FRIDAY: MIXED BAG

The biggest sporting event in the world starts today. Whether you are a fan of the Olympics or not, the fact is for the next 16 days London will host the most athletes in one place for four years. I love the Olympics, because they evoke so many emotions. Athletes train four years to get to this point and in many events, one minor slip up can cost them their dream. It is gutwrenching and exhilarating all at the same time.

The best part is that there is still a lot of hockey and football to chat about while the Olympics are on.

Former Oiler Lubomir Visnvosky has filed an appeal to veto his trade to the New York Islanders, stating he had a NMC clause. I asked NHL agent Kevin Epp (not Visnovsky’s representative) about No Movement Clauses.

JG: When a player signs a contract that includes a NMC does, that NMC become null and void once he arrives at a new team?

KE: No. it stays with the term of the contract. I’m sure you are asking because of the Visnovsky situation. Typically it stays in the contract, and I guess that is what is up for debate in that scenario.

JG: The NMC is part of his contract just like the money. Is there anywhere in any contract that you’ve signed/overseen that stipulates once a player waives his NMC then the team that is acquiring him has the option to uphold it?

KE: That is not in there; it doesn’t say that or stipulate that at all. I don’t know what the circumstances are, I don’t know if he had a complete NMC/NTC clause, or if he had a limited trade. Sometimes there is a deadline or date when you have to put in a list of teams that you would or wouldn’t go to. Lots of times there are cases where players either forget to do it, don’t do it or it doesn’t happen in a timely manner. I haven’t read over his exact contract, but I think if he had a complete NMC/NTC I’m sure he’d have a strong case."

After chatting with Epp I made some phone calls and was able to discover that Visnovsky had a complete NMC for the first four years of his contract, but he had a limited NMC/NTC clause for this year.

It stipulated that as of May 15th, 2012 his club (Ducks) could request (in writing) that he provide them with a list of at least ten teams (he could list more) that he would be willing to go to. He would then have 14 days after receiving the written request, to submit his list to the Ducks. If he does not submit his list within the 14 days after receiving the written consent of the club, they are free to trade him to any NHL team.

I’m guessing that is what will be argued. If the Ducks sent him their request and he didn’t reply in the proper 14-day window, then the contract states they are free to trade him to any NHL team. It doesn’t sound like a NMC become void after a player gets traded. I spoke to two other agents today and they both said they’ve never seen one that had a void/opt out aspect of a NMC, other than the limited NTC.

QUICK HITS

  • If you plan on watching the Olympics on tape delay, and don’t want to know the results beforehand, I’d recommend staying off twitter during the day.
     
  • Chris Vande Velde and Alex Plante signed one-year, two-way deals yesterday. Both are depth signings. Plante took some strides last year, but his biggest hurdle will be fending off the younger defenders coming up. Martin Marincin, David Musil, Martin Gernat and Oskar Klefbom could push him farther down the depth chart. Vande Velde could be the heir apparent to Eric Belanger, as a 4th line centre. He needs to improve his footspeed, but he’s solid in the draws and on the PK. If Belanger has a bounce back year, I could see the Oilers moving him next year and replacing him with a cheaper Vande Velde. Of course Anton Lander will have a say in Vande Velde’s icetime, but I see Lander as a #3, who might develop into a #2.
     
  • Nice gamble by Jim Rutherford in signing Alex Semin. Seven million is a lot of money, but they aren’t a cap team and it’s only a one-year deal. Semin is one of the most naturally skilled players in the league, and while his consistency and work ethic are a concern, I think he’s worth the risk for a year. Kirk Muller has an infectious personality, and I bet he’ll find a way to keep Semin interested. If he stays healthy, I see him bouncing back with 35 goals. The Canes have four solid offensive players in Skinner, Semin and the Staals. I’m sure their marketing campaign will revolve around the letter S…
     
  • I can’t wait to see how the Wings will do without Nick Lidstrom and Brad Stuart. The Wings have struck out in free agency and trades thus far. Their blueline is average at best right now.
     
