Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Will Never Waive My Right to Love Hockey

The game: Chicago vs. Edmonton.

Why I chose it: It's the Stanley Cup champions facing off against the #1 Draft Pick and company on the Oiler's home ice. Also, I'm a one-woman, 24/7 pro-Jordan Eberle promotion machine. I love that when asked to describe himself, he said neat. He hates being late. He knows how to do his own laundry and cook. He gets up early to call his girlfriend. He likes to eat ice cream before games. Where was he when I was 20? And what's wrong with eating ice cream before a game? Dairy is a food group and it's sugar for energy later. Perfectly acceptable pre-game snack.

Which is why this is so painful: It's Chicago 4, Edmonton 0 at the end of the second.

Meanwhile, across the NHL: Guy Boucher and his evil comeback plan for Tampa roll into Nassau Coliseum to face off against the Islanders and their new coach. Vancouver and Pittsburgh get down to it at Consol Energy Center. And the Columbus Blue Jackets face the LA Kings. Games on.

I still don't understand this, but it's not for me to understand, it's for me to like: Anze Kopitar is even hotter now that he's sporting the start of a scar on his upper lip. So not fair. If I had a nasty gash like that running across my face, I'd have to move to a closet and only come out under cover of darkness.

The El Nino effect: Not long after the the New York Islanders returned Nino Niederreiter to the Portland Winterhawks, they went on a 10-game losing streak, and we racked up a 10-game winning streak. Coincidence or proof the Islanders need to re-think a few things before they take Portland's prized possession from us for good? Discuss.

The rule: NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. Article 13, Waivers and Loans of Players to Minor League Clubs.

13.1: A Club shall not dispose of the services of any Player in which it has a proprietary interest by Loan to a club of another league without first having complied with the provisions of this Article. The Waivers that are recognized by this Agreement are Regular Waivers, Re-Entry Waivers and Unconditional Waivers. As defined in the glossary at the beginning of the CBA, waivers means the process by which the rights to a Player are offered to all other Clubs, pursuant to the procedure set forth in Article 13 of this Agreement and shall include Regular, Re-Entry and Unconditional Waivers.

Morals of the story:

The game: I've always wondered what waivers were and how they work. I didn't understand that waivers are what teams do when they don't need or want you anymore, but they must give you a chance to be claimed by other teams before they release you. Clearing waivers means nobody wanted the player and he can remain with his team or choose to go to free agent status and shop himself around. No matter what this rule says or how it protects players, being put on waivers blows. Sorry, but there's just no other way to put it. On the other hand, many a great player was claimed off waivers and went on to thrive with their next team. Erik Christensen, for example, after being bumped around from the Penguins to the Thrashers to the Ducks, is seeing his stock rise ever higher with the New York Rangers. Go figure.

On the other hand, we heard from broadcaster Andy Kemper last night that Portland Winterhawks' goalie Ian Curtis, who cleared waivers recently, has chosen to take a break from hockey to prepare for college. I'm glad he found a future and he's taking advantage of the WHL scholarship money. He's very smart and was interested in forestry management and ecotourism. It's perfect. I can totally see him giving guided wilderness tours all over his home province of BC. And going for that rock star option on the side to make a little cash wouldn't hurt either. Very best wishes to him all around.

Life: In my last months in New York, you might say that fate put me on waivers. I got fired twice in one year, hence didn't save enough money to buy a new couch, and lived in an apartment with a view of a brick wall, an oven with a broken pilot light and heat that worked when the landlord decided he wanted to pay for it. So I cleared waivers and went to free agent status. I do miss New York at the holidays, but I wouldn't go back now. I wouldn't go back to crowded trains and long days and no heat on a blustery night like tonight. I wouldn't go back to hauling laundry up three flights of stairs in a little shopping cart, or never making enough money to get ahead. But I wouldn't take back what I did either. Like a winning season that falls short before you win the Cup, it was still worth playing. It's just like was just time for something else to claim me. And so it did. And here I am. Right where I belonged all along.

Next up: NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 13, Waivers and Loans of Players to Minor League Clubs. 13.2, Playing Season Waiver Period. 13.3, Re-Entry Waivers. 13.4, Exempt Players.


  1. Getting put on waivers isn't necessarily a bad thing. Gives a player or person a fresh start in life. Like you moving out of NY.

    Are you sure you don't miss schlepping laundry up 3 flights of stairs, no heat on freezing days, overcrowded subway trains and the like?

    Poor Wayne Redden would be a good case study on players clearing waivers and ending up on the farm.

    Did you hear about Chris Botta? His press credentials were yanked by Garth Snow of the Islanders.

  2. I miss hauling laundry up three flights of stairs after hauling it three blocks in winter? I'm gonna go with no. I heard about Chris Botta. Personally, I think both parties should have found another, more professional way to work out their differences. But it's a good reminder...that's what happens when you bite the hand that once fed you.

  3. Key word being once. I guessed this comment shut him down.

    On his blog Tuesday, Botta wrote that “one of these days the Islanders have to start running the franchise like a professional outfit — not a mom-and-pop store where a few good friends make decisions and tell themselves they can’t wait to prove everybody wrong ... one of these years!”

    In this situation, Garth Snow looks like the bad guy. The Icelanders have been in sad shape for a long time. I see them off LI in a few years. Maybe KC.

  4. Bring em to Portland we'll take them and Nino in a heart beat...