Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Stench of Desperation

There's a certain whaft of stink, whine, and complaint from the 'homeless' players collective. An odor that was strong enough to get whoever runs that sham of an organization known at the NHL Players' Association to carry out their first order of business since Paul Kelly was dismissed.

As we get closer to the end of the term for the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, we see just how dramatic "cost certainty" influences cap spending and the free agent marketplace. Plenty of players with multiple years of NHL experience are sitting by the phone, chewing their fingernails in anticipation of a call from their agent with a job offer from any team (exception: Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders), and not some pain-in-the-ass reporter asking why they haven't signed a deal yet.

Not too long ago, more than a few of these guys would have been picked up on name alone, given their willingness to play another year and the bottomless pockets of team ownership. Now, veterans, middling bottom six forwards, and third pair defensemen alike are without someone dumb enough to pay them for their "storied history" and mediocre stats. Its a little surprising to see it all shake out, based on everyone's individual perceived value of a player's worth which has been skewed by the salaries we've seen in past years.

But now they've been humbled, and they asked the powerful NHLPA to post this propaganda (i.e. eHarmony profile) to generate interest and let all 28 ("No thank you Mr. Snow/Tambellini, I've already signed with a club in Liechtenstein") General Managers know that they're still alive.

The air of desperation is thick.

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