The Lockout is FINALLY over.
TSN is reporting that the new CBA agreement will feature the following elements:
“- The players’ share of hockey-related revenue will drop from 57 percent to a 50-50 split for all 10 years.
- The league coming off their demand for a $60 million cap in Year 2, meeting the NHLPA’s request to have it at $64.3 million – which was the upper limit from last year’s cap. The salary floor in Year 2 will be $44 million.
- The upper limit on the salary cap in the first year is $60 million, but teams can spend up to $70.2 million (all pro-rated). The cap floor will be $44 million.
- The 10-year deal also has an opt-out clause that kicks in after eight years.
- Each team will be allowed two amnesty buyouts that can be used to terminate contracts after this season and next season. The buyouts will count against the players’ overall share in revenues, but not the team’s salary cap.
- The salary variance on contracts from year to year cannot vary more than 35 per cent and the final year cannot vary more than 50 per cent of the highest year.
- A player contract term limit for free agents will be seven years and eight years for a team signing its own player.
- The draft lottery selection process will change with all 14 teams fully eligible for the first overall pick. The weighting system for each team may remain, but four-spot move restriction will be eliminated.
- Supplemental discipline for players in on-ice incidents will go through NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan first, followed by an appeal process that would go through Bettman. For suspensions of six or more games, a neutral third party will decide if necessary.
- Revenue sharing among teams will spread to $200 million. Additionally, an NHLPA-initiated growth fund of $60 million is included.
- Teams can only walk away from a player in salary arbitration if the award is at least $3.5 million.
- The NHL had hoped to change opening of free agency to July 10, but the players stood firm and it remains July 1 in the new agreement. But with a later ending to the season, free agency for this summer will start at a later date.”
Ward stated that , “The players got compliance buy-outs. In fact they got the two they asked for. It might be a bit of a head scratcher why the players would be looking for that, but it works in their favor. Not only do they get their full salary, but it does NOT count against the team’s cap. So there’s an opportunity for a guy like (Wade) Redden a chance to go somewhere else and New York get’s him off the books…”
LeBrun reminded Ward, “Mind you (The Rangers) don’t get him off the books until next summer, so it’s probably another year in the minors (with the Whale) unfortunately for Wade Redden…”
So for Redden it’s not the NHL, but the AHL with the Whale. The Rangers’ top minor league affiliate have struggled mightily defensively. For head coach Ken Gernander, having a player like Redden, a steady player who can bring some stability and help develop first round draft pick, Dylan McIlrath as he has helped so many of the Rangers’ other defensive stalwarts, will be key to getting the team righted and making a run at getting into the post-season.
The interesting question now is, who, if any, of the Whale players goes to New York.
Chris Kreider? He’s the most likely, but hasn’t been dominant by any stretch of the imagination. He’s been okay but hasn’t scored much at all. He has five goals and seven assists for twelve points in 33 games and sports an ugly minus-6 with 55 PIM. Kreider’s supporters would say a lot of that might be that he’s not playing with the quality of talent that he would be at the NHL level. But then Jordan Eberle, a player who Kreider should match up against talent wise, at the AHL has 51 points in 34 games (25g, 26a) leading the AHL and has a plus-11 with ten PIM. His teammate, rookie defenseman Justin Schultz in second in the AHL in scoring with 18g, 30a for 48pts a plus-8 and just six PIM. Cam Atkinson in Springfield (17g, 21a, 38pts) and Tyler Johnson, a second year pro has 35 points (20g, 15a) in 33games with a plus-16 and 18PIM. No one is saying that Kreider should be at the top of the AHL, but he should be in the mix and is barely in the Top 250 (248th overall).
If you’re looking at younger guys, J.T. Miller has 14pts (5g, 9a) in 26g and comes off winning a Gold medal in the World Juniors Tournament. Marek Hrivik, who head coach John Tortorella has admired in the games he has watched to this point, has 22pts (4g, 18a) in 32 games and has a minus-2 and ten PIM. He’s played up front on wing and at times at center and has looked very solid.
Then there’s the more veteran players like Chad Kolarik, Kris Newbury and Michael Haley. Of the three, Newbury, 23rd overall in the AHL with 29 pts, (10g, 19a) has the talent and toughness to play at the next level but takes just WAY too many bad (and untimely) penalties and most likely will remain in Hartford. Michael Haley MAY get called up for toughness sake, but it’s certainly not for his overall talent. Kolarik, 26th overall in scoring in the AHL (14g, 14a 28 pts) has been solid after a slow start from his knee surgery but has really picked up his game. If Tortorella thinks he needs more offense, then it could be Kolarik who goes.
I don’t think any of the Whale defenseman are going to get serious consideration to go to New York. The obvious one would be Dylan McIlrath, but he just came off of injury and needs time in Hartford to learn the professional game…at least for a while.
Other notable things to mention:
It has gone largely unmentioned, but the BADLY needed new floor in the Chalk Hill Elementary School gym, which is where all the children of Sandy Hook Elementary are going to school – and is 2/10′s of a mile from my home and in the same complex where my kids go to school – was donated to the Town of Monroe/Newtown by Madison Square Garden. Mega-praise to James Dolan for doing that.
For Rangers’ fans, the prolonged lockout means that Marian Gaborik will be available to the team from the get-go whereas had they started on time, he’d have missed a couple of months. Now he’s good and healthy and ready to play.
You have to ask yourself if you’re Michael Del Zotto, did you ultimately win or lose from not signing a free agent contract prior to the work stoppage? Guess it will remain to be seen based upon what he signed for. We’re thinking this will end up costing him a lot of Kwon left on the table as the Rangers, and for that matter other teams won’t have the money he thought he was worth…..