Fantasy Hockey Coach - Hockey Pool and Keeper Hockey Advice - Press Box January 7th, 2013

  • Press Box January 7th, 2013

    GAME ON!
    Hockey is back and the big question I now have is, will anyone care? For those of you who do care, welcome back. Now lets get to it!

    The CBA
    While nothing is official yet, there are some detail surfacing about the new CBA.

    The lockout lasted 113 days and the season is expected to commence January 19th with a 48 game schedule. Teams will play all games within their conference.

    According to TSN Hockey Analyst Aaron Ward and TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun, the agreement features the following elements:

    - The players' share of hockey-related revenue will drop from 57 percent to a 50-50 split for all 10 years.

    - The league coming off their demand for a $60 million cap in Year 2, meeting the NHLPA's request to have it at $64.3 million - which was the upper limit from last year's cap. The salary floor in Year 2 will be $44 million.

    - The upper limit on the salary cap in the first year is $60 million, but teams can spend up to $70.2 million (all pro-rated). The cap floor will be $44 million.

    - The 10-year deal also has an opt-out clause that kicks in after eight years.

    - Each team will be allowed two amnesty buyouts that can be used to terminate contracts after this season and next season. The buyouts will count against the players' overall share in revenues, but not the team's salary cap.

    - The salary variance on contracts from year to year cannot vary more than 35 per cent and the final year cannot vary more than 50 per cent of the highest year.

    - A player contract term limit for free agents will be seven years and eight years for a team signing its own player.

    - The draft lottery selection process will change with all 14 teams fully eligible for the first overall pick. The weighting system for each team may remain, but four-spot move restriction will be eliminated.

    - Supplemental discipline for players in on-ice incidents will go through NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan first, followed by an appeal process that would go through Bettman. For suspensions of six or more games, a neutral third party will decide if necessary.

    - Revenue sharing among teams will spread to $200 million. Additionally, an NHLPA-initiated growth fund of $60 million is included.

    - Teams can only walk away from a player in salary arbitration if the award is at least $3.5 million.

    - The NHL had hoped to change opening of free agency to July 5, but the players stood firm and it remains July 1 in the new agreement. But with a later ending to this season, free agency for this summer will start at a later date.

    - The NHL is suggesting the trade deadline for this season be April 5. The NHLPA has not yet agreed to it. Last year's deadline was February 27.

    Welcome Back
    Will fans be singing the theme of Welcome Back Carter now that the lockout is over, or will there be a self imposed boycott by fans. No question the NHL has some damage control to work on and ESPN`s Pierre Lebrun has a good read on 10 ways for NHL to recover from lockout

    Calder chase
    This year with a short season the Calder trophy chase should be more of a sprint than a marathon. The front runner heading in has to be Justin Schultz. Schultz is leading the AHL in defense scoring with 48 points in 54 games and is second in league scoring overall as a defenseman. With a lethal Oilers powerplay, his offensive stats (and fantasy value) ought to be considerable. Other candidates for a Calder season include; Mikael Granlund (Minnesota Wild), Jakob Silfverberg (Ottawa Senators), Nail Yakupov (Edmonton Oilers), Chris Kreider (New York Rangers), Jon Huberdeau (Florida Panthers), Dougie Hamilton (Boston Bruins)

    Coach Pete Harling

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