Fame and Fortune

GLORY

Pain is Temporary and Glory is Forever. If you have not heard this slogan then you have now. It is used to entice people into risking ones own personal safety for one moment of glory. No one needed to explain this train of thought to Bobby Baun, the Maple Leafs defenceman who scored an overtime goal in the 1964 playoffs while playing with a fractured bone in his right leg. No one needed to explain it to Ronnie Lott either when he had the tip of his little finger cut off during half time so that he could play in a football game for the 49ers. These guys went over and above the call of duty and will be forever glorified for those acts of courage.

PAIN

It is clear to athletes the inherit danger involved in full contact sports. Especially in hockey. I remember a game a couple years ago where Chris Pronger took a shot right in the chest and fell to the ice unconscious. I remember thinking wow his family has to be watching and must be horrified right now. Then I saw Pronger playing again and he was about the throw a check on Yzerman in the 2002 playoffs when Stevie Y ducked and Pronger took the worst of it and was out for quite sometime. Yzerman in 2002 was playing on basically one leg. last years playoffs With Steve Yzerman’s eye injury and the lockout this season, has the captain played his last game for the Red Wings? There are countless hockey injury stories such as the above mentioned stories to reflect on and a lot of what ifs. What if Bobby Orr’s knee would have lasted 10 more years of NHL hockey? What if Cam Neely’s hip would have endured a few more years? What if that limo crash never happended to Konstantinov?

HEALTH

Even if a player has an outstanding NHL career and makes it to retirement without a major catastrophic injury to the Head, Neck or Spine. They will most likely suffer some sort of hockey related hip or knee problems or at least some serious dental problems. The wear and tear the body goes through in an NHL career is incredible. Sure the medical attention available to pro athletes today is the best the medical industry has to offer. However once your body begins to suffer ailments you have compromised your health for fortune and fame so you better make sure it was worth it by getting as much of them both as you can while you can.

DEATH

With players that have died at a young age like Steve Chiasson , Danny Snyder, and Sergei Zholtok . God rest their Souls and forgive me if anyone was left out. Point being you never know when your time comes. This is life’s X factor.

FATE

As a player not knowing your fate and not having a crystal ball to tell you your future. These players should not be criticized for simply taking what they can while they can . Hockey parent’s taking kids to youth hockey. The cost of ice time, lessons and playing gear over the years become quite an investment. As children these players learn sacrifice by missing so much of the activities the other youths enjoy because they were at practice, games or on the road with the travel team.

NHLPA

I don’t think we will be hearing any players come out and say what Ted Lindsey told the team owners in the movie NET WORTH which depicts the formation of the NHLPA. He said, “You know most of us players would play for free. But, not when you are charging our fans money to watch us play.” Ted Lindsey by making the necessary efforts to form the NHLPA became a Pioneer for all players who followed. I don’t think it was the intention at that time to earn more money then the owners and it certainly was their will to earn more then a team jacket as a signing bonus. Ted Lindsey and a lot of other players went through a lot to form the NHLPA. If this is an attempt by the owners to break up the union I hope the players stand tuff and fight the good fight. Any players who are considering other wise should have words with Ted Lindsey before seceding from the union.

FANS

I am wondering if any of you fans are starting to think that the players are not the ones being greedy?


14 Responses to Fame and Fortune

  1. Bishop7979 says:

    I remember opening up a copy of the hockey news (i think it was the hockey news) about 5 or 6 years back and seeing a diagram of Doug Gilmore and every injury that he has ever gotten while playing hockey. It included the shattered jaw that he suffered during a playoff game in the mid 90’s that he had wired shut between periods so that he could finish the game. I included a list of every broken finger, toe, rib, arm every concussion every stitch and lost tooth. And you know what, after reading that, I had more respect because of what he was willing to put his body through for the chance to play hockey, than i did for guys like yashin and jagr even though at that point Gilmore wasnt putting up anything close to their numbers.

