Happy Friday, everyone. Particular good wishes go out to those affected by the Writer’s Guild of America strike. May the rotten so-and-so’s who drove you to the picket lines face an afterlife of listening to an endless loop of Gary Bettman-hosted radio shows.
Onto the mailbag:
Could you please explain what a “no-movement clause” in an NHL contract means? May the player be sent to the American League? Thanks.
Chuck Nielsen, Indianapolis, Ind.
A player with a no-movement clause can’t be demoted without his consent. He also can’t be waived, traded, or bought out of his contract. I’m not even sure he can be looked at sternly by the coaching staff.
It’s a pretty sweet situation, but an even better arrangement is the no-rapid-movement contract, wherein a player is obligated to skate no faster than half-speed, tops. Pavel Bure had that one included in all of his NHL deals.
After watching another Flyer injure another opponent when Scott Hartnell laid into Andrew Alberts; I want to know when the NHL is going to take a serious look at the Flyers organization. It seems to me that they are trying to resurrect the broad street bullies. Maybe it is time the NHL started fining coaches and organizations when players injure opponents and are suspended by the league. What do you think?
John Green, Wheat Ridge, Colo.
With every passing incident, I lean more and more toward the punish-the-team solution. I don’t believe owner Ed Snider and coach John Stevens specifically instruct Philly’s players to take members of the opposition out, but there’s no doubt that multiple repeat offenses by a single team do not reflect well on either the Flyers or the league. At this rate, Philadelphia’s season-ending highlight reel will have to be very selectively edited, lest it end up being a what-not-to-do video the NHL will distribute to all its teams this summer.
And I’ve always thought coaches should be held responsible for their players’ actions. Since the dawn of the league, many of these guys have been ordering players to do their bidding on the ice, and it’s high time they shared in the supplemental discipline.
Am I to understand that there is some grumblings amongst the players concerning the new Reebok uniform? Where can I read up on this? Thanks.
Steven Leone, Wading River, N.Y.
There have indeed been complaints by players throughout the NHL about Reebok’s innovative, if flawed, uniform redesign. The league has been quietly working behind the scenes with the manufacturer to remedy the main problem – the sweater’s tendency to hold in players’ perspiration and soak their equipment as a result – and re-jigged sweaters are now in use, much to the players’ delight.
Love your feature, and am an avid reader. I was just curious as to whether you thought that Gary Bettman’s announcement on the 2014 Olympics – he said the league may choose not to send NHLers to those Games – was a political move towards trying to pressure the Russians into a transfer agreement.
Scott Carpenter, Riverview, N.B.â€¨
How can Gary Bettman be so foolish? NHL players are supposed to be the best hockey players in the world and the Olympics are a place for the best. Why can’t Bettman and his crew consider reducing the number of games during Olympic years and let NHL players participate in the Olympics? Bettman needs to stop worrying about the lost revenue from those games and think about what the Olympics mean to the players and fans.
Adam, what are your thoughts? â€¨
C. Liu, Toronto, ONâ€¨
C. & Scott,
First, to answer Scott’s question – no, I don’t see Bettman’s recent statement about the 2014 games as a warning shot across the bow to the Russian Hockey Federation. As always, this is first and foremost about money and effort, and Bettman clearly questions the wisdom of putting too much of the latter into the Games, and not getting enough of the former back in return.
And that brings us to C.’s point, one I heartily agree with. Of course, asking NHL owners to reduce the number of regular-season games is like asking John Travolta to make a public appearance without his wig, but there’s no doubt the league should be doing everything in its power to continue to hold onto the slice of the worldwide spotlight the Olympics always provides to participants.
Yeah, the Sochi Games in 2014 probably won’t garner boffo TV ratings for the NHL. But if that’s the only yardstick Bettman and the league will use to discern how useful the exercise of sending NHLers is, it is the latest in a long line of short-term thinking that’s become one of hockey’s hallmarks.
As proven over and over in polls, fans want it to happen, and many of the league’s players – especially the Europeans – want it to happen. And if it doesn’t, the game’s so-called guardians will have let down their bosses once again.
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