BARONS BUCKS

Martin Gernat (photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved) and his Oklahoma City Barons teammates are very close to the promised land of the NHL. Massive annual salaries, no heavy lifting off the ice, airplanes, hotels, room service, fancy eating tables, cement ponds. It is so very close.

Currently, the 2014-15 Barons have four men about to earn over $100,000 this season. For many reading this blog, that’s not a lot for a year’s work (seriously, Alberta is drunk with wealthy people who work for a living. Every swinging Dick makes 100 large in this damn place) but for a young hockey player it’s good pay on the way to a better one. I’d give my left nut to be any of these kids (in one way. In another, wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m a lucky guy) with a chance to make the show.

OKLAHOMA CITY BARONS SALARIES VIA CAPGEEK

LEFT WING CENTER RIGHT WING
RYAN HAMILTON (300k) WILL ACTON (100k) STEVE PINIZZOTTO (225k)
CURTIS HAMILTON (75k) BOGDAN YAKIMOV (70k) ANDREW MILLER (90k)
MITCHELL MOROZ (70k) JUJHAR KHAIRA (70k) TYLER PITLICK (85k)
KALE KESSY (65k) TRAVIS EWANYK (60k) IIRO PAKARINEN (70k)
     
LEFT DEFENSE   RIGHT DEFENSE
BRAD HUNT (80k)   OSCAR KLEFBOM (70k)
MARTIN GERNAT (70k)   DAVID MUSIL (70k)
BRANDON DAVIDSON (62.5k)   DILLON SIMPSON (70k)
JORDAN OESTERLE (70k)    
     
  GOAL  
  RICHARD BACHMAN (225k)  
  LAURENT BROSSOIT (70k)  
  TYLER BUNZ (62.5k)  
  FRANS TUOHIMAA (60k)  

Every once in awhile, like maybe once a year, I’ll get an email asking me some form of the following question: “I have a nephew/friend/relative who plays pro hockey and he’s 23. His family thinks he should play one more winter and then quit.” Not necessarily asking my advice (I assume these young men have more resources than bloggers on the internet) but as a way to connect (pretty much all of my conversations that come from people accessing via the blog are positive. It’s incredible).

Here’s how I feel. Let’s take that Tyler Bunz fellow as an example. Now, he’s had some concussion issues and a few close calls and nicks and scratches and sirens along the way, and maybe you (as a fan) think “meh, he’s done” and believe he would be better served by walking away. I don’t agree, not for a goalie and not for a defenseman nor a forward. Goalies and blue are especially prone to meandering before arriving at a good spot where they thrive.

My advice (which has not been requested by any of the men on the Barons roster) is you ride that nag until it drops, son. You live that life you love and you take it all in, you go to every rodeo and barn dance and you play like hell for every shift you’re out there.

Because, when it’s over, well, there’s going to be many years to get serious and buckle down. I don’t want to know the young man who gives up his dream in his 20′s. At the very least hang around long enough for an NHL cup of coffee, a two year trip to Switzerland and a nice little start to your next stop along the way.

And maybe you hit the lottery and have a career. Boring is waiting for you, believe me.

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54 Responses to "BARONS BUCKS"

  1. Lloyd B. says:

    Why would Ryan Hamilton be at $300,000 and Pinzatto at $225,000 ? Surely ( don’t know why I’m calling you Surely) the Oilers can’t be afraid of losing them on the waiver wire if they get sent down. Those kinds of guys can always be replaced.

  2. Ring2theDing says:

    I wish more people could hear this advice before it’s too late for them. I was one of these young guys playing CJFL for the Wildcats. I only made it two years before I decided to turn towards University and a more likely career path. Not a day goes by where I wish I could still be playing football.

    It’s only been 2 years since I made that decision and I already regret not staying the course.

    Keep Preaching! I wish I was given this advice.

  3. Big Dan says:

    The salary shows that the Oilers really like Pinizzotto. I anticipate him playing quite a bit for the Oilers (and Pitlick, despite a good sound bite from Nelson, maturing one more year and only getting a few cups of coffee in 2014-15).

