Yesterday was the opening of training camps around the NHL, and all eyes were on the rosters to see who was where, who was hurt, and who was mysteriously absent.
William Nylander revealed he has not been fully vaccinated yet:
William Nylander is doing his media availability in a mask because he's not fully vaccinated yet. Says he'll be fully vaxxed before the season.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 22, 2021
The NHL is not requiring players to be vaccinated, but they are subject to suspension without pay (which provides the team with cap relief) if they cannot do things like go on road trips or cross the border.
All of the Leafs preseason activity is within Canada, so it’s possible that Nylander will appear in preseason games and practice as normal. He will be subject to a more rigorous daily testing regimen other players won’t have to go through. Vaccinated players are tested, just less often.
From Ken Holland: unfortunately, Alex Stalock unlikely to play due to COVID-related heart condition. Very tough to hear (1/2)….— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 22, 2021
I’ve read two estimates of the money lost by not being vaccinated, and the first one, about Zac Rinaldo, was wrong on many points and missed that, if he is in the AHL, either in reality or metaphorically, he will be paid $300,000 without any escrow, likely more than he would have made as a part-time NHLer as he was last season.
In addition, the Cleveland Monsters are in the same division as the three Canadian teams, and the Syracuse Crunch, who will not permit unvaccinated people in their building. His ability to actually play games in the AHL will be severely hampered even if the AHL does not ultimately negotiate mandatory vaccination policies. He may end up making more than he did last year for doing less.
At this time, the AHL is under pressure to follow the NHL rules, but have not negotiated their policies with the PHPA. That link includes a simple plain-language summation of the NHL rules.
This estimate is likely a gross under-estimation as well:
Red Wings play 8 games in Canada. NHL salaries are determined by days not games, but Tyler Bertuzzi will forfeit over $400,000 this season if he continues to decline vaccination. And that's before any other time missed for COVID-19. https://t.co/hE9Hehp7Gq— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) September 22, 2021
If the trip to Canada is part of a longer road trip, the player may miss more games, more days, and be subject to a longer suspension without pay.
Meanwhile, back to media day:
Dubas yesterday (he’s in the best managerial shape of his life):
Jake Muzzin on what needs to change:
That video should cycle you through the rest of them.
The #leafs are shifting power-play responsibilities to new assistant coach Spencer Carbery this season. Manny Malhotra handled those duties last year.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 22, 2021
Last minute player signings were also in vogue yesterday:
And in other news:
In an article I like, not just because I’ve made this case before, Mike McKenna argues for a professional third goalie:
With travel and vaccination restrictions varying between states, provinces, municipalities, countries, villages, towns, counties, asteroids, planets, etc…calling up a goalie on short notice could prove extremely difficult. And you don’t want your hot shot prospect sitting on the taxi squad eating shots after practice but not seeing any game action.
So here’s my solution. Re-work the CBA to include a provision that allows teams to carry a third goaltender that can only enter the game in emergency situations. I’d suggest it allows teams to spend up to $250k on a capable, full-time third goalie that would travel and practice with the team. Their contract wouldn’t count against the current limit of 50 per organization. Whether the actual dollar figure goes against the cap or not is for the board of governors and NHLPA to decide.
As rumoured before, the IIHF has formally set up a system for Women’s World Championships in Olympic years in August.
Gord Miller is covering the IIHF’s search for a new head, and their other main issue:
And there are a few foreign players who have met the @IIHFHockey requirements to play internationally for China (2 years of continuous play in the country, no previous IIHF participation for another country). One of them is Jake Chelios, son of the long time NHL defenceman.— Gord Miller (@GMillerTSN) September 22, 2021
Regardless, China’s men’s team is going to be embarrassingly bad, and may finally put an end to the host country getting in by default.
Today is the first real day of training camp, and when there is news, we’ll have it for you. So far, there is nothing official on capacity rules for games, including the one on Saturday.