Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Heads or Tails?

The games: Tampa vs. Toronto, Anaheim vs. San Jose, Portland Winterhawks vs. Swift Current Broncos (WHL).

The scores: Tampa 4, Toronto 0. Three of those goals were scored in the first period, two of which were scored within 29 seconds of one another. So the evil Boucher "don't mess with me I have a bad ass mystery scar AND a master's degree in messing with players' heads" plan is working. I like it. Carry on.

Anaheim 2, San Jose 1 end of second period.

Portland 4, Swift Current 2.

On the other hand: In another couple of years, I must be pro Toronto all the time, because Portland Winterhawk Brad Ross will be playing for them. I've even purchased a Toronto Maple Leafs Christmas stocking in preparation.

Repeat performance: On Saturday night, Ryan Johansen topped off the Winterhawks' scoring with an empty netter that helped us beat the Everett Silvertips 4 - 2. He scored two goals tonight, and the second was an exact duplicate of the Everett game: an empty netter that resulted in the same final score.

The rule: NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Article 12, Section 12.7, Scheduling.

If you thought the NHL was a highly organized, professional, impeccably marketed, global sports marketing and sales empire that runs like clockwork with the help of Stanley Cup champions, Harvard-educated lawyers and Wharton MBAs: Forget that. 12.7 (c) After the NHL and NHLPA have compiled the Player List, salary arbitrations shall be scheduled as follows:

(i) The NHL and NHLPA shall flip a coin to determine which party shall begin the process set forth in subsection (ii) below.

(ii) The party winning the coin flip set forth in subsection (i) above shall select a Player from the Player List and shall assign such Player to a particular Salary Arbitrator on one of such Salary Arbitrator's available dates, as indicated in the Salary Arbitration Calendar.

Morals of the story:

The game: No, that's not a typo. Salary arbitration is one of the most contentious, costly and time-consuming activities in this agreement and the scheduling and selection of the top notch grade A individual who is going to decide your financial worth and fate is at the mercy of a coin toss. If I'd known working for the NHL didn't require a degree in sports marketing, I would have applied for my dream job years ago.

Life: What if your fate in life was decided by a coin toss, and you had no control over it whatsover? Would you be relieved because you weren't responsible for the outcome? Glad that someone else decided for you, instead of making your own stupid choices? Disappointed because it wasn't what you wanted, dreamed, or hoped? There is a part of me that wishes I didn't have to choose between one fate and another in life, or that I had the kind of talent where only one fate awaited me in life. But alas, I was left to my own devices. Some of that was good, some of it was utterly forgettable, a lot of it was memorable and some of it was just plain stupid. But in the end, if I'd taken any other road, I wouldn't be here. And for right now, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Next up: NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Article 12, Salary Arbitration. 12.9, Rules of Procedure.


  1. Samantha, perhaps you'll get that dream job after all :)

    The fact that a player is assigned to a "particular" arbitrator is a bit scary, especially with so much on the line. Seems like an independent party should be involved, not the NHL or NHLPA. How many players are typically up for arbitration each year?

  2. 31 this year and 20 last year, according to the NHL (http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=533841)

    And I want to see the ad for that job...wanted: hockey fans with at least one year of coin flipping experience.