    If everybody is healthy, I see the 4th line being Gordon & Hendricks with somebody in the top 9. Lander would be the odd man out most nights and Joensuu would go back to Europe rather than riding AHL buses.

    Gazdic would play a few minutes a night as the 12F when they need a heavyweight. Or Pinizzotto if they wanted somebody who could actually play 5-10 minutes. I love Matt Hendricks but I don’t think there is much of a step down between him and Pinizzotto.

    Or perhaps they go with 7 defensemen and 11 forwards?

    I also think Khaira should play LW just like in junior. There is more opportunity for him on the wing so you may as well develop him there. You have RNH, Arco, Draisaitl, Gordon, Lander, and Yakimov as future C’s. Plus Khaira’s big body lends itself to a grindy LW make-room-for-the-others role.

    Do you think Mitch Moroz will play much in the AHL this year? I’m wondering if he is ECHL bound for the first bit while Matthew Ford grinds out spot duty in the AHL. Moroz may fit in well with offensive guys like Connor/Kellen Jones and Holmberg.

  4. John Chambers says:

    Agree with the 20-something’s chasing a dream, LT, because nobody is going to pay you to play when you’re 40 unless your name is Jaromir.

    Ultimately if one can earn a college education playing, that’s not a bad end goal. Meanwhile if you can earn 100k playing in Italy and teaching the game to rich French kids in San Sebastien in the summers, there’s a lifestyle you’ll think about when you’re selling houses back in Thunder Bay a decade later.

    Plus let’s face it – chicks diggit.

  5. godot10 says:

    Big Dan:

    I also think Khaira should play LW just like in junior.There is more opportunity for him on the wing so you may as well develop him there.You have RNH, Arco, Draisaitl, Gordon, Lander, and Yakimov as future C’s.Plus Khaira’s big body lends itself to a grindy LW make-room-for-the-others role.

    Khaira will almost certainly be playing centre in OKC. By the playoffs last year, after Lander was sent back down, Khaira pushed Ewanyk to wing, and Kessy out of the lineup, and Khaira stuck at centre and played during the playoffs.

  6. Lois Lowe says:

    The issue I see is that a lot of these kids forego education in favour of hockey. I wish more of them would seriously consider CIAU or the NCAA over major junior. A guy I played hockey with as a kid got an athletic scholarship to Brown and parlayed that into a nice career in finance in New York City. High level athletics can be such a fantastic opportunity, but I fear to many of the kids develop myopia.

  7. leadfarmer says:

    I think the phrase “find something you love to do, and then figure out a way for people to pay you money to do it” is very appropriate here.

    If playing hockey is your passion in life than do it for as long as you can. You only have one life, do something you love.

  8. B S says:

    godot10,

    Agreed, Khaira already seems to have the defensive chops down, playing him at wing is a waste since it disregards his best skills, I would rather move Yakimov there. He doesn’t have NA experience so less responsibility and a bigger focus on scoring and forechecking might be better for him to start.

  9. B S says:

    Lois Lowe:
    The issue I see is that a lot of these kids forego education in favour of hockey. I wish more of them would seriously consider CIAU or the NCAA over major junior. A guy I played hockey with as a kid got an athletic scholarship to Brown and parlayed that into a nice career in finance in New York City. High level athletics can be such a fantastic opportunity, but I fear to many of the kids develop myopia.

    It’s funny that you bring it up. A friend has taught a few hockey players here, and remarked that they were her smartest students, and not like any of the other athletes she’s encountered in Communications (a common trash degree for athlete students assuming that they are going to become pros). I pointed out that unlike Football and Basketball varsity the hockey players don’t get a free ride and probably can’t count on faculty letting them through. Football and Basketball have ruined the college system and the lives of a lot of wannabe athletes in the US.

  10. stevezie says:

    I loved this article. Especially, “I don’t want to know the young man who gives up his dream in his 20′s.”
    As someone (currently) in Alberta not making 100Gs, it’s a nice affirmation. Even if I don’t technically qualify.

