Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What, No More Shootouts? Why Go On Living?

Major bummer alert: The NHL's Board of Governors has approved a new tiebreaker system in which, direct from, "the tiebreaker among teams with the same total of points in the standings will go to the club with the most regulation and overtime wins - no longer including shootout wins in the decision." So, refresh me, why would I want to watch a game with no shootouts? I mean, really, why not ban fighting and swearing and just get it over with?" Even Gary Bettman is quoted in that same story as saying that their research overwhelmingly shows that fans like shootouts. Um....then why get rid of them? Chat amongst yourselves and let me know if you figure it out. Because I'm at a loss.

On the other hand: NHL pre-season games get underway on September 21, less than one week away. And I pick up my Portland Winterhawks' season tickets in one week. Shootouts or no, hockey is back on all fronts. I'm recommending my own rule for the 2011 - 2012 season, in which the off season will be reduced to a month. Because three months without live hockey action is three months too long. No research required.

Now, speaking of silly NHL rules: Article 9, Entry Level Compensation.

9.3, Entry Level Compensation Limits: The maximum annual aggregate Paragraph 1 NHL Salary, Signing Bonuses and games played bonuses permitted to be paid to a Group 1 Player shall be as follows:

Draft Year Compensation
2008 US $875,000
2009 US $900,000
2010 US $900,000
2011 US $925,000

If the NHLPA exercises its right to extend this Agreement until 2012 (which they have), the maximum annual aggregate Paragraph 1 NHL Salary, Signing Bonuses and games played bonuses permitted to be paid to a Group 1 Player shall be U.S. $925,000.

Morals of the story:

The game: Dudes, if you make close to a million dollars at the entry level, the least the league can do for the people who pay your salary is let us watch a few shootouts now and again.

Life: If Ilya Kovalchuk and others find $100 million not to their liking, I'll take it. When I was 18, I made $3 an hour at a video store. This got me to thinking, and since we know my thoughts are more entertaining than do we define our worth in life? By the underpaid salary we earn? By what other people tell us? If companies paid us what we're really worth, they probably couldn't afford to stay in business. If other people had their own sense of self-esteem, they wouldn't need to attack yours. Worth in the NHL is defined by talent, stats, popularity with the media and fans, and the rules in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Therefore, I propose that the federal government introduce a CBA for working class Americans, in which entry level salary is at least six figures and subject to signing bonuses and what not, and in which we have the right to protest anything that infringes upon our rights, well-being, sanity or self-esteem. Hard working Americans are just as deserving of being well-rewarded as hockey players, and if I was queen for a day, we would be.

Next up: Article 9, Entry Level Compensation, part 3.

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