An unexpected visitor…
Possibly the duo Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes hadn't foreseen that the scenario might undergo changes.
At the start of the season, the decision makers had clearly identified the company's objectives within the framework of this first season of recovery.
Development of skaters.
Ensure that we restore to the team this culture of in the past.
Bringing changes to the staffing level.
And Kent Hughes insisted that more flexibility should be given to the management of the salary cap.
In other words, it will eventually be necessary to correct the current equation, which goes against common sense. A financial commitment, the second highest in the league and a team that is looking for an identity and that will be excluded, another time, from the spring tournament.
It doesn't work
It's been said over and over again that there are skaters asking for huge sums of money which, in the end, provide results that do not justify the mark of confidence shown by the former administration.
And the situation gets even more complicated when an unexpected visitor shows up and grabs your attention.
Quebecer Rafaël Harvey-Pinard changes the game.
Was it expected that earning everyone's trust, becoming a fan favorite and before the All-Star game break, he landed a coveted position alongside Nick Suzuki, earning himself a five-year production goals?
Until now, his enthusiasm, his perseverance, his sense of duty have forced the hand of coach Martin St-Louis. It forces decision-makers to review the evaluation of the workforce.
Harvey-Pinard may well repeat that a match, a stay with the big team does not necessarily make a career.
< p>I totally agree
But a player should not let the leaders make decisions. He must force the leaders to review their position, to review the management of the workforce.
That is exactly what he has done since his recall.
His coach did not hesitate to use him with the best center player in the formation. The decision makers have asked him to take a few days off, to make sure that he will be full of energy within the framework of the break from the all-star game, because it is to be believed that the young man will be entrusted with increased responsibilities when activities resume.
But be careful. The infirmary will not always be so congested. The veterans will return to the game and will want to resume their position, the coach will have to juggle his workforce.
Let's ask ourselves a question: what role awaits Brendan Gallagher when he gets the green light from the doctors?
Because, if the trend continues, it will be difficult to dislodge Harvey-Pinard. He's young, he's dynamic, he doesn't fear anyone and that's why he infiltrates the privileged zone and challenges opposing defenders.
Like Gallagher, a few years ago.
But, for three years, the right winger is still driven by this determination and tenacity that characterizes him, except that he no longer has all the resources to exploit them. He has missed nearly 70 games in three years, frequent visits to the infirmary leave their mark.
When Hughes stresses that he must inevitably give more flexibility to the company's monetary management , with the return of some veterans, he must surely be hoping that some of his counterparts will take an interest in a few of his skaters.
The resumption of activities, the deadline for transfers at the level of the workforce could provide Hughes with the opportunity to reduce the wage bill.
< p>In the meantime, as I have said on a few occasions, we tend to get carried away quickly, on the other hand, the decision makers of the Canadian know that, even if some veterans point their noses and say they are ready to reconnect with the competition, they will have a hard time changing the status of Harvey-Pinard.
He has produced more conclusive results, in such a short time, than some of them since the start of the season.
A slap in the face to the NHL!
Carlo Colaiacovo is this former defender of the Maple Leafs, the Blues, the Flyers, who is now making a career in the world of information. He's well-informed, he doesn't mince his words, and this week he criticized Commissioner Gary Bettman.
He blames Bettman for the league's disappointing TV ratings. However, it was believed that the NHL's new contract with several American broadcasters would increase the popularity of the league. However, it is quite the opposite.
There is a 25% loss in listening.
Colaiacovo accuses Bettman of having created this situation.
According to him, the salary cap is in question. He adds that the National League has no marketing plan to raise awareness of its best players. He argues that the salary cap prevents teams from completing several roster changes, while trades are known to create excitement among fans.
He questions the relevance of the four divisions, he maintains that there are too many games.
He touches on some interesting points, you have to admit. In terms of transactions, nothing happens except during the deadline for transfers. Throughout the season, it is dead calm. No wonder there is a lack of interest among amateurs. If their squad is deeply affected by injuries, they have no way out because the salary cap limits actions at transfer level.
Divisions are something that Bettman doesn't want to hear.
The number of matches? Pittsburgh Penguins boss Brian Burke says the schedule should be limited to 70 games.
That has to change
In short, it this is a slap in the face for the league. Certainly, we have made major gains in terms of the monetary involvement of American television, but surely these broadcasters must not be happy with the turn of events.
They have surely advised the league that the situation must getting better…