Friday, March 18, 2005


Two Steps Back for NHL while Gabo is Gold

According to the propoganda machine that is the website, the NHL " ...made another collective bargaining proposal today which offered the Union a choice of two approaches for moving forward."

The NHL's definition of forward is obviously backward as they made 2 separate proposals that were for even less $$ than the previous offers the PA rejected.

Per Jamie Fitzpatrick:

In hockey labor jargon, they are classified as the "linked" and "de-linked" proposal:

Linked: Salaries are linked to a fixed percentage of annual NHL revenues. According to, today's proposal would give the players 54 percent of league-wide revenues.

De-Linked: A team-by-team salary cap of $37.5 million per year, with no link to revenues.

In both cases, the offer is a step back from previous proposals. Earlier this year, the league offered the players 55 per cent of revenue. In its final "de-linked" proposal a few weeks ago, the salary cap offer was $42 million per team.

The NHL is sticking to its guns when it proclaims that the $42.5mil 'unlinked' cap offer it made before the season collapsed would be its higher offer.

Still, I get the idea that the NHL isn't negotiating in good faith and is certainly looking more like they are in a 'union breaking' mode.

If the $42.5mil 'unlinked' cap offer was the best the NHL could made, then leave it on the table until June 1st or whenever. Retracting the dollar figures to lower levels is just going to piss the PA membership off even more and certainly will not help solve these negotiations in a healthy way.

Adding to the speculation that the NHL is gung-ho on using replacement players is scuttlebutt like this from the Ottawa Sun:

NHL owners aren't likely to wait for the outcome of new talks with the players before proceeding with their own plans for 2005-06. Though the second meeting in less than a week with the players' association is scheduled today, likely in New York, executives such as Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. president Richard Peddie says his team has begun gearing up for a new season, no matter who ends up wearing blue and white in October.

"Naturally, I'd like to tell you we have a deal (with the union) and we'd like to start playing now," Peddie said yesterday. "But we have to begin the job of marketing and selling our Leafs.

''We're working on the premise that there will be Leaf hockey and players with Leafs' sweaters on."

While the NHL is avoiding using the term 'replacement players' at all costs, it pretty clear that they are headed down that road with 2 lesser offers (With an expiry date), or at least using that as another pressure tactic against the PA.


Going googoo for Gaborik has named Marian Gaborik (Dukla Trencin) as European Player of the Month for February.

Now, I know many have in their minds the image of Marian Gaborik as a greedy shill. After his hurtful (to all parties) holdout last season, Gaborik has been lumped into the same pile as Alexei "Kashin" Yashin, Mike Peca, Keith Primeau, and Paul Kariya as a money-grubbing shill.

After reading about the "Gaborik Project", however, you'll likely see the light and see Gaborik in a whole new light.

"Recently, Gaborik has been involved in a prestigious project. He funded an ice rink in Trencin that will open this summer. The ice rink will be part of a large sports complex and Gaborik will cover all costs: 400 million Slovak Crowns (equals EUR 10 million). His father, Pavol, will be supervising the complex that will be mainly used by youth and is located near a school area that has around 200 students. The land is offered by the local Trencin government and will be used for a large sports and recreation area."

For all of the talent Dukla Trencin has given to the NHL, it's nice that the NHL players are giving back to the city that helped them achieve their goals and dreams.

Robert Svehla - Demanded that part of his contract with the Leafs be given to Dukla Trencin to develop the junior squad. Svehla is now the (very heavy) assistant coach of the senior team and part-owner.
Pavol Demitra - After the army gave up ownership of the team, Pavol stepped in and purchased part of the team.
Marian Gaborik - The 'Gaborik Project' is the biggest thing to hit Trencin...ever!

I was looking over the old scouting report I wrote up for Gaborik prior to the 2000 Entry Draft.
One throwaway phrase really sticks out now:

(Gabo's late season) hot streak soon came to an abrupt end in the playoffs, when league champions Slovan Bratislava swept Trencin in 3 straight games, and Gaborik was held pointless. To be fair to Gaborik, he was being shadowed by L'ubomir Visnovsky, the fastest defenseman in Europe.

Now I may have been overhyping Lubomir Visnovsky's speed a little, but he pretty much was the best non-NHL defenseman in Europe that season.

When I wrote that profile, I had no idea that the LA Kings would choose Visnovsky, then 23 years old, in the 4th round of the Entry Draft that year. As you know, Visnovsky has become a great 2-way defenseman with the LA Kings in that time.

When Lubomir was playing with Slovan Bratislava years ago, I never thought an NHL team would take a second look at him. He was passed over for the 4 previous drafts and smaller defenseman usually don't get the chance to prove themselves at the NHL level. For all of his exceptional talent, I figured Visnovsky was doomed to a long career in Europe. I also never expected the Minnesota Wild to pick Lubomir Sekeras and bring him to the NHL.


Czech Extraleague Update

the Semi-final matches are set to start Saturday as Liberec pulled off the 7 game upset over Slavia and Kladno finally succumed to the depth of Pardubice.

I didn't call the Liberec upset, but I was on the right track...

If Jaroslav Modry weren’t out for the rest of the season with a
hand injury, I’d take them easily as the upset special of Round One. As it
is, these teams are almost even in all areas and this should be a great series.

Well, Modry came back during the series and his defense helped the White Tigers get
over the hump in their first ever Extraleague playoff series. Of course, the
betting firms wouldn't give me credit for such a half-right predicition ;)

Pardubice 3 - Kladno 1 (Pardubice wins series 4-3)

Milan Hejduk had 2 goals and Jan Lasak made 21 saves as Pardubice finally shot down the rabid Bulldogs. While Hejduk had 4 goals in the series, he and his linemates were absolutely awful defensively.
Tomas Kaberle, who led all defensemen in scoring during the regular season, finished the series with just 1 goal (but was +4, to his credit).

Liberec 5 - Slavia Prague 1 (Liberec wins series 4-3)

After 5 goals in the first 3 games of the series, Palffy was shut out the remainder of the series and that is a big reason why Slavia is joining their cross-town brothers on the golf courses and tennis courts.

The NHLers carried the White Tigers to victory in Game 7
Milan Hnilicka - 38 saves (Palffy will have nightmares of this guy for awhile)
Radim Vrbata - 2 goals, +3
Ales Kotalik - 2 assists, +3
Jiri Fischer - 3 assists, +4
Jaroslav Modry - 1 assist, +1
Tomas Kloucek - 0 points, +4

I'll have semi-final predictions over the weekend. Some great looking matchups are shaping up and we won't have any champion from Prague this year ;)

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?