    And thats why i cant help but say to hell with the players.

    there arent enough guys like Gilmore left in the league for me to really give two sh!ts about how much money they are getting paid, no matter how long they are lucky enough to play in the NHL.

    I’ve read about too many holdouts, to many trade demands, too many agent created bidding wars for over priced free agents, and read too many comments about players “dying inside” while getting paid 10s of millions of dollars a year to play a game on a winning team for a living.

    The next time I hear guys like Joe Thorton b!tch about getting hooked and held while playing hockey, or about how they couldnt perform in the playoffs because of a minor injury while guys like Fedotenko and Kubina are playing with concussions and dislocated jaws I’m not going to celebrate that hockey is back, I’m going to change the channel. Because it will be the guy making 8 mil a year that is making excuses and getting the air time while the guy making 1 mil who is keeping the real spirt of hockey alive doesnt get recognition. I dont feel bad that the owners want to make money, they are the ones fronting the capital to keep the sport alive, I think the deserve to have some piece of mind that when the season is all said and done, that at the very least they will break even.

    I dont feel any pity for a player who makes 10 mil a season playing in a league that, in the US, ranks below the NFL NCAA football and basketball, the NBA, NASCAR, the MLB, and possibly golf and pro wrestling in national interest. You know what? I feel that the players deserve to be paid in a manner that fits the revenue that is coming in. If the sport grows so should the players pay checks. Its only fair being that it is a sport that while holding a group of rabid fans is still, in many areas of the country, considered a frindge sport.

    I respect what any person, in any line of work, would go through to create a union to better their fellow workers, but when guys like Bryan McCabe have the Balls to b!tch about being able to feed their families after making millions of dollars last year I have no sympathy. For all I care he could never put on a pair of skates again and had to earn a living as a car salesman and then complain about supporting a family.

    Screw the union, call and impass, force a new CBA on the NHL, recruit new talent (at least here in pittsburgh Mario would play again being that he isnt a member of the union anymore) and in a couple of years enough of the young talented players would come back so that it was like the strike never happened. It means we have seen the last of guys like Stevie Y, Mark Messier, Chelios, Mogilny ect. But if the players arent willing to except a pay cut and still earn over a million a year to play a game for a living then I’m willing to lose a the last couple seasons of famous stars limping along for one last run a glory to see some fiscal sanity take hold in this game.

    You know I’m sure Gilmore would have been willing to accept a solution as rational as a salary cap as long as he got to play.

  2. NjDEVSFN says:

    im lucky enough to be a fan whos GM has said “I traded the A-line because I feared they were becoming bigger than the ‘team.'”

    what GM puts team-chemistry in front of line-chemistry?

    i love watching the Devils because they are full of players that just wouldnt be on a team like Philadelphia or Detroit.

    Pandolfo: i remember a game in 2000 in Detroit, he gets boarded in the Wings zone below the goal-line, gets up, blood all over his face, makes it to the bench…the Wings scored, and Ftorek threw a bench on the ice…still, Pandolfo got 80+ stiches and never said a word about a penalty not being called

    Brylin: “Sarge” has done everything ever asked of him for the Devils…he is the only player on the team that has earned the right to say, “10 years. Thanks, but im looking for something else.” But, he hasnt, and he doesnt seem like he will do that. Yes, he is playing in Russia now, but he would return once the NHL(or replacements) comes back.

    Gionta: who wants a guy who destroyed the college ranks, but in the NHL, is the 5th smallest in the league? he gets into more scuffles(sp) than the 4th liners, he always battles for the puck even if its against Chara or Brashear…and he finally found 2 teammates whom he can excel with.

    Madden: his college coach said hed never make the NHL…well, with 2 Cups, 1 rookie record, and 1 Selke later…enough said. I also love how he said to chara(about 9-11 inches taller) “Scoreboard! Scoreboard!” and he looked at it!

    Gotta love role players. We don’t want to admit it, but most of us prefer watching role players do the dirty work(because we can relate to it)!

  3. rojoke says:

    Two words: Alexei Yashin.

