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Apples and Seider, words to the unwise - update ECHL, NHLPA

November 17, 2020, 12:51 PM ET [25 Comments]
Jeremy Laura
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Update - The NHL wants players To defer an ADDITIONAL 13% (total deferment of 23% plus 20% escrow). Deferment set to be paid over three seasons, non interest. Reality continues to settle in and my “idiotic” concerns don’t seem so crazy. Insult to injury, 8 players can’t defer even 10% due to salary construct. 4 of those players in Toronto.

Update - 6 ECHL teams are cancelling the season. I know I’ve had some criticism for my thoughts on reality for the season, but this is a fairly clear sign that the leagues that rely on the NHL aren’t getting the $ needed at this point. Players who counted on this league are scrambling as they suddenly become free agents

A lot has to happen for the NHL to get things on track. There is still a lot of back and forth with a couple of owners grumbling that it would be better not to have the season at all. I’ll touch base on that a bit more after some good news as far as Detroit’s prospects are concerned.

Moritz Sieder has a goal (you can see above) and five assists in 6 games. He’s getting solid minutes (22+) and just seems like a fantastic pickup for the club. It’s hard to believe how young he still is when you watch his demeanor on the ice. He did get some friendly burn playing against Berggren who split he and his partner for a goal. It’s a good sign to see the young players going well. Lucas Raymond, the brand new first rounder has 5 goals and 5 assists in 15 games. Filip Zadina has four goals and 1 assist in three games. While I’m always weary of how scoring translates from one league to the NHL, it’s still very impressive to see our last three first round picks making a name for themselves.

Of course the title focuses on Seider’s assists, but in Michigan cider mills have a special place in my heart. I’ve not been able to do any touring in the past few years, but many a happy memory is getting hot cider and even hotter donuts and smelling the crisp fall air. There is nothing like it, and fall in Michigan is my absolute favorite time of year. The trees light up like fireworks in a grand hurrah before winter lays it’s blanket (even that is beautiful right up until you’re sick of it). There was a thin layer of snow on the ground today, hopefully enough to make my neighbors forget about my lawn needing a serious raking.

And so, I’m turning to the “head shaking news” of the past few days. In what I call bad comedy, it’s been revealed that Tampa is asking for a first round pick for Tyler Johnson. The player that made it all the way through waivers untouched. Speculation has Yzerman’s respect level being the only hindrance to offer sheeting a certain stud defenseman. Tampa only has 3 million in space and three players looking for deals. Any club with picks to burn and cap space could make life unpleasant.

All of you know that I like Tyler Johnson. When Yzerman didn’t pick him up off of waivers, It was clear that he didn’t want to absorb the hit. The current asking price seems a bit like trying to sell a Quarter Pounder (or Royale) with cheese for $100 and calling it a McMignon. I like quarter pounders, I like TJ, but there is a far cry from reality evident in both offers.

The league has said that “at least” 48 games will be played (McGuire has touted that 35 may be more realistic and the AHL seems to agree) and a bit of odd news hit the virtual rags. Players are expecting their full salary for the season. Yes, they’re taking a 20% escrow hit as well as a deferred 10%. All of you know that I am an advocate on player take home to the scorn of a few. That said, the NHLPA has clearly not accepted reality. Even at a season of 48 games, there won’t be enough revenue to cover those salaries. With no fans, keep slapping about 1.5 - 1.7 million in shortfall. When I read about this “demand” my heart sank.

I can understand part of the issue. Players who make most of their money in signing bonuses are sitting pretty. They’re still getting 90% plus of their pay regardless. A guy making league minimum could be looking at a 50% pay cut. Yeah, it sucks. That said, the NHLPA needs to have a much more clear understanding of this year’s finances. Both the NHL and the PA need to look at using “emergency funds” (thank you Brand Marchand) to supplement some money. All of us are accepting a revision in reality, owners have accepted it as well. Agents and Players need to get on board, as simple as that. I may sound like a jerk, but I don’t see an alternative to pro rated salaries during a pro rated season with pro rated revenues.

My final head shake is for Anthony Duclair and Andreas Athanasiou. Both turned down offers that they thought “too low” and lost their spots. Duclair in particular turned down a 2 year $6 million dollar deal and tried to represent himself on the open market. Whatever AA turned down is much better than he’s bound for as ownership clamps down. I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing either in at league min or $1mil on a one year at this point. Still, agents tried to warn their clients about reality and players walked out.

AA has experience overestimating has value. (He tried to get 5 - 6 million on his last deal when he sat out of camp). When the league is pulling in 5 - 6 billion, things are good. When you’re a free agent in a depressed market, just having a job for the next year or two will help you get ahead. There’s a longer than anticipated list of free agents still. At some point, eat the humble pie and try for the buffet next year.
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