Mailbag: Owners make concessions, AHL stats

November 5, 2012, by

Slow start? No problem.

Three questions came in over the past week, so let’s get to them. As always, feel free to email us with any questions or concerns.

Q: What’s with the owners making the concession to discuss the make whole provision? That’s significant progress, right?

Q: Isn’t the timing of this concession by the owners wrong? They just canceled the Winter Classic, and now they show they can negotiate?

Well, yes and no. It’s progress because it shows a willingness to get back to the table. Both sides talking is better than neither side talking. After all, not talking is why they are in this mess to begin with.

But don’t be fooled with the way some in the media have spun this. The owners didn’t make a concession for the make whole provision. The provision itself was incredibly misleading, and it actually prevented a true 50/50 split. The owners know they need to pay the players what they are owed. It’s just a PR thing really.

Before jumping to conclusions about the owners “willingness to negotiate the ‘make whole’ provision”, it’s important to¬† note the timing. The afternoon started with canceling the Winter Classic, and the afternoon ended with “a significant concession by the owners.” It’s all PR. Don’t buy into what the media is spinning. Read the details and make up your own mind.

Q: Should we be worried about the slow offensive starts for Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller? These are supposed to be our top guys, but they can’t score in the AHL.

There are a few things to consider, but the overall answer here is no, there’s no reason to be concerned. First, both players are on a 40 point pace (both have four points so far) in their first professional year, which isn’t too shabby. Second, it’s only been eight games (Kreider has played seven).

Let’s also remember that point totals aren’t the whole story. It’s about how they look on the ice. And by all accounts, both players have looked pretty good. They are still professional rookies, so there will be rough spots and a learning curve. These two are in it for the long haul, and they have a tremendous work ethic. They aren’t going to put up 100 points right away, if ever.

Q: Why is MDZ playing in Switzerland without an NHL contract? That’s incredibly risky, especially with Nash and Hags suffering injuries already.

To address that second part first, the shoulder injuries suffered by Rick Nash and Carl Hagelin are minor injuries. Nash has recovered, and Hagelin will be back in a week or so. Bruises happen in hockey.

As for MDZ playing without a contract, well that’s a risk that he appears willing to take. He is very cheap for the Swiss league, since he doesn’t need to purchase insurance on an NHL contract, but he does run the risk of suffering a long-term injury and missing out on NHL dollars.

It’s a bit of a double-edged sword. If a player signs overseas, he risks his NHL future due to injury (hence insurance on all contracts), but he stays in-game shape. It’s the exact opposite for guys staying put and working out locally. There’s no right answer here. The players all know the risk.


  1. Walt says:

    I can’t, and wont get to high, or too low until an agreement is signed!

    JT Miller, and Chris Kreider will turn out to be very good Ranger players for years to come, just give them time to develope. Whatever we do, never get to the point where we pull the trigger too soon, ala Zubov, Middleton, Carkner, etc!!!!!

    Now to Mike, he is so stupid, I believe that the risk he is taking is such that his entire career is at stake. Heaven forbid this kid gets hurt, real bad at that, and is forced to call it a career. Will the few thousand dollars he stands to make be worth that risk, not no, but hell no. He had a chance to sign a contract but failed to do so, and now he is out there in a position that he is at risk. Mike, you are a mental midget!!!!!

  2. The Suit says:

    NHL had proposed the make whole provision before the cancellation of the Winter Classic. It was only leaked that afternoon. It is something worth looking at, and even if the provision isn’t in it’s final form, at least the NHL is still attempting to negotiate. What has the NHLPA put together or than more of the same negative tweets and press releases?

  3. Pete says:

    I really can’t fathom another season cancellation. I mean it surely can’t get to that can it? not again.