; suggesting that VGK would do something “under handed” is typical mob media hype. Stirring the pot.

      It’s a long way until playoff begin, too many variables in the equation at this point in time.

    • sb

      Stone has a serious injury. Back problems cause hockey players to retire, career over. Right now, the best thing for Stone is to take a couple months off, recover and then see where he’s at. What he and the Team are doing is logical. With Eichel coming in, the Team has the luxury to do what is the correct thing for Mark Stone.

    • Daryl

      The moral delima is would Stone be out only until playoff time if they didn’t need to make room for Eichel. If VGK can honestly answer yes then there is no moral delima. But if the answer is no then you have a huge moral delima. As a profession athlete how would you live with yourself sitting out weeks of games knowing you are healthy and can play??? How do you respect someone who would do that?

      Before anyone jumps on me, I’m not saying that is what Stone is doing or is going to do. We all know he is injured and needs some time off. But if he doesn’t need surgery and he sits out and comes back to play in the first game of the playoffs, it going to look real suspect

      • Daryl – I am with you on your line of thinking however, I have to ask, you can answer if you wish, have you ever experienced a herniated disc? Eichel had been out of hockey for nearly a year with one which as you know he had surgery to fix, while the timeline is suspect, Stone could have surgery and/or rest and make the playoffs or miss the playoff – nothing says he has to be present for them to win the Cup – Remember as you well know, a committed and hungry team wins the cup, all individuals are nothing more than the team. I have read where people posted Stone is essential to them winning – not sure that is necessarily true and definitely not fact. He may help but essential I don’t think so. I for one don’t believe Eichel will fix some of their issues and my expectations of his impact are far less than some who post on this site. While impossible to measure a winning attitude is essential to raise the Cup which I don’t believe exists with the Knights at the moment. Next couple of months will be interesting.

        • There has been very little team chemistry this year due to injuries, roster moves and trades. What we have is a bunch of individuals out there who haven’t been able to get into synch with one another other than the Misfit line, which has played together now for 5 years.

          Break up the misfit line? Why not? McCriminal has thrown conservative thinking to the wind. Let’s keep on tweaking!

          I sure do hope we see Eichel next week.

        • Daryl

          I actually have a herniated disc in my upper and lower back. So I get where you are coming from. If Stone has surgery then without a doubt I don’t suspect any delima. But if he doesn’t have surgery and just sits out, I question all of it.

          As for VGK needing Stone, I think they need him because they believe they need him. Otherwise I completely agree with you. It’s almost like they have no faith in themselves without him. And I don’t know why they feel that way

          • What’s interesting is we may never know whether he has surgery or not. Since you have those herniated disc issues you know as well as anyone rest does wonders. The only problem is it just covers up the issue till it rears its ugly head. Eichel in my opinion was a better candidate for the TBL deal which is and was legitimate. Frankly l am surprised mgt isn’t mgting their risk better. They potentially could loose both of them in the next couple of months – then what.

          • Daryl

            HD. I decided not to have surgery. Like you said, rest is amazing. The problem is, it easily comes back. Rest and PT cannot fix the issue. I also agree that if VGK didn’t want to make it look like they weren’t taking advantage then they easily could have used Eichel

  22. JW

    Good article on the thoughts of the “Spirit of the Game” regarding LTIR.

    For anyone to think that TBL’s Cup win was not affected by the Miracle return of $18mm of firepower when the playoffs started needs to have their rose colored glasses cleaned.

    Last year showed just how irrelevant winning the Presidents Cup is and how your regular season means exactly nothing when the playoffs start. Just ask the Avs, and the VGK for that matter, how that worked out.

    Do I think that VGK is exploiting this gaping hole? Absolutely. My opinion is that the NHL set this up last year and every single team should be taking advantage to level the playing field. That was pure cap manipulation in its darkest form. The real thought is who learned from it and who is taking the high road straight out of the playoffs.

    I truly believe that Mark Stone has a lower back injury that he has been forced to play with until Eichel could make it back. He knows what the score is with the cap issues and injuries with their skilled positions. With how many man games the team has lost it is mind boggling to see them at the top of the division.

