Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wednesday Roundup/Gamenight: Caps @ Pens

[Gameday Preview - AP preview]

Tonight is Sid vs. Alex, Part II (if you don't remember Part I, here's how it went down) and the WaPo - at least in its online edition - has chosen to ignore the game. Wonderful. But never fear, Dave Fay is here. In today's WTimes, Fay pens a must-read article on how much better, statistically, AO has been than The Kid, but how that hasn't stopped the NHL Hype Machine from picking their favorite rookie (though even the Pittsburgh Post Gazette acknowledges that El Ocho has been better so far). Fay goes on to make an interesting point about the NHL perhaps turning a blind eye to a provision in the new CBA:
Under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, teams are not allowed to provide anything of value to players because it might be a violation of the salary cap provisions.

Crosby lives with Lemieux, the Penguins' owner. Ovechkin, meanwhile, went out and bought a house for himself, his brother and their parents a few blocks from the Capitals' new training facility.

Apparently, the league isn't paying attention to that.
In other Caps news, Blues defenseman Eric Weinrich has blogged about his recent attempt to d-up AO. His candor is great, including this line: "The next morning in Columbus, as I got out of bed to answer the wakeup call, the left side of my body was bruised and sore like I had been in a car crash. I guess you could say i was 'Ovechkinned'."

Elswhere around the NHL:
  • Today Chris Chelios turns 44. Happy birthday to the second-best American-born player of all-time.
  • Remember the 2002 NHL Draft in which the Florida Panthers traded out of the #1 spot (in which Columbus took Rick Nash) to the #3 spot and took Jay Bouwmeester? Well, JBo has now gone 99 games without a goal and has six goals and 50 assists in 193 career games while registering a minus-55 career rating (which would be even worse without one of the game's best goalies playing behind him). I know it takes longer for defensemen to develop, but I'm sure all the hockey fans in South Beach are getting tired of waiting.
  • After giving up seven goals on 27 shots, Phillippe Sauve was headed for Aikenville (population: Rick DiPietro) until he left his crease and skated the length of the ice to drop the gloves and have a go with the man he used to back up, David Aebischer. A little pent up aggression, Phil? There's nothing like a good goalie fight, and unfortunately this was nothing like a good goalie fight, but we applaud Sauve's effort, even if he didn't leave Abby looking like his mentor.
  • Today's quote of the day belongs to Coyotes' blueliner Keith Ballard, on returning to his home state and tallying a goal and an assist in a loss to the Wild: "A good game is not really a good game unless you win."
Daily Awards


Spe said...

Is his issue that Crosby gets free laundry at Casa d'Lemieux?

Outside the normal course, how can the League regulate teams "provid[ing] anything of value to players"?

JP said...

The same way the IRS does - honor system with harsh penalties for non-compiance. As you well know, if your job pays you $60k per year but provides you with a car and an apartment, you have to report it all as income.

This is obviously not a big deal. In fact, I think older players taking younger players in should be encouraged, not discouraged. Teenagers that are suddenly millionaires can get in trouble if left to their own devices (see: NBA).

This just goes to show that even with a hard cap in place, it's not quite as rigid as some might think.

sonia said...

i keep thinking the "roids" is short for hemroids...

JP said...

Who am I to say that it's not?

Spe said...

I dunno. Sounds silly. The cap was designed to save teams from themselves in signing contracts the game couldn't support. Not to audit Crosby's 1040-EZ.

JP said...

The CBA is also there to create a level playing field for all teams.

Of course this example sounds silly... because it is. But take another example - Malkin decides he doesn't want to come over to the US because he can make a heck of a lot more in Russia. So the Pens agree to pay him the rookie max and then let him stay in Mario's guest house and drive one of Mario's BMW's for a couple of years. Soon other rookies demand similar benefits. Or veterans get certain non-monetary perks that make playing in a city more attractive. See where it could be a problem?

What Sid's doing - not a problem. But you can see where it could lead to some serious circumvention of the CBA.

Bottom line, though, is that Fay is reaching a bit at this one, but plants an interesting seed.

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