  • Steven Jyles’ fumble didn’t cost the Esks the game last night, their inability to put up points in the first half did. The Esks D and special teams continually gave them great field position, but they couldn’t capitalize. Injuries are never an excuse, but last night the O-line didn’t look great missing three starters. The Esks D is great, but their offence is still a question mark.
     
  • I wonder if Tim Thomas is eyeing a political career after hockey. He’s made his views on some hot topics very clear, however, because he has different views on marriage than some doesn’t make him an idiot. Too often we resort to name calling when someone disagrees with our stance on something, and while I don’t view marriage as only man and woman, I also can understand why some feel that way. Actual conversations about it would be much more beneficial than name calling, but it sadly that seems highly unlikely.  The interesting thing is why so many seem to think his opinion on marriage means more than anyone else’s. It doesn’t. Nor does mine.
     
  • Memo to Ryan Tannehill: Get your ass to training camp. You’ve only played 1 1/2 years of QB in college and you need the reps if you think you’ll actually be a successful NFL quarterback. Every day you hold out decreases your chances of beating out Matt Moore as the Dolphins QB. Wake up.
     
  • Interesting how an attitude or persona can change how people are viewed. Many feel Steve Tambellini has done a below average job, yet in Toronto many feel Brian Burke is doing an okay job. Burke was hired November 29th, 2008. He’s been in Toronto for 3 1/2 years and they’ve never made the playoffs. Only two players, Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski, have longer stays in Toronto than Burke. Burke has re-built his entire team, but unless he acquires a goalie, they don’t look like they will improve.

    Tambellini was hired July 31st, 2008 and the Oilers have finished 22nd, 30th, 30th and 29th under his watch. Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky, Ladislav Smid and Theo Peckham are the only players remaining since he arrived. Even though it never started until January of 2010, the Oilers finally have a plan, but I’m not sure what the Leafs plan is. They don’t keep their top-ten picks, but they also don’t want to finish 8th "And get blown out in the first round."

    I’m guessing Burke gets more rope because he won a Cup in Anaheim, but his tenure in Toronto has been anything but successful.
     

  • I love the 30 for 30 series. Up until Wednesday my favourites included: "Kings Ransom," "The Two Escobars," "Once Brothers,", "June 17th, 1994,’ "The Birth of Big Air," and "Into the Wind" the Terry Fox story, but now I have to add "Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks" to my list. I highly recommend it.  Great story lines and shows how intense the Pacers/Knicks rivalry was.

    Many have told me that "The U" is a must see as well, and I’m looking forward to it. These types of documentaries are a must-see if you are a sports fan. I love them.
     

  • Good article by Kevin Anderson on Claude Giroux. Great quote from Giroux when asked about the scars on his wrists.

    “Those are from (Sidney) Crosby,” he says half smiling, but with some tension in his voice. “Every time we’d line up against each other for a face-off during our (2012 playoff) series, instead of going for the puck when it was dropped, he’d hack me across the wrists. I ended up playing the series against (New) Jersey with one of them fractured and had to go for surgery on both of them after we were out of the playoffs.”
     

  •  All 18 players who filed for arbitration or had their team take them have settled before seeing an arbitrator. The NHL thrives on deadlines. I know it is unlikely, but the NHLPA and NHL should have a deadline for a new CBA. If they didn’t agree to a deal before September 5th, then they would present their case to an arbitrator and let him/her decide.

    We’d never have a lockout/strike and the fans would never get short-changed. I know it’s a pipedream, but having a deadline in place would force them to start negotiating earlier and get a deal done. The NHL culture thrives on deadlines so why not put one in place for CBA talks?

  • Reg Dunlop

    One issue at a time. The opening ceremonies for the Olympics, great to see Macca. However, suspicions were confirmed that he died in a car crash and was replaced by a look-alike from Klaatu ‘I buried Paul’.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Vince,

    According to our Canadian Charter of rights a man can marry his horse if he wants to if I’m against it does that still make me a bigot?