  11. B S says:

    Thinking on it, pro junior is probably a good thing. Not everyone is cut out for college or university, dropping standards to include them when there is little chance they will need a degree or be around long enough to complete it (skilled enough to be offered a pro contract before they’re 20).

  12. stevezie says:

    I would play for free in Switzerland if I had the skills to do that. I get that playing at a high level your whole life would give you a different perspective than a rec-league guy like me has, but I would trade a lot of luxury to say my day-job was “hockey player”.

  13. Hammers says:

    Actually your so right and it’s for all sports . Getting paid to play and having a chance to go to the next level is the best feeling . Mine was football (soccer) . Never made it to the top level but it was worthwhile trying . Consider it a life lesson is what I would tell all young people , no matter the sport .Of that Barons list I count 5 that should see the 200 game threshold but only if they give 100% + all the time .

  14. Lois Lowe says:

    B S,

    One of my issues with the current construction of the CHL is that they are essentially pros but aren’t being compensated accordingly. They are paid ~$1600 for their efforts but these kids ensure concussions and other injuries for the team owners who do make money off of them. Although they are considered amateurs in Canada, the NCAA will not take them. The NCAA is its own monster, but I can’t help but feel these kids are getting a raw deal for the the minute chance to turn pro.

  15. supernova says:

    Sound advice LT,

    I agree with you completely. Play as long and as hard and as wherever you can.

    The thing that usually stops them is having kids along that path.

    Damn kids change your whole life. (Wouldn’t trade mine for a second in the NHL )

  16. supernova says:

    Lois Lowe:
    B S,

    One of my issues with the current construction of the CHL is that they are essentially pros but aren’t being compensated accordingly. They are paid ~$1600 for their efforts but these kids ensure concussions and other injuries for the team owners who do make money off of them. Although they are considered amateurs in Canada, the NCAA will not take them. The NCAA is its own monster, but I can’t help but feel these kids are getting a raw deal for the the minute chance to turn pro.

    Lois Lowe,

    Well you are right on a lot of these things.

    The answer is simple to me;

    You don’t like it, don’t play.

    Go another route or do something else.

    CHL has proven it is the best path for NHL players, if that’s your dream, you likely take that shot.

  17. nycoil says:

    This might be my favourite post you’ve ever written, sir. And that is saying something. It rings so true I can still hear the echo.

  18. FastOil says:

    “Steve Smith”:
    supernova,

    You don’t like it, don’t play.Go another route or do something else.Graham James has proven that he develops NHL players.If that’s your dream, take that shot.

    (An admittedly provocative and possibly offensive parallel, just to make the point that “They signed on for it” is a pretty weak answer to the issues Lois is raising.Young kids chasing a dream are one of the most easily exploited populations on Earth, and it’s a phenomenon that extends well beyond sports.They’re entitled to some protections from grown-up society.)

    Really?

  19. TheOtherJohn says:

    Agree with the thought. D can still make the jump at 24-25-26 and who knows when keepers are ready. Not sure same rationale applies to 23 yr old F but if someone offered to pay me to winter in Europe playing 8-10 games a month: what a life experience

    As I read your post was thinking “Gee I wonder if LT gets sick of MAP’s mom contacting him every summer?”

  20. Lowetide says:

    Lois Lowe:
    B S,

    One of my issues with the current construction of the CHL is that they are essentially pros but aren’t being compensated accordingly. They are paid ~$1600 for their efforts but these kids ensure concussions and other injuries for the team owners who do make money off of them. Although they are considered amateurs in Canada, the NCAA will not take them. The NCAA is its own monster, but I can’t help but feel these kids are getting a raw deal for the the minute chance to turn pro.

    I agree with you. These kids should be paid.

  21. supernova says:

    FastOil: Really?

    FastOil,

    Not sure if it was “Steve smith” that responded to it and said “exploiting the young”

    Tell me if you have ever heard Jason Strudwick or Mike Modano, or even a Travis Ewanyk type talk about being exploited?

    Hockey is such a small world that the outcry over the decades would be more than a whisper. I have met at least 30 people who never played a second of pro hockey and they themselves would do it over and over and over again.

