Saturday, September 18, 2010

At Last, To Training Camp the NHL Goes. So Maybe I Can Go On Living.

So, can we just count this as the start of the season?: NHL training camps open across the league this weekend. Along for the ride are 9 Portland Winterhawks. I think it counts as the official start of the season. Plus, it means juicier headlines on than "Toews takes time out for a golf tourney."

And you know I'm excited about it, because: I got up at 8 am this morning, which I never do on a Saturday. But my attitude is it's 11 am somewhere, and that means somewhere out there, large sweaty hockey players are on the ice. And that's reason enough. Game on.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can: Finally memorize the face-off rule, live without shootouts (well, sort of. We'll see. I might need therapy.) and learn what the heck a run-and-gun play is.

Onward with the rule: Article 9, Entry Level Compensation.

Hey look, I finally understand what a two way player means: Go ahead. Make fun of me. I'll wait. And while you do that, here's what the CBA says:

9.4, Minor League Compensation. Each SPC entered into with a Rookie in the Entry Level System shall automatically be deemed to be a "two-way" SPC with a minor league salary equal to the Paragraph 1 Minor League Salary set forth in such SPC or, if no minor league salary is set forth, the greater of (i) $35,000 (Native Currency) and (ii) the minimum minor league salary provided for players in the Minors; provided, however, in no event may such an SPC provide for minor league compensation, including any bonuses for games played, greater than the amount indicated on the following chart:
2005: $62,500
2006: 62,500
2007: $65,000
2008: $65,000
2009: $67,500
2010: $67,500
2011: $70,000

Morals of the story:

The game: So the key to making money in the minors is get a second job? Which is probably forbidden somewhere in the CBA. Or give up and get an office job that will shrink your brain and expand your waistline and make you wish you were somewhere else. Ok, never mind, maybe the various indignities of playing in the minors aren't so bad.

Life: It's the hockey version of an HR manual, and it's just as complicated. Somewhere in every company's employee handbook I'm sure it says something similar, only it says something like "you shall work under the supervision of people less competent than yourself and make one-tenth of their salary and like it." What makes a major league player worth more than a minor league scrapper? And what makes VPs and directors more valuable than middle managers? Maybe it's this.... a piece of paper from a fancy school that your daddy bought and you didn't really have to earn. Or how about this...the ability to talk a good game without backing it up and instead delegating other people to do the work that you then take credit for. Alas, like hockey, life is not fair and nowhere is this more evident than the workplace. Therefore, I propose a new policy whereby all employees in every company will make the same salary until they can prove on paper and elsewhere that they deserve more and then and only then will they get a raise. And if they want that corner office, they'll have to first earn it by spending a minimum of five years trapped in a cube so that when said office becomes available they will appreciate it and not abuse it. And anyone who does not appreciate their good fortune will be subject to automatic firing without severance. Now, the only question is...why did I got into communications for a living, instead of HR? Discuss. And stay tuned for this: Article 10, Free Agency.

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