NHL NEWS ROUND-UP: DOAN, COYOTES, SMITH, DWYER, EXECUTIVE’S SALARIES
Lots of news from around the NHL over the last day or two, so I’ll try and wrap everything up in one post!
Having tested the waters of free agency for the first time in his long and legendary NHL career, Phoenix Coyotes Captain Shane Doan has reportedly announced, as per TSN, that he has agreed to a new deal to stay with the team. Details have not been announced, as this was revealed by Doan himself on a Phoenix radio show:
“My goal has been to stay here the whole time,” Doan told radio station XTRA 910 in Phoenix. “Don and Tip and the organization have been great. We have a deal worked out that we just want to make sure that the team gets signed and that everything gets done and it gets done before the 15th.”
This is great news for Coyotes fans, who get back their beloved face-of-the-franchise, and also a guy who can still pot some goals at the age of 35 on a team that is a little starved for offence. In my opinion, it would have been odd to see Doan in anything other than a Coyotes’ jersey, but on the other hand I’d love to see him given the chance to compete for a Stanley Cup before he retires. You never know, he may still get that chance, but I just don’t see the Coyotes being able to repeat their massive success from last year and extending it to the middle of June. Happy to be proved wrong, though.
From the same article about Doan at TSN, Doan reports that Greg Jamison has finally managed to secure funding to buy the troubled franchise and keep it in Phoenix. According to Doan, that was a huge reason why he has decided to remain in Phoenix.
“Mr. Jamison has the money. Mr. Bettman has said its all good, according to the NHL, and it’s going to go through. It’s just a matter of getting the lease agreement done now. Obviously that was done earlier. Now there are some things they decided they wanted to change, which obviously can delay things. With that being said, I think that Mr. Jamison and the league have stated it’s really up to Glendale and Glendale, they had it done for a while.”
This is great news again for Coyotes fans, who at least for the time being won’t have to see their finally competitive but unsteady franchise leave town. As Winnipeg and Atlanta fans can attest, that is not a fun thing to experience. Whilst times have been difficult in the desert, with poor attendance and bleeding money as a result, and many NHL fans saying the league should have never expanded to Arizona, I have a soft spot for the Coyotes, and it has been shown that when they’re winning, they are very popular in that town. I’m not going to get into the economics of the whole affair, that’s not my thing, but on the whole I think this is good news.
Good news for the Ottawa Senators as they get another of their young players locked up, signing 24 year old center and former 3rd round pick in 2008 Zack Smith signed to a 4 year deal worth $1.8875m per season. This is a pretty good deal, perhaps a little on the heavy side considering this was his first full season and it’s unknown whether this year was his ceiling or whether he’s just scratching the surface, but it’s certainly no anchor either. By all accounts however, Smith had a good year, using his large frame to be physical and also showing solid scoring ability, he looks to be a valuable member of the Sens for the foreseeable future.
The Carolina Hurricanes have announced the signing of 4th liner Patrick Dwyer to a 2-year extension worth $900k per season, starting in 2013. This is an excellent deal for Carolina, as Dwyer showed himself this past season to be a highly capable 4th liner who is physical and takes on among the toughest opposition on the team and playing a lot on the PK. He isn’t much of a scorer, but that’s not what he’s getting paid for. An absolute bargain of a contract, if he gets better well that’s just fantastic, and if he falters, well there’s not a lot of risk for the Hurricanes as that’s a contract that should be easily tradeable or can be buried in the minors. I wouldn’t expect them to need to do that though. My season preview of the Canes roster will be up soon, so look out for my assessment on Dwyer in that.
None of the top executives involved in the NHL’s collective bargaining negotiations will continue to be paid if the league enacts a lockout next week.
Donald Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players’ Association, says he stopped drawing a salary on July 1 and a source told The Canadian Press that commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly plan to follow suit if a new agreement can’t be reached by Sept. 15.
This is interesting news, and one that should be welcomed by most fans. The executives on both sides of the “Battle of the CBA” have come under fire for having huge salaries – I believe Bettman’s is around $8m per year, more than most players – and if they are intent on taking hockey away from the fans for however long or short an amount of time, it is only right – in my opinion – that they decline salaries. After all, their job is to get this done, and if they don’t get it done, they shouldn’t get paid. I’m not usually as hardline about that sort of thing, but I am on this issue – I respect that others may disagree. If true, then this is a relatively classy move by both the NHL and NHLPA. But I would rather they just get this damn CBA sorted out.