Thursday, October 7, 2010

Refresh Me, Why Would People NOT Want to Watch Hockey?

The games: Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, Toronto vs. Montreal, Chicago vs. Colorado, Edmonton vs. Calgary.

Why I chose them: Duh. Hockey is back. Why would anyone be doing anything else on this most momentous of evenings?

The local angle: Former Portland Winterhawk Braydon Coburn just got into it with Sidney Crosby at the end of the second period. Trivia tidbit: Coburn kept his Oregon phone number on the cell phone he carries around to this day.

Maybe they should prepare for the next game by looking up comeback in the dictionary: The Pens are trailing by 1 with 3:31 to go. Max Talbot needs to start punching somebody like, right now, and save what's left of this game.

Never mind: And down they go, 3 -2 Philadelphia. Well, at least they opened in Consol the way they closed in Mellon.

And win or lose: When I go out to Google News and put Sidney Crosby in the search bar, there will be soundbites a plenty. No replays. No photo opps with Roger Federer. Real live cliches from the real grownup wonder boy. Game and RSS Feeds on.

I love the Habs, but: I must start training now for the day I will be pro-Toronto all the time. And that will be the day when Portland Winterhawk Brad Ross makes the roster and puts on a jersey for real. Brad was drafted 43rd by the leafs in this year's draft. He's back in Portland, and has already been named WHL player of the week and has scored six goals in five games thus far. Most notably, he put us over the winning edge in last night's game against Everett.

And if that doesn't do it for 'ya: Tonight marks Taylor Hall's professional, regular season debut with Edmonton. Ditto for my personal fave Jordan Eberle. Kicking it off with the battle of Alberta. Interstate rivalry in Pennsylvania to christen Consol Energy Center. Three cheers for the scheduling geniuses at the NHL.

Background music: Carmina Burana is playing in the background at the Edmonton vs. Calgary game.

Oh alright, I guess I'll cover another rule I don't understand: Article 10, Free Agency. 10.4 Draft Choice Compensation for Restricted Free Agents. Group 2 Compensation Chart. It goes like this:

Any club that is entitled to but does not exercise its Right of First Refusal pursuant to Section 10.3 shall be entitled to obtain Draft Choice Compensation from the New Club. The number and quality of draft choices due to the Prior Club shall be based on the average annual value of the compensation contained in the Principal Terms of the New Club's offer sheet (determined by dividing such compensation by the lesser of the number of years of the Offer Sheet by five), based on the following scale:

Offer Sheet Compensation

$660,000 or below None

Over $660,000 to $1 million 3rd Round

Over $1 million to $2 million 2nd Round

Over $2 million to $3 million 1st Round and 3rd Round

Over $3 million to $4 million 1st Round, 2nd Round and 3rd Round

Over $4 million to $5 million Two First Rounds, 2nd Round and 3rd Round

Over $5 million Four 1st Rounds

Morals of the story:

The game: Well at least they tell you how to do the math in this one. And now I understand all that wheeling and dealing that goes on at the draft, the off season and the trade deadline. And you superstar players, I hate to tell you this, but this rule is proof you are a commodity. If you're lucky, you're changing the game and all that. But never forget that you are also a line item on a spreadsheet. Speaking of which:

Life: How like hockey life is. We're all line items on a spreadsheet. We can all be traded, put on waivers and downsized at any time. Only in life, we don't get choice draft picks or millions of dollars in trade. But we should. Anyone whose company decides to downsize, realign or re-whatever should be entitled to compensation equal to ten times what they were paid while putting forth their blood, sweat and tears for said employer without so much as a thank you before being shown the door or downgraded to a smaller cube, salary and job title.

Next up: Article 11, Rules and Procedures Governing Standard Player's Contract.

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