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Carrots for Chocolate

Today I learned several things via Twitter while waiting for news, but few had anything to do with hockey.  For example, Nathan Fillion re-tweeted this photo:


My first thought was: but as soon as you go to grab those keys in a hurry, that axe will end up in your foot. From this I learned: I can be very literal-minded.

Also: Simon Gagne has NOT been traded.  From this I learned that someone said he had been.  As far as I can tell, it came from a rumor that originated by way of eavesdropping at a charity golf tournament.  I won’t say he has not been traded, only that he says he has not been traded, as does his agent, officially.  If that’s his story, I will stick to it.

I also heard a lot about baseball.  A team in Philly did very well.  From the response to that team’s success, I learned: this is unusual.   Thankfully, I heard less, and learned nothing, about basketball.  All of which reminded me of someone offering me a carrot to ease a chocolate craving.

James Van Riemsdyk is also very excited about some game tomorrow: “Pumped for the game tomorrow- go oranje!” he tweets.  I presume he means soccer.  Another carrot.  I have learned, not so recently, that eating enough carrots will make you turn orange but not before it gives you a belly ache.

I have not written anything about the possibility of Hjalmarsson signing with the Sharks. I have little to write.  He seems talented, he is young, he is large.  He is a defenseman.  He is no guarantee of a chocolate Cup, but he certainly will add some much needed snap to the defense.  Sounds good.

Many people are speculating about why the Sharks would try to lure him from Chicago, by way of an offer sheet, when his team is known to be in such dire straits with the salary cap.  Poor Blackhawks.  Put up all that money and gamble some more with bonuses, at once hoping to win the title but not having any idea what to do, or not caring, if it works out.  They will pay the fiddler, in many pounds of hockey player flesh it seems, but they will survive it.

Offer sheets are not subterfuge.  They are a legitimate part of the NHL bargaining process.  That DW has not used one before is worth mentioning.  That they are not used very often by anyone is worth noting.  But if the Blackhawks didn’t want to lose this player they should have locked him up sooner.  Oh poor them.

I can see how an offer sheet could cause bad blood, if everyone is a little ridiculous about it.  It’s business, it’s a game.  Knocking  someone down is frowned on at a cocktail party, but not in a hockey game.  Trying to get players away from a cash-strapped team (or one with their cap on too tight) is fair play.

Ethically, making an offer to a free agent is the same thing- if the team that they play for hasn’t made them a better offer or doesn’t want to, no one screams theft.  If an RFA is entitled to receive offers when his team does not sign him by a certain date, then it is essentially the same, on an ethics scale.  Should Wilson have waited until the Hawks were ready for a one week time limit?  Should he have called to ask if they were all sorted yet, would it be okay to exercise this right?  Do they need more time?

The Blackhawk player contracts have been on the table for a good while, or they should have been.  It isn’t DW’s fault if they stayed in the filing cabinet.  The presumably crippling bonuses paid out to the wunderkind and company are not random figures.  Doesn’t the team employ bookkeepers?  A CPA or two?  I think someone knew exactly how much it would cost to win the title, and exactly how much they could afford to pay everyone afterward.  Anyone not signed yet was not at the top of their list to retain.

Maybe Hjalmarsson didn’t know his own worth.  Maybe he would have eaten the Chicago carrot cake, not realizing it was more fattening than chocolate. He might have accepted whatever the Hawks could afford to offer him, had the Sharks not intervened with their blasted calorie counter.  Hmph.

Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m not an expert.  I did a quick read through the rules on NHL offer sheets and that just convinced me I’m glad I’m not a lawyer.  The language is an affront to the visual cortex.  Glad I didn’t have to listen to someone read it out loud.

Well, maybe if Nathan Fillion read it he could find the humor.  I doubt it.  He’s funny but not that good.

I also learned that Sarah Baicker is seeking a French tutor.  In light of her profession, I will assume that she would prefer someone of French Canadian origins, well versed in all aspects of hockey, and not tedious.  She did not get so specific but really, who would want a tedious tutor?


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