Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hockey Is Back. Period. End of Off Season.

The game: Portland Winterhawks vs. Everett Silvertips (WHL). Everett is up 3 - 2 as the begin the third period. It's "how many penalties can the Winterhawks pull in one night" night here in the Pacific Northwest. On the other hand, Spencer Bennett just scored his fourth goal of the season, and Ryan Johansen scored the game tying goal and set up Spencer for his go-ahead goal (just after coming out of the box).

In case you're wondering what they eat for breakfast: No clue, but I do know what Spencer eats for lunch. He's turned our new Swiss import Sven Bartschi on to burritos. I must make note to ask Spencer which "Mexican Grill" Sven was referring to the other night when I talked to him. There's about half a dozen with that name attached to them.

Major bummer alert: Thanks to lengthy technical difficulties, we just missed Brad Ross' game winning goal that sealed the deal to beat Everett 5-3. It's his 6th goal in five games. Ryan Johansen walks away with a goal and two assists, a mere 72 hours after arriving back in Portland.

But that is a mere warm up for this: Tomorrow night is NHL Face-Off in Toronto. In less than 24 hours, hockey returns. And mark your calendars for the Islanders vs. Stars game on Saturday. It marks the official NHL debut of the highest drafted Swiss player in the League's history, Nino Niederreiter, who has earned a spot on the Islanders opening night roster.

And this: Article 10, Free Agency. (b) Group 4 Free Agents. Definition of a "defected player." For purposes of this Agreement, a "Defected Player" means any Player not unconditionally released:

(A) who, having had an SPC with a Club, the provisions of which, including the option clauses in a 1995 SPC, have not been completely fulfilled, contracts for a period including any part of the unfulfilled portion of his SPC, with a club in a league not affiliated with the NHL or with any such league (both of which are hereinafter referred to as an "unaffiliated club") or with any other professional hockey club to the exclusion of the said Club or its assignee or:

(B) who, never having been under contract to any Club, but as to who the NHL negotiation rights now or at any time hereafter shall reside in any Club, has contracted or shall contract with such an unaffiliated club.

(C) A Player who plays out his final season, or option season pursuant to a 1995 SPC, as the case may be, and enters into a contract for a period including the following season with an unaffiliated club or with any other professional hockey club shall not be deemed to be a "Defected Player"; provided, however that nothing contained in this Section shall be construed to affect the rights of said Club to compensation, if applicable, pursuant to this Article 10 in the event that said Player should subsequently enter into an SPC for his services as a professional hockey player with another Club of the NHL.

Morals of the story:

The game: "Gotta keep it simple" is my new peeve/cliche. There's nothing simple about this game. Unless you went to Harvard law school. Then I'm sure it's a piece of cake.

Life: Ok, I got the not unconditionally released part, but you lost me after that. Like this rule, we complicate life entirely too much. We get tangled up, caught up and we give up. Sliding downhill in life is far too easy to start and too hard to stop. The trick to climbing life's peaks is to stop at the plateau every now and again to survey the landscape. Look around, appreciate where you are, adjust for previous mistakes and move forward. And whatever you do, don't let the other climbers drag you down. Yes, I just used mountain climbing and hockey as metaphors for life. What can I say? It's late on a Wednesday and my other options were way cheesier.

Next up: Article 10, Free Agency. Group 2 Compensation Chart.

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