    Blame his agent or blame him, but this guy held out from the Senators for an entire season when he still had a year on his contract, in the hopes that he’d be a free agent after the season expired. Unfortunately for him, that never came to pass, and he still owed the Senators that final year. Now he’s the burden of the New York Islanders, who are probably regretting ever signing him to a 10-year deal.

    There is no doubt that there are players in the league who would lace them up if they lost all the their limbs and had to use their sticks with their teeth. But that’s only when the season starts. The vast majority of them are the most approachable athletes in pro sports, as many of the media will attest to. But the fact remains that the league they play in is in trouble, and they, or the PA, just doesn’t see the big picture in this situation. If every single player tore up their current contracts and started all over again, with the current system the way it is, then we would all be in the same position in 5 years, 10 years time. You don’t put a Band-Aid on a bullet wound.

  4. 19Yzerman says:

    Have we seen the last of guys like Stevie Y, Mark Messier, Chelios, Mogilny , Gilmore? I hope not and if history has a way of repeating its self we are in for a new era of players that will be as much of a spectacle to watch as any that have been up to now.

    I agree with you about Holdouts. They are holding them selves hostage and the salary amounts they demand is actually a ransom or an auction.

    its ransauction or an auctansom!!LOL

    If a business cannot at least break even it will not last. I don’t feel that the strong hold markets should have to shoulder weak markets for to long. Eventually you will want to see them become self sufficient.

    I agree with you about money coming in also. But, not in a way that presents that screw the union mentality

  5. 19Yzerman says:

    When I think of John Madden I don’t of monday night football, ACE hardware or out backsteak house. I think of One of The leagues greatest Shorthanded scorers/penalty KILLERS.

    I don’t know what you mean by this, “i love watching the Devils because they are full of players that just wouldnt be on a team like Philadelphia or Detroit.”

    I would not be shocked to hear of Rafalski ending up in detroit.

  6. 19Yzerman says:

    I would be willing to bet that if the NHLPA took every demand the owners have announced puttting them into a written CBA which they would present to the NHL. Also doing as you said,”If every single player tore up their current contracts and started all over “. Lets throw in playing for free for the rest of what could be a January to June season.

    The NHL would take 3 days to read it and come back saying.

    This was the best offer the NHLPA has presented us with up to now (I can here Bettmans voice saying this too) However in the process of our evaluation we have discovered our needs have been extended to levels which exceed this offer. It was an unforeseen and unfortunate turn of events and I would like to offer our deepest regret to our fans.

    Thank You

    No Questions Please!

  7. Habfan1234 says:

    I am sick and tired of hearing about the CBA. Both sides are at fault and desire their outcome or nothing else. Furthermore, in obtaining a new CBA there must be NEGOTIATIONS occurring, which is clearly not the case here. There is also a marked amount of compromise that must occur to get a desirable offer for both the players and the league. The longer the “talks” drag on the less the players would get in the long-run because of a diminishing revenue base. IMHO, a hard salary cap set at around 34 mil in unacceptable. A soft cap with a 100% tax on teams who spend between $40-45 mil seems reasonable with a 200% tax on salaries from $45-$55 mil and a 275% tax on salaries above $55 mil. This would set a drag on the players’ salary and would achieve cost certainty. In order for this to occur the owners must compromise and share at least 80% of profits equally. The monies collected by the owners from the salary tax and revenue sharing must be spent on hockey related matters only. For example, the monies collected could be spent on players’ salaries, paying off the debt, and, most importantly, marketing the game in fashion that would allow it to grow. Within this process there would be no roll back in salaries and a grandfathering in of the tax over a period of three to four years. The deal should last for 15-20 years so we do not see another messy situation in a long time.

  8. PayUpSucka says:

    I agree 100% with your comments. Although it should be a lifetime deal with clauses intended to protect the interests of both parties if needed. The NHL is slowly or quickly, depending on which way you choose to percieve it, is looking more like a mickey mouse league each and everyday this lockout continues. And it’s a god-damn shame.