    We are not talking about child labour in Africa or Asia for heavens sake. I know many people that have billeted WHL players. If there is oppression why would these people never say a thing?

    Could there be some tweeks to the agreements for players and safety? Sure but it is hardly anything like you state “exploiting the young”

    Tell me how much did Swift Current, Kootenay, Moose Jaw, and Prince Albert make combined last year?

    You want to fix junior? Go to a game. Spend some money and advocate for Revenue sharing, after that increased benifits will come for players, like paying them more and changing their schooling packages to give them longer to try pro.

  22. RexLibris says:

    I would have no problem if Unifor actually established a CHL union.

    Forget arguments about pecuniary remuneration (score one for legal speak!), the money should go into a communally-funded post-secondary fund that extends until the player is 27 years old.

    The money can be set aside and those funds not accessed can go towards topping it up for the rest. The NHL and NHLPA could also chip in a (relatively) small amount and the interest accrued over the lifetime of that fund, when viewed on a per-player basis, may actually be quite self-sustaining.

    In the event that the fund began to accrue too much money, the surplus could eventually be diverted into increased per diems, a heritage fund for former players who may have lost their careers to injury, stabilizing teams in struggling markets, or various other payouts that help perpetuate and strengthen the CHL/CHLPA system.

    By making CHL graduates, be they professional players or simply former player/prospects, better educated and more employable the league helps to improve it’s lot. Some of those graduates, probably pursuing degrees in business studies, will undoubtedly return to the CHL, or perhaps move on to the AHL, NHL or overseas. They become prestige markers for their sporting alma mater.

    If the CHL could approach the subject of a junior level PA with this in mind, rather than an adversarial zero-sum contest, they’d save themselves a world of trouble when the inevitable finally comes to pass.

  23. Ozzieoiler says:

    I just spent last weekend helping on the bench here in Brisbane, Australia for the Canada vs USA international tour.

    It was filled with plenty of CHL, ECHL, AHL and European Pros. I had the chance to meet Bunz, he played well but it’s hard to give a good scouting report with such poor quality opposition.

    I was impressed with Emerson Etem and Ian Cole.

    Good to get close to a few of these guys and they were really a cut above the rest.

    Funny story, Bunz misplaced/lost his phone and probably wandered around the place for 30 minutes trying to find it. He seemed lost as t what to do. He had no real idea how to proceed. The more I was around these guys the more I realized they lack a lot of life skills we take for granted. They have lived a fair amount of time with people doing lots of things for them.

    Being in Australia must have been a real shock as there was very little support staff for them and they had to do things that i think they had never had to do.

  24. FastOil says:

    supernova: Ste

    It was an extremely inappropriate statement that I responded to.

    I agree the CHL system isn’t ideal. The issue is very complex given the age of all involved, and really would probably be best addressed with a national program like Euro soccer, a development system from youth up. Yet remember in that system the team is the primary financial beneficiary as far as I know.

    Given the privy council decisions it’s difficult in Canada to have national anything.

  25. supernova says:

    FastOil: It was an extremely inappropriate statement that I responded to.

    I agree the CHL system isn’t ideal. The issue is very complex given the age of all involved, and really would probably be best addressed with a national program like Euro soccer, a development system from youth up. Yet remember in that system the team is the primary financial beneficiary as far as I know.

    Given the privy council decisions it’s difficult in Canada to have national anything.

    FastOil,

    Agreed,

    I didn’t think you agree with the comments but couldn’t see the post from “Steve Smith”

    As a fan of junior hockey and an avid reader of the business of sports I understand the players side. my points being the system is far from Broken, very very few owners are in it for the money and yes there are improvements that could b had for players but my original response still holds true to me,

    Until a majority of owners are making an actual profit it will be hard pressed to see major changes for players. At the end of the day for players it is a league that offers them the greatest “opportunity” to play a long pro career. If that route was that badly managed why would we not here aloud noise about it. When in reality we here many people grateful for their time in that system.

