Friday, November 26, 2010

It's picnic time for hockey fans

The games: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals, Chicago vs. Anaheim, Toronto vs. Buffalo, San Jose vs. Vancouver.

Why I chose them: Cutie pie Swiss goalies (Jonas Hiller, Anaheim), cutie pie Danish forwards (Peter Regin, Ottawa Senators), flaming hot coaches in Tampa and his evil comeback plan and two teams that one day will have Portland Winterhawks in their lineup (Buffalo, Toronto). Football fans have the Super Bowl. Hockey fans have the day after Thanksgiving. Games on.

One down, four to go: Pittsburgh 2, Ottawa 1. If it hadn't been for the buzzer, the score would be 3 - 1 on an empty netter.

Oooohhh did I say that out loud?: It has occurred to me that the New York Islanders in their current sad state of affairs do not currently deserve their #5 overall draft pick Nino Niederreiter, who was returned to the Portland Winterhawks for the season. Thank you, New York. You can wait for him and like it.

There's hockey back home, too: The Portland Winterhawks defeated the Everett Silvertips 4 - 2, courtesy of a selfless play from Oliver Gabriel to once and future Columbus Blue Jackets teammate Ryan Johansen (both have signed with the team, Ryan went 4th overall to the team in the 2010 Entry Draft). Oliver just missed the hat trick, instead racking up 2 goals and one assist for the night. They are on the road to Chilliwack and TriCities tonight and Saturday, and we will bookend the holiday weekend with a home game on Sunday.

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

In case you ever wondered how and why an NHL player ends up in the minors for conditioning, here's part of it: 13.8 Conditioning Loan. Unless a player consents, he shall not be loaned on a Conditioning Loan to a minor league Club. Such conditioning loan shall not extend for more than fourteen (14) days. The Commissioner may take whatever steps he deems necessary to investigate the circumstances under which a Player is loaned on a Conditioning Loan. If the Comissioner has reason to believe or determines that the Club has used the Conditioning Loan to evade the Re-Entry Waivers, or otherwise Circumvent any provision of this Agreement, he may take such disciplinary action against the Club, as he deems appropriate. And of course: the player continues to make his NHL salary while he's on a conditioning loan.

Morals of the story:

The game: Like waivers, conditioning loans aren't necessarily a bad thing. But it's not exactly feeding the ego of NHL players to be sent down to the farm for a little retooling, now is it?

Life: Conditioning loans wouldn't exactly be easy on the ego in Corporate America, either. But I wouldn't mind getting off the treadmill every once and a while for a little conditioning that would consist of eight hours' sleep a night, going to the gym more regularly and eating from the proper food groups. In fact, I think all companies should have a conditioning loan rule like this. And every year or so, when overworked employees have had enough, you just ship 'em out to a little quasi-spa for a few power naps and nutritious meals and what not et's like hiring a brand new employee, only without the hassle.

Next up: Article 13.12, Transfers to and From Minors.

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