Few things to clean up today:
-Stan and Q had their press conference today to discuss Marian Hossa and the draft. Q had the look of a man who just saw his one top six winger who can backcheck effectively ripped away from him, because he is. There’s not much Q can do at the moment, as we get the feeling he’s going to be less involved on free agency and trades and personnel decisions than he’s been.
So it came to Stan, who had to wax poetic about how complicated it’s going to be using Hossa’s cap space in LTIR. And he’s right, it isn’t as simple as most believe.
The problem sticks that you can’t actually put someone on LTIR until the second day of the season. And you “have” to be cap compliant when the season opens, even if you can be 10% over all through training camp. There are probably a few loopholes that Stan could exploit, but it seems to me that the Hawks could simply be over the cap for one day, and incur penalties for the following season which would merely some thousands of dollars. Because they would have only been over the cap for one day’s expenditure. I can’t remember anyone actually doing this. I suppose the NHL could impose a stiffer penalty of loss of draft picks, but I would dare them to do their worst really for one day’s violation.
Yes, there is something in the rules about having a team forfeit any games affected, which would be Opening Night. I’d even press that, but I’m crazy. Still, the Flyers with Pronger and the Bruins with Marc Savard were able to dance this dance effectively, and I’m sure Stan can figure it out as well.
The real problem, if Stan does figure this out, is that the Hawks aren’t going to “bank” cap space as they have in previous years to give themselves space to make a trade midseason. You only use LTIR if your’e right up against the cap, and if you’re not you don’t get to use LTIR. So the Hawks are going to be up against the $75 million no matter what they do. And if the use Hossa’s LTIR all season, as they probably will, they’d better stay pretty healthy. That’s probably why they won’t use all of Hossa’s cap hit to sign players, just most of it.
There’s always the possibility of trading Hossa to someone (*cough* Arizona *cough*) that needs to get to the floor. But we won’t know about that until much later after most free agents have been signed and re-signed. And it’s not like Arizona or Carolina or a team like that is just going to do it out of the kindness of their hearts.
Makes the summer awfully interesting.
-The schedule was released today as well. The highlight of which of course is that it’s the first season of any of our lifetimes that doesn’t have a circus trip. Except they’re still on the road for Thanksgiving. It’ll just be in Florida instead of California.
There’s also no games around Christmas. The Hawks are home on the 17th of December for the Wild, and then won’t be back there until after the change of the year. Which sucks. The Hawks will also have 17 back-to-backs this year, about as high of a number as we’ve seen in recent years.
There’s a nasty road trip at the end of December, which will see the Hawks go to Dallas and New Jersey, home for the Christmas break, and then the Western Canada swing into the new year before going back to New York to see the Rangers. They head back to western Canada a month later as well, which is weird. Sadly on of McJesus’s visits is in mid-October, but he does come back in January. Auston Matthews arrives later in January as well, much better than the Cubs-distracted visit he had last October.
Whatever, it’s a schedule. They’ll play everyone.
Hey you should buy my book. You can do that here.