Friday, July 30, 2010

Other NHL player grievances

Wait, I signed where?
The big news in hockey this week was the NHLPA's filing of a grievance against the league on behalf of Ilya Kovalchuk. The move will pit the association against the NHL in an arbitration hearing to determine the legality of Kovalchuk's controversial 17-year, $102 million contract with the New Jersey Devils.

But as it turns out, that wasn't all that the players wanted to get off their chests. In fact, the Kovalchuk situation was just one of several complaints the players would like to see addressed. And in an attempt to be as efficient as possible, the league has encouraged the NHLPA to consolidate all of their grievances into one single master list.

Well, that list was leaked to me this week. And the interest of keeping fans informed I'm publishing it here.
  • Although we’ve made our feelings crystal clear on the matter over the years, there are still between 20 to 25 players at any given time who are being forced to play in Edmonton.

  • Due to difficult economic times, Philadelphia Flyer fans are now pelting our wives and children with pennies and nickels, instead of the much lighter dimes they used to throw.

  • Can't quite put our finger on it, but something just doesn't feel right about the way Gary Bettman drives around town in his brand new sports car with the personalized plates that read "ESCROW".

  • It's not really fair that so many of us have to work all through May and June, while the players in Toronto get those months off every year.

  • The league should abandon its plan to replace the current steroid testing program (in which a league official asks players "Hey, none of you use steroids, right?") with a much more comprehensive system (in which the official will also be allowed to raise an eyebrow and ask "Are you sure?").

  • Hey, you know what would be completely awesome? If we all stopped hitting each other in the groin with slapshots! (Grievance suggested by Sami Salo.)

  • Veteran players on minimum-salary deals have consistently pointed out that the current CBA is structured to provide massive contracts to a handful of elite players at the expense of the overall group. So can we pass some sort of rule making it illegal for those guys to talk anymore?

  • No matter how loud we yell or how much we wave our arms around, those stupid mascots always aim their hotdog cannons into the upper deck instead.

  • This Sidney Crosby kid out in Pittsburgh tries really hard and is a super nice guy, and we all just wish the hockey media would find a way to mention him every now and then.

  • The current maximum roster size rules significantly reduce our overall earnings potential by artificially limiting the number of players who can receive idiotic free agent offers from Glen Sather.

  • No matter how many times it happens, it still really bothers Mike Richards first thing every morning when he plods down the stairs in his bathrobe, takes a sip of coffee, and then throws open his kitchen curtains to find Pierre McGuire smiling creepily into his window.

  • Every now and then we hear some fan trying to get the wave started. But when we climb into the stands and beat him to death with our sticks, suddenly we're the bad guys.

  • We pretty much all agree that Glashow's objection to string theory on the basis of not being sufficiently predictive is unconvincing given that the theory clearly satisfies the Popperian criterion of falsifiability, so shut up about it already, Boogard.

  • We don't want to identify the team, but let's just say that players from one particular franchise are deeply concerned that their GM's recent roster moves might indicate that he took too many shots to the head while growing up with his five hockey playing brothers.

  • We must continue to institute tougher rules to prevent players from elbowing each other into unconsciousness, and get back to just punching each other into unconsciousness the way God intended.


  1. "Beat him to death with out sticks"- at first I thought it was a spelling mistake, but then it realized it works just fine.

  2. Boogard and String theory- how is this not on a tshirt already...

    Great work as always DGB.

    If I can ever so politely toss in my 2-cents, it seems that for the past 6 months or so you've been relying on a 'list joke' style that has a bunch of funny, but generally very loosely connected jokes. While some are really good (EG this one, Bettman's email), the fact that the jokes are so unconnected make the style seem a little 'lazy'. Just wondering if you have any articles planned in the 'old school' DGB style, IE fake interviews (all of the pure GOLD) as well as more serious articles (Wendel tribute, Is this the worst its been, etc)

    sorry if i seem too critical

  3. @Anonymous ...

    I haven't done any interview/transcript posts lately for a couple of reasons: 1.) I think was using them too much last year, and 2.) That sort of material usually works better in a video, so I prefer to work with Bloge instead of just writing it out.

    As for the more serious stuff, the site seems to be trending away that sort of material but I definitely want to keep doing the more focused pieces (like the recent "Leafs/Kings liveblog" bit).

    To be honest, you'll probably see more of these sort of "list" bits in the near future as I get my feet under me with the Post. But I'll try not to let it get too stale.

  4. IMHO, the Leafs/Kings live blog was your best work yet

  5. I thoroughly dislike it when people say "this part was the best" and stuff like that, but to be honest, the caption, the hotdog cannons and the Darryl Sutter bit made me chortle gleefully.

    Well done, old chap.

  6. Not that I'm a DGB fanboy coming to his defense - he's a big boy, he can take care of himself - but this has been a very slow summer. Even by slow hockey summer stands.

    When Max Talbot calls Ovechkin a douche and gets on the big box of, you know there's a problem. It's hard to write - and write at a very high standard - with this little news to go on.

    I liked the post! I'll refrain from mentioning my favorite part because Goober has me feeling self-conscious and slightly judged.

  7. Goober won't stop me. I loved the Flyer dimes and Sutter's mental illness. Keep up the brilliance DGB.

  8. Mike Pelyk's HairdoJuly 30, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    Karl Popper is rolling in his grave. And chuckling.

  9. Silly NHL players! No one accepts Popper's criterion anymore!

  10. When are you going to "face" DCox lol. Will it be a cage match?

  11. Sami Salo either ruptured a vocal cord or shattered his writing hand making that grievance.

  12. •Hey, you know what would be completely awesome? If we all stopped hitting each other in the groin with slapshots! (Grievance suggested by Sami Salo.)

    Motion seconded by Patrick Thoresen. (

    Apologies. Linking be not my forte.

  13. @doritogrande
    Thoreson just beat Nik Lidstrom to it.

  14. Hooray for DGB. Another hilarious post.

    The photo of Sarge and its caption are genius.

  15. Funny as usual.

    Thanks for the steroids joke, btw. I co-opted it for my Kenny Huang piece