  26. Zack says:

    Some excellent advice by Lowetide. If you have something, anything going for you, like university, take life by the horns, live it out to it’s fullest potential and love every moment. In hockey, development can be such a crap shoot, how many guys do we see have their cup of coffee or even make the team every year who essentially “came out of now where” from the year before? I think a perfect example of this would be Mark Arcobello. Rewind two years ago, who seen him cracking a roster spot?

    Don’t try to control the unknown, seize what you can control and embrace it!

  27. Lois Lowe says:

    supernova,

    The fact that the CHL condones fighting for kids between the ages of 16-19 is exploitation in my mind. The mindset and culture of hockey that allows coaches and managers to make kids ‘play a role’ and take punches to the head is beyond reprehensible. That is saying nothing about coaches and managers that implicitly ask kids to play hurt and risk further injury ‘for the good of the team’. “Steve Smith” may have been vulgar in making his point, but the relationship is very easily construed as exploitative in nature.

    These boys are in no position to disagree, they are often away from their parents’ oversight, and are willing to do just about anything to better their chances. I’m sure a lot of things get swept under the rug or ignored for fear of upsetting coaches and management. Imagine playing under someone like Patrick Roy or Kevin Constantine and tell me that you don’t think intimidation and bullying play a part of their coaching style.

    Rex has some good ideas about how to make things better for them, but I think the first thing is to admit that the system is deeply flawed and likely ruins a lot more young men than it helps. I think it’s funny that you mention three players that all managed to turn pro. Why not find some of them that never made it out of junior and are dealing with early onset dementia and CTE?

  28. Bank Shot says:

    Junior players do get to attend Canadian univerisities on scholarships after they finish juniors if they choose. It’s kind of a crummy deal though I believe because if they play any pro hockey at all they aren’t eligible. That probably includes leagues miles away from the NHL like the American CHL as well.

    The only thing that keeps me from being completely outraged over how these kids are treated is that probably 95% of them come from upper middle class homes and usually have a pretty great safety net if they chose to follow their dreams for a few years and it doesn’t pan out.

    The fact that sons of former NHLers only get drafted to their hometown teams makes me furious however. What a crock.

  29. RexLibris says:

    Bank Shot:
    Junior players do get to attend Canadian univerisities on scholarships after they finish juniors if they choose. It’s kind of a crummy deal though I believe because if they play any pro hockey at all they aren’t eligible. That probably includes leagues miles away from the NHL like the American CHL as well.

    The only thing that keeps me being completely outraged over how these kids are treated is that probably 95% of them come from upper middle class homes and usually have a pretty great safety net if they chose to follow their dreams for a few years and it doesn’t pan out.

    The fact that sons of former NHLers only get drafted to their hometown teams makes me furious however. What a crock.

    The problem is that they have 18 months to access that scholarship.

    A 20 year old kid, passed over in the draft and exploring options of going to the ECHL, AHL or overseas is probably going to choose those routes because the money is immediate and it allows them to continue along the path they’ve been travelling for the last five or more years.

    Throwing all that away to pick a post-secondary major when your entire environment the last three to five years has been focused almost exclusively on sports (and, with all due respect, less focus on intellectual improvement) is not that common.

    If CIS were a viable option to continue their hockey development with a chance to be drafted, then perhaps. And the NCAA’s rules exclude CHL players, from what I recall.

    Rock and a hard place.

    If I could draft some new rules, I’d have the NHL and NHLPA kick back some money to each development league based on the number of players drafted therefrom each year. That money would be spent to help bolster the leagues and provide for more post-secondary funding. I’d also allow special exemption for a team to assign a prospect drafted in the 1st round to an AHL affiliate within the first two seasons following that prospect’s being drafted by the NHL team to a maximum of one player every second year. Perhaps the NHL team could pay a modest fee to the CHL team when doing this as a proverbial “spoonful of sugar”.

    I would also try to arrange for some cultural and language support systems in place for young players who come over from outside North America to pursue their development in the CHL. Our experiences as fans with the stories of Nail Yakupov and Leon Draisaitl should help us empathize with the challenges these young men, heck children, face when they come over.

