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Saturday, October 12, 2019

Today In NHL History - Dan Hamhuis' Own Goal

On October 12th in 2013, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis misplayed a breakout from behind his net, deflecting the puck off both of Roberto Luongo's skates and into the net for an own goal, giving the Montreal Canadiens a 2-1 lead with four minutes to play in the middle frame.
The bizarre miscue, coined by NHL goalie turned Hockey Night In Canada commentator Kelly Hrudey as "one of the strangest goals you'll ever see in hockey", was credited as a shorthanded goal for Canadiens' forward Lars Eller, the Dane's fifth marker in as many games.

Asked about the gaffe in the post-game interview, Luongo noted "I didn't see it, I don't know what happened".  When asked if he had ever given up a more bizarre winning goal, Luongo made clear "I didn't give that up".
The Canadiens scored two more goals to beat the Canucks 4-1.

That's today in NHL history.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Today In NHL History - First Hockey Telecast

On October 11th in 1952, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation presented the first ever publicly televised hockey game. The match, shown on the Saturday evening Hockey Night In Canada series, featured the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings from the Montreal Forum.
This inaugural HNIC telecast was carried on the CBC's French channel (SRC) with play-by-play offerings from announcer Rene Lecavalier. Montreal doubled Detroit that night 2-1. The first telecast from Toronto followed three weeks later.

That's today in NHL history.

Today In NHL History - Gordie Howe Hat Trick

On October 11th in 1953, Gordie Howe recorded his first ever Gordie Howe Hat Trick accumulating a goal, assist, and a fight in the same game. Despite defining the deed, the four-time Cup champ ('50, '52, '54, '55) and six-time Hart ('52, '53, '57, '58, '60, '63) and Art Ross ('51-'54, '57, '63) recipient turned only two such tricks and wasn't the first to do it.

Mr. Hockey's inaugural occurred when he scored, assisted on a Red Kelly goal, and fought Fernie Flaman in a 4-0 Detroit Red Wings win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. His other came in the same season when the teams met again on March 21, 1954, scoring, assisting on a pair of Ted Lindsay tallies, and fisticuffing with Ted Kennedy in a 6-1 victory.

The first ever Gordie Howe Hat Trick is credited to Harry Cameron of the Toronto Arenas who collected the components some 36 years earlier on December 26, 1917 in a 7-5 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Brendan Shanahan is widely believed to lead the category with 17 though uncertainty exists owing to incomplete statistics on the accomplishment.

That's today in NHL history.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Today In NHL History - Boulerice Sticks Kesler

On October 10th in 2007, Jesse Boulerice added another chapter to his checkered past and the violent history of the Philadelphia Flyers when he blindsided Ryan Kesler with a vicious cross-check, breaking his stick across the forward's face.

Boulerice was assessed a 10 minute match penalty on the play to which the NHL tacked on a 25 game suspension, then tied for the longest suspension in league history, costing him $63,502.75 in pay. Acknowledging that he crossed the line, Boulerice apologized to Kesler after the Flyers 8-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

That's today in NHL history.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

NHL Minimum Wage & Maximum Wage By Year

In July of 2005, the NHL and NHLPA finalized the 2005 CBA ending a 310 day lockout that resulted in the loss of a season. The core feature of the accord was the introduction a salary cap, setting team spending limits based on league revenue and tying player salaries to such limits.

The maximum player salary was capped at 20% of the team salary cap. Meanwhile, the minimum player salary jumped 257% from $180,000 to $450,000 with fixed bumps in future years.  The chart below shows NHL minimum and maximum player salaries by year since 2005.