    At least he stands for something. It is sad when people are so politically correct that they don’t stand for something and they usually fall for anything.

    I don’t agree with your view and you don’t agree with mine but that’s the beauty of living in a FREE country. He is expressing his view.

    Proponents of gay marriage think their view is the latest expression of enlightened humanitarianism. That means people who believe in the sanctity of traditional marriage may soon wind up on the wrong side of “enlightened” bigotry. Is that what you mean when you say he or anyone who disagrees with you is a bigot?

    When does trainig Camp start?

  • Reg Dunlop

    I give up.

    Tim Thomas has done nothing to harm any future political aspirations. In a country where the Christian right, the moral majority and the flat earth society still hold sway, homosexual rights are a lower priority than keeping Pete Rose out of the Hall of Fame. USofA, love it or leave it.

    Steven Jyles is a bad QB. As bad as Corey Colehour. Anyone remember the ‘washroom’ by the knothole gang at Clark Stadium? Peeing against a brick wall while some kid put gum in your hair was so cool.

    Does anyone miss the days of Soviet bloc eugenics and doping programs? Olympic dominance and chromosome tests for all. I would like to see an anything goes Olympics where post-ops with beards inject benzedrine in their necks while in the starting blockson their way to a 9.5 second womens 200m event and a stroke at the finish line.

  • Reg Dunlop

    I have a lot to say tonite. Detroit Red Wings are overdue to filter to the bottom of the standings. The loss of Lidstrom is the start and payback will be sweet. Watch for the oil to sweep the dead things this year.

    30 for 30 is an awesome doc series. My favorite is ‘The best that never was’. Marcus Dupree was a beast and Barry Switzer was a control freak and a fool.

    Clod Giroux is a pussy if he can’t take a few taps from Sid. Bobby Clarke must be ashamed.

    Finally, what ever became of the Olymbics? That diver chick that flicked her bic was smokin. That is all.

  • Reg Dunlop

    What a spectacular Olympic opening. The lighting of the cauldron was supposed to be accomplished by having soccer great George Best breathe on the flame but organizers were worried about a second great fire of London.

    Go oil and good night sports fans. I need to sober up.

  • The Soup Fascist

    The same way I don’t want to hear conservative hate-mongering (gay marriage/abortion/gun-control etc. is the devil)

    Is the same way I don’t want to hear liberal agendas shoved down my throat (PETA, Greenpeace, Slutwalk etc.)

    Frankly, I’m an open-minded person and will come to my own conclusions. Tim Thomas opinion doesn’t fit or represent my opinion, and he’s entitled to have it, he should just keep his mouth shut and realize his vocalizing said opinion is only going to polarize the general public.

    There’s a term used for people who “tell it like it is”

    They’re called obnoxious as$holes

  • GiftedGregerius

    I love the Olympics!

    In fact I love it so much I would go as far as saying that the athletes involved should be the true role models in children’s lives (and perhaps not professional athletes who spread ignorance, or celebrities who’s only claim to fame is that unfortunate video that happened to get on the Internet).

    These true role models have spent their entire lives working towards goals they have set for themselves, and this is the message we should be spreading. “it is not about the car you drive or the size of your bank account, but the drive and size of your heart.”

    Say what you will about the Olympics, but at least they have standards of behavior for their competitors (if you doubt it check out Greece’s triple jumper), keep your opinions to yourself Thomas!

  • GiftedGregerius

    If you really are claiming any similarity between a person wanting to marry a horse and a person wanting to marry another man, you have already lost any logical footing. A horse is not a sentient being that can CHOOSE to marry a person. What a stupid comparison.

  • JohnQPublic

    ESPN’s 30 in 30 is some of the best TV (and I’m not talking sports TV only) that I’ve seen in years.

    If they are smart, ESPN will continue the series.

    p.s. – The Marcus Dupre and the Ricky Williams episodes were fascinating. Has there been a poor episode in the series? I’ve yet to see a poor one.