  30. dangilitis says:

    Hey, I make less than all of these players, and I am a 6th year resident (after completing med school). Totally right, 20s is the time to chase your dream and still earn more than the vast majority of Canadians.

  31. B S says:

    RexLibris:
    I would have no problem if Unifor actually established a CHL union.

    Forget arguments about pecuniary remuneration (score one for legal speak!), the money should go into a communally-funded post-secondary fund that extends until the player is 27 years old.

    The money can be set aside and those funds not accessed can go towards topping it up for the rest. The NHL and NHLPA could also chip in a (relatively) small amount and the interest accrued over the lifetime of that fund, when viewed on a per-player basis, may actually be quite self-sustaining.

    In the event that the fund began to accrue too much money, the surplus could eventually be diverted into increased per diems, a heritage fund for former players who may have lost their careers to injury, stabilizing teams in struggling markets, or various other payouts that help perpetuate and strengthen the CHL/CHLPA system.

    By making CHL graduates, be they professional players or simply former player/prospects, better educated and more employable the league helps to improve it’s lot. Some of those graduates, probably pursuing degrees in business studies, will undoubtedly return to the CHL, or perhaps move on to the AHL, NHL or overseas. They become prestige markers for their sporting alma mater.

    If the CHL could approach the subject of a junior level PA with this in mind, rather than an adversarial zero-sum contest, they’d save themselves a world of trouble when the inevitable finally comes to pass.

    I’ve heard similar ideas passed around before, but this is the most articulate one I’ve read in a while. I agree on pretty much anything (as well as acknowledge the gripes with the system Lois brought up).

    Ozzie, sadly enough, as I teach University students I can safely say that it isn’t a problem limited to pro sports prospects. Most of my students can’t tell on a clear day with a watch (or phone clock). They can’t study because their phone keeps going off and turning the damned thing off means they could miss something (like another distraction). And forget learning to cook.

    When Ference took the kids out camping/military camp I was appalled by prospects saying they had never been camping before. After graduating highschool my friends and I would do it for fun! These kids haven’t had real life experience yet. In Junior High, for a class we spent two nights in the woods with 2 feet of snow on the ground and had to build our own lean-tos. It got to -17C at night (it was November if I recall), and you just stuck it out because there was no other option. You didn’t whine or complain. Most kids seem to think that adversity is losing your cell phone.

  32. supernova says:

    Lois Lowe:
    supernova,

    The fact that the CHL condones fighting for kids between the ages of 16-19 is exploitation in my mind. The mindset and culture of hockey that allows coaches and managers to make kids ‘play a role’ and take punches to the head is beyond reprehensible. That is saying nothing about coaches and managers that implicitly ask kids to play hurt and risk further injury ‘for the good of the team’. “Steve Smith” may have been vulgar in making his point, but the relationship is very easily construed as exploitative in nature.

    These boys are in no position to disagree, they are often away from their parents’ oversight, and are willing to do just about anything to better their chances. I’m sure a lot of things get swept under the rug or ignored for fear of upsetting coaches and management. Imagine playing under someone like Patrick Roy or Kevin Constantine and tell me that you don’t think intimidation and bullying play a part of their coaching style.

    Rex has some good ideas about how to make things better for them, but I think the first thing is to admit that the system is deeply flawed and likely ruins a lot more young men than it helps. I think it’s funny that you mention three players that all managed to turn pro. Why not find some of them that never made it out of junior and are dealing with early onset dementia and CTE?

    Lois Lowe,

    Thanks for replying, I think this is far more interesting than originally intended.

    First things. I did state 3 levels of player who went pro and also stated I personally know at least 30 who haven’t played a second of pro after junior. ( the real number is propanly 50 +) .

    I personally know other players that have also played on scholarships in the US and some that played Junior A.

    As a fan of hockey and sports, I ask a lot of questions to these people when appropriate. Have their been some instances where coaches have gone overboard like Kevin Constantine? Sure but he was also fired for these instances.