    Both the players and owners should be locked in a fuc king room together without food or water till a deal gets done. They are ruining, by far, the greatest sport on earth!!!!

  9. 19Yzerman says:

    With no windows or clocks on the walls and PayUpSucka,19Yzerman and any other members of HTR who would like to stand outside the door.

    Anyone who attempts to leave that room without a new CBA in their hand will be treated like an infedel walking through fallousia unarmed.

  10. NjDEVSFN says:

    yeah, there could be a few…but would Philly or Detroit ever think of getting Brylin, Pandolfo, or Gionta?

    those players are forwards that are especially good on the defensive side…they play a role that Detroit or Philly wouldnt allow them to

    just like Holik on the Rags…he had a role with the Devils, which was why he was good…now hes just a waste of $45million good dollars

  11. 19Yzerman says:

    When players standout at ANYTHING you can rest asured that coaches from opposing teams take notice.

    Philly is well awear of it eastern conf foes and who is who.

    Detroit has some inside ties to the Devils through Fetisov, Larianov and the contacts that they have with both teams.

    I know you don’t think the Devils have a whole team that is under the NHL’s scouting radar.

    Now the Holik situation. I wonder if his stats are better against NYR than any other team? This could be a good reason for why the rangers picked him up no matter what the price. Those markets being so close to each other can cause financial competition to escalate also.

  12. Habfan1234 says:

    The locking the owners and players in room idea, without the donkey’s Goodenow and Bettman, seems quite good to me.

    All this posturing and wasted time spent playing the “negotiation” game is just plain stupid. Sit yourselves in a room and get a deal done that would be mutually acceptable for both sides. If the owners want a season they would have to share most of their revenues. If the players want to play they must recognize that there must be a tie between revenues and salary to make sure that the league is viable and potentially successful.

  13. Habfan1234 says:

    I do not mind seeing players like Gilmour, Yzerman, Koivu, etc being paid what they are because they give it their all every shift on the ice. For example, Yzerman playing on one knee when Detroit last won the cup in 2002 and Koivu coming back from cancer to lead his team to an upset victory of Boston in 2002 shows these players dedication to the game of hockey. These players never give up and play(ed) through pain to achieve success for their teams. Within this list is included all those players who play for 1 million or so and give it their all ever shift on the ice. A player that comes to mind from my hometown Vancouver Canucks is Matt Cooke who works his butt off every shift on the ice and does not let his lack of size hinder him.

    However, I feel that there are not enough of these players in the NHL today. Unfortunately, for every Gilmour there is a Jagr and Yashin. The letter players do not deserve to get paid anything because they rarely give it their all during the course of a game. They seem to be floating along the ice without expending any energy at all and commit themselves in a half-a$$ed manner towards the play on the ice. This preceding fact tends to lead me to a conclusion that states that the players must be put under a system that embodies cost certainty and rewards those who consistently put in the effort to make themselves, and the teams they play on, that much better.

  14. 19Yzerman says:

    Karia!! Prior to him signing on with the Aves for whatever it was like 1.5 or something when he could have commanded at least 5 or 6 with ease. I always felt that he would give 100% every shift. Ducks went and replaced him with Federov and I told those who I watch hockey with that the Ducks fans are going to notice that Federov with his nifty moves and explosive skating will be more exciting to watch than Karia. However they will miss Karia’s blue collar with ethic which is a flip side of the coin compaired to Federov who would turn on and turn off his drive to score and win as though it was a handle on a water faucet. We talked about how when Sergi returns to play as a Duck he will be bOOOd and he was. He had already held out on the Wings once and ended up with a contract larger then that of Yzermans which wasn’t enough for Sergi. This time he was demanding that his contract pay him for the 2004-2005 season regardless of a lockout. I am not sure if he got that or not and would like to know. 13 years with the Wings and I can’t say we ever saw the best Sergi could have been for any sustained duration. But he scored when we needed him to which led the Wings to become Champions and did so with broken ribs so like anything else in life you have to be thankful for the wonderful things you do have.

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