    I admire the fact that he has been fighting through it but his ability to skate and his stick work has clearly been suffering but the reinforcements are here with Eichel.

    We need a healthy Mark Stone. He is occupying a top 3 position when he is operating at 50%.

    Just my thoughts.

    JW

    • JW,

      Fair assessment of the situation. And, yeah, you can tell Stone is definitely hurting. A back issue can be the beginning of the end of a career. It certainly is going to impact performance on the ice.

      We have to hope Eichel comes in and plays lights out. Martinez will be needed to shore up the defense and to cover up the mediocre goaltending tandem.

      RR

    • Daryl

      I disagree with your comment about the miracle return if Kucherov. When he had hip surgery in December, it was said at that time he would be out the rest of the regular season if not more. It’s no different than Eichel who was said to be out 3-5 months and he comes back in 3 months.

      The rest I completely agree with. TBL exploited the loophole and I have no doubt VGK is getting to do the same thing. We all believe that Stone is truly injured and who knows, maybe he will need surgery. But if he is out and comes back for round 1 of the playoffs he is simply trying to cheat the system. If he is willing to miss games that he should be playing in just to make Cap room, then that is on him and something he will f gage to live with. IMO that is a legal way to cheat. But again, that’s in him too live with.

      I also don’t think he was forced to play by anyone but himself. VGK can win this Division, or at least make the playoffs without Stone, it really wouldn’t be that hard.

      I agree that VGK needs a healthy Mark Stone cube playoff time. He needs the rest. Like your said, regular season really doesn’t matter so why play Stone right now? This division is so weak, VGK can win without him so let him rest

      • JW

        Daryl,

        Your assessment of nobody forcing him but himself is spot on and was what I was actually trying to articulate. The team would never do that to him and if I insinuated that they did that is on me and I apologize. Stone has a large contract and was counted on to be a large part of the offense and special teams. He is so passionate about the game and not letting his mates down. I feel for him and know the feeling only too well. I am very concerned about his long term health and his back issues.

        If we do not get our special teams figured out and get the 1-1-3 figured out this is going to be a quick exit in the playoffs. Lehner has had his lapses but he also is getting no help from the teams defensive plays.

        Best,
        JW

  23. James

    Seems more likely to utilize LTIR until the deadline, see what you have with Eichel/Martinez mixed in. Rest/rehab Stone, make deadline moves. Situation doesn’t have to be slimy.

    • Daryl

      How many games will Eichel get before the deadline. Stone can go on LTIR yet so Eichel is out until he does it until moves are made

  24. Scooter

    First, VGK isn’t winning the Cup this season. The East is absolutely loaded with teams who would beat them in the final. Then you have Col, Min, Cgy and Ana, all of whom can ride a hot goaltender or, in the Avs’ case, a juggernaut of an offense, to beat them before the final.

    As for VGK, you are looking a potential $26 million top line that includes a left wing who can’t stay healthy to save his life, a center who underwent a neck surgery that has never been performed on an NHL player and has no track record as far as how long he’ll be able to play moving forward (or if he can survive any sort of crunching hit), and a right wing with a degenerative back condition that has caused him to miss nearly half of the season.

    Add in the fact that goaltending could very well be VGK’s biggest weakness right now, and they’ll be lucky to win one series. Besides, as it stands right now, Calgary is the class of the Pacific and controls its own destiny with 4 games in hand.

    Sorry to point out the obvious, but this team has flaws that will keep it from living up to Foley’s absurd 2017 prediction, and the impending offseason of changes will make obtaining his ridiculous 6-year expectation all but impossible.

    Keep in mind, this team is just .500 (13-13, w/1 OT & 1 SO loss) vs. teams currently in playoff positions. Last season, they were 13-11 (inc. OT/SO losses) vs. those playoff teams. Not exactly as dominant as this naive fan base would have outsiders believe. But, playing in the worst division in the NHL tends to hide some of the flaws that better teams have started to expose.

    Their only chance to win a Cup this season? They should wear their alternate red jerseys in the playoffs — maybe their opponents will mistake them for the no-contact practice jerseys and they won’t hit anybody during the games

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