    I totally disagree with you that fighting and playing a role is reprehensible. Is it a tough spot? Absolutely. As a player I was willing to do anything to play. I stood in front of the net, I fought, I blocked shots with my body, and I loved every bit of it. I would do it again in a second.

    Is there peer pressure and pressure from coaches? Sure. But where in life does this not exist? The better a person learns how to deal with this the better they will become. I never played pro sports but I also learned slot about life and business from playing them. I have played many different sports. Baseball, hockey, football, volleyball, tennis, road cycling, golf, boxing, MMA, etc. Each one teaches you something. Each one comes with its own pressures. Each one has issues.

    The fact that the CHL condones hockey is the fact that hockey is run by purists.
    Why is there Fighting?
    Why aren’t the nets bigger?
    Why isn’t the ice surface bigger now with the increased size and speed of the players?

    While I recognize these aren’t the same safety issue, is the fact that hockey is slow to change, and fighting has been migrating out of hockey for a while now, but players like the fact they can “police” themselves. I can almost guarentee you that since the Steve Moore incident, many coaches have stopped telling their players what to do when it comes to violence.

    I do think we don’t see the game the same. I will allow my son to play hockey if he wants to, if he wants to fight on the on the ice, I will help provide the proper technique to protect himself and the opponent. I will and I believe the sport will teach him many wonderful things about himself and life.

  33. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    man that ryan hamilton deal looks awful a year out.

    30 goals!

  34. supernova says:

    RexLibris: The problem is that they have 18 months to access that scholarship.

    A 20 year old kid, passed over in the draft and exploring options of going to the ECHL, AHL or overseas is probably going to choose those routes because the money is immediate and it allows them to continue along the path they’ve been travelling for the last five or more years.

    Throwing all that away to pick a post-secondary major when your entire environment the last three to five years has been focused almost exclusively on sports (and, with all due respect, less focus on intellectual improvement) is not that common.

    If CIS were a viable option to continue their hockey development with a chance to be drafted, then perhaps. And the NCAA’s rules exclude CHL players, from what I recall.

    Rock and a hard place.

    If I could draft some new rules, I’d have the NHL and NHLPA kick back some money to each development league based on the number of players drafted therefrom each year. That money would be spent to help bolster the leagues and provide for more post-secondary funding. I’d also allow special exemption for a team to assign a prospect drafted in the 1st round to an AHL affiliate within the first two seasons following that prospect’s being drafted by the NHL team to a maximum of one player every second year. Perhaps the NHL team could pay a modest fee to the CHL team when doing this as a proverbial “spoonful of sugar”.

    I would also try to arrange for some cultural and language support systems in place for young players who come over from outside North America to pursue their development in the CHL. Our experiences as fans with the stories of Nail Yakupov and Leon Draisaitl should help us empathize with the challenges these young men, heck children, face when they come over.

    RexLibris,

    I agree with you in these.

    18 months is to short for the players.
    NHL and NHLPA should be having funds put to where players have developed.
    Procurement fees are something I think would help all they way around,
    Certain teams do provide cultural and language support but these is an issue with some teams. Maybe the league has to help supply this for every team.

  35. G Money says:

    B S,

    Plus they just won’t get off my damn lawn!!!

  36. Hammers says:

    Complaining about the system that hasn’t really changed in decades isn’t the point, especially when many parents push there kids from age 4- 5 and up to try. They tell there children to become hockey players / stars . Personally I see that as a bigger problem . Controversial maybe but remember this is what many young boys grow up dreaming about . I felt the point of this article is that they should follow there dreams (and hopefully its not just the parents dream ) as long as they can .

  37. haters says:

    Wow, poor LT. That was hard to read. Life is not boring no matter what age you are. Life is amazing. Every second of every day is a gift. I find a lot of people have this sickness of living life in the past or future, by which I mean they either are beating themselves up about something that happened in the past or telling themselves ” things are gonna be good when ____ happens” or “I can’t wait to get of work then I’ll feel better” .

    Life happens now. Tell your brain to stfu and just enjoy the simple pleasures to their fullest. Like this wonderful blog that has taught me so much about hockey I didn’t know :)

  38. dessert1111 says:

    Great post LT, very poetic. I wonder if pro hockey players are bored much? Working for a living doesn’t quite enter your reality until it stares you in the face.