Year              Salary Cap     NHL Minimum     NHL Maximum      
2005-2006
$39.0m     
$450,000      
$7.8m     
2006-2007
$44.0m     
$450,000      
$8.8m     
2007-2008
$50.3m     
$475,000      
$10.06m     
2008-2009
$56.7m     
$475,000      
$11.34m     
2009-2010
$56.8m     
$500,000      
$11.36m     
2010-2011
$59.4m     
$500,000      
$11.88m     
2011-2012
$64.3m     
$525,000      
$12.86m     
2012-2013
$70.2m     
$525,000      
$14.04m     
2013-2014
$64.3m     
$550,000      
$12.86m     
2014-2015
$69.0m     
$550,000      
$13.8m     
2015-2016
$71.4m     
$575,000      
$14.3m     
2016-2017
$73.0m     
$575,000      
$14.6m     
2017-2018
$75.0m     
$650,000      
$15.0m     
2018-2019
$79.5m     
$650,000      
$15.9m     
2019-2020
$81.5m     
$700,000      
$16.3m     

The team salary cap has increased 104% since 2005 (an average of 7% per year), providing for maximum player salary to rise by the same margin. Minimum wage, on the other hand, has increased only 83% during that span (an average of 5.5% per year), 21% shy of their top earner counterparts. Thus, while maximum salary has been tied to the spectacular increase in team salary cap, minimum salary has not. 

The chart below shows what minimum salary would be as a percentage of team salary cap, as opposed to the negotiated rate schedule.

Year                NHL Minimum    % of Cap     1.15% of Cap      
2005-2006
$450,000     
1.15%      
$450,000     
2006-2007
$450,000     
1.02%      
$506,000     
2007-2008
$475,000     
.944%      
$578,000     
2008-2009
$475,000     
.837%      
$652,000     
2009-2010
$500,000     
.880%      
$653,000     
2010-2011
$500,000     
.841%      
$683,000     
2011-2012
$525,000     
.816%      
$739,000     
2012-2013
$525,000     
.747%      
$807,000     
2013-2014
$550,000     
.816%      
$739,000     
2014-2015
$550,000     
.797%      
$793,000     
2015-2016
$575,000     
.805%      
$821,100     
2016-2017
$575,000     
.787%      
$829,500     
2017-2018
$650,000     
.867%      
$862,500     
2018-2019
$650,000     
.818%      
$914,250     
2019-2020
$700,000     
.859%      
$937,250     

If minimum wage had been tied to 1.15% of the team salary cap instead of anchoring it to a fixed dollar rate schedule, NHL minimum earners would have received an extra $100,000 in 2007-2008, $200,000 more in 2011-2012, and almost $300,000 more in 2012-2013. In fact, in the fourteen years since the 2005 wage hike, tying it to such a percentage would have yielded an extra $2.6m for such skaters during that span, equaling an additional $187,000 each year on average.

The NHL's minimum wage is scheduled to increase in the coming years reaching $650,000 in 2017-2018, $700,000 in 2019-2020, and $750,000 in 2021-2022. The maximum player salary shall remain at 20% of team salary cap during this span.  

When the current CBA expires after the 2021-2022 season, perhaps the NHLPA should vie to tie minimum wage to a percentage of the team salary cap (with a floor of a 5% bump on prior year pay) so players at both ends of the hockey spectrum can share in increased NHL revenues. Equity for all skaters, regardless of role and talent.

* See also NHL Highest Paid Players By Year.
* See also NHL Highest Player Salary & Cap Hit By Position.
* See also Rethinking NHL Player Salary Structure.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Today In NHL History - Quick's Own Goal

On October 7th in 2013, Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick misplayed a 163 foot shorthanded clearing attempt, dropping his stick and inadvertently directing the puck into the net with his blocker for an own goal, giving the New York Rangers a 3-1 lead four minutes into the final frame.

The miscue was credited to Rangers' defenseman Ryan McDonagh, his first point of the season and 13th career NHL goal.

With five minutes remaining, the Los Angeles Kings' fair-weather faithful jeered Quick as he successfully stopped an iced puck.  Unamused by the gesture, the Conn Smythe winner and Stanley Cup champion flipped-off the ungrateful onlookers waiving his glove in response.

In the post-game interview Quick conceded "everybody gives up bad goals, it's part of the game".  When pressed for more detail on the miscue Quick quipped, "you guys are writing a story on that one goal?" which the reporter denied while hockey bloggers everywhere nodded.

When asked for comment about any post-gaffe discussions with his goalie, Coach Darryl Sutter responded "He dropped his stick - what do you want to talk about - tell him not to drop his stick?".  Sutter buttoned his remarks, joking "It's his job to stop the puck, so obviously he didn't think he needed a stick".  The Rangers beat the Kings 3-1.

That's today in NHL history.