  39. Deadman Waiting says:

    Ze Frank: Are you human?

    Have you ever had a conversation with yourself and then suddenly realized you’re a real asshole to yourself?

    Have you ever skipped the video and just scanned the transcript because you didn’t figure the speaker had much to say? Hmm.

    It’s okay, it’s safe here.

  40. B S says:

    G Money:
    B S,

    Plus they just won’t get off my damn lawn!!!

    Electric fence works great, but the power costs are ridiculous,. Or a Clint Eastwood impersonation and an M1 Garand.

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    ladypants woke up last night:

    Tracy Lane @TreenasOil · 6h
    Not sure what they have in Klefbom. Mact intends to make the playoff this year and was told he has the assets to do it…as per Garfield

    Tracy Lane @TreenasOil · 6h
    Mact has had several talks with Dallas looking for a 3rd line C talk of Lander and Petry as Pkg Mact wants to wait until training camp

    So… LT… Eakin?

  42. Pouzar says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    Eakin would be dreamy.

  43. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    ROR signs 2 years 12M

    Darren Dreger ‏@DarrenDreger 15m
    Ryan O’Rielly agrees to 2 yr deal. $ 5.8 and $6.2.

  44. nycoil says:

    Eakin’s a decent player, but is that the best Lander and Petry could fetch?

  45. nycoil says:

    Romulus Apotheosis,

    And that takes him to UFA? He’s probably available next summer then?

  46. nycoil says:

    #NYR Kreider settled 2 yrs @ $2.35 M and $2.60 M.

  47. Lowetide says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    ladypants woke up last night:

    Tracy Lane @TreenasOil·6h
    Not sure what they have in Klefbom. Mact intends to make the playoff this year and was told he has the assets to do it…as per Garfield

    Tracy Lane @TreenasOil·6h
    Mact has had several talks with Dallas looking for a 3rd line C talk of Lander and Petry as Pkg Mact wants to wait until training camp

    So… LT… Eakin?

    Makes sense to me! That’s too much to give up for Eakin though, must be something else coming. Then again, he’s a year from UFA.

  48. nycoil says:

    Lowetide: Makes sense to me! That’s too much to give up for Eakin though, must be something else coming. Then again, he’s a year from UFA.

    That’s what I was trying to say, Petry and Lander for Eakin is too much so what else is coming this way if so.

  49. Pouzar says:

    1 year of Petry plus Lander is not too much imo.
    A signed Petry OTOH…

  50. Lowetide says:

    nycoil: That’s what I was trying to say, Petry and Lander for Eakin is too much so what else is coming this way if so.

    I’ll say Oleksiak just in case David Staples is reading this :-) but it might be Kevin Connauton. MacT liked him when they were in Chi-town together.

    Petry/Lander for Connauton/Eakin?

  51. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    the thing is she writes “3rd line C”

    that in itself makes you wonder… who is the player?

    if Eakin, remember that sure Lander hasn’t shown anything yet and Petry is a UFA next year (so… he’s a rental unless you can sign him)… BUT.. Eakin is unsigned right now (unless I’m missing something)

    so… none of these players have any contract stability going forward (Eakin could be signed long term by the Stars in a sign and trade, or by his acquiring team).

    Until Eakin gets signed long term… that’s too much. If he’s signed and on a friendly cap hit… looks a lot better.

    Sounds like it may well hinge on how the team feels about Klefbom.

  52. speeds says:

    nycoil: That’s what I was trying to say, Petry and Lander for Eakin is too much so what else is coming this way if so.

    I don’t know if it’s too much. 1 year of Petry plus 4 years of Lander for 4 years of Eakin? You think that’s too much from EDM?

    Different story if Petry is signed long term, or in the plans long term, but that doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case.

  53. nycoil says:

    speeds,

    I’d rather just re-sign Petry, all things being equal, but it’s hard to say when Eakin is unsigned as well what he thinks he is worth. It’s a known unknown!

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