(Ed. Note: The column formerly known as the Puck Daddy Power Rankings. Ryan Lambert takes a look at some of the biggest issues and stories in the NHL, and counts them down.)
7 – Circumventing the CBA cuz your boss guilts you into it
Hey wow the Oilers played like garbage in a game recently. That never happens, right?
So anyway, they played so badly — and Connor McDavid was so bad personally — that as The New Captain he probably felt like he needed to show he’s a company man or whatever. So they had a practice even though they should have had a CBA-mandated day off.
And why did they do it? Because Todd McLellan asked them to!
Now folks, I’m not saying players don’t occasionally deserve to get bag-skated for playing like crap, but what do you do when you have a day off built into your schedule thanks to one of the extremely few gives from management? Let’s ask Colby Armstrong:
— AOL Keyword: Mike (@mikeFAIL) October 17, 2016
Like, no kidding. Again, lots of new leaders in the room and all that, but jeez it’s October! Take the day for yourselves, dudes. You have a hell of a lot more miles to log. Giving this early sets a whopper of a dumbassed precedent. Here’s the thing: The Oilers still aren’t that good. There will be more nights like this all season long. Probably a lot more. So you know what you do?
— AOL Keyword: Mike (@mikeFAIL) October 17, 2016
6 – Ragging on Jacob Trouba
There was some turd idiot with a sign in Winnipeg the other night saying something along the lines of “I made more money than Jacob Trouba today.”
Wow cool. First of all, with his next contract, Trouba’s probably gonna pull something resembling your annual salary for playing 19 minutes of hockey.
But second, c’mon dawg. You (probably) don’t have the number of places you can work limited by a collective bargaining agreement hammered out years before you entered the field in which you earn your living. Nor can your employer tell you to take your demands for, say, a slightly nicer cubicle and stuff ’em, even if you’re one of the two or three best employees in your department. And unless you signed a no-compete clause for your company, you also basically don’t have any recourse to go work somewhere else. Basically Jacob Trouba has one viable employment option, and you wouldn’t wish that on anyone trying to earn a living.
So maybe the fact that you made more money than Jacob Trouba is actually bad? I don’t know folks!!!
5 – Bad takes, part 2
Last week here in the countdown we talked a little about the disingenuous arguments put forth by Barry Trotz and Brian MacLellan that guys were intentionally putting the puck on net from the red line to improve their CF numbers. We all know no one does this. “All” here includes Barry Trotz and Brian MacLellan.
Also last week, I advanced the theory that they were just saying this to make “all the nerdos mad.” It now seems this is A Thing, because here’s freakin’ Dean “I put together a phone book’s worth of data about why we should bring Keith Yandle to the Olympics” Lombardi saying things like, “But this stuff you heard about you’ll do this and this will happen, they can’t prove it. And there is a reason they can’t prove it. It probably doesn’t have the impact on winning and losing that they think.”
My dude has two Stanley Cups because he built a shot-attempt juggernaut and he’s sitting here saying “Ah it’s not really for me!” C’mon Dean this is like me saying “Having a negative view of the Vancouver Canucks? I’m all set.” No one’s buying it buddy! You’re gonna have to wake up pretty early in the morning to slip this stuff by us!
4 – KHL salaries
Who am I to say whether the leaked list of top KHL salaries is accurate? But hey, let’s have a looksie anyway.
Only three players in the entire league make more than $4.5 million. And Dave Bolland makes the same amount of money as its top-paid player. Dave Bolland! Now granted, KHLers don’t pay tax on their salaries so one imagines Ilya Kovalchuk would have to be one of the higher-paid players in the NHL to pull something resembling the same amount in take-home pay. But you see the point.
That’s the highest-paid player in the league pulling $5.5 million. The 10th-largest salary in the KHL goes to some guy you’ve never heard of, and it’s $1.5 million. That’s a huge drop-off. Proportionally speaking, it’s like if Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews pulled $10.5 million against the cap, and the 10th-highest-paid guy in the league (Henrik Lundqvist at $8.5 million) only got $2.9 million. Wild!
The KHL is a hell of a weird league, man.
3 – Alex Kovalev
Alex Kovalev retired due to injury in 2014. And now he’s back, baby! Kovalev signed with some Swiss team I’ve near heard of and say he wants to play until he’s 50.
Any time I think of Kovalev I just have these two videos running on a simultaneous loop in my head: The time he objected to a Darcy Tucker slash so he carried the puck and just steamrolled him, and the one-handed backhanders from the hashmarks to the top corner in the skills video.
Here, for reference, are both those incredible videos which I enjoy so much. Blessings to Alex Kovalev. May he play forever.
2 – The Hot Seat
Gun to my head, I would have probably said that two or three games is probably not enough to land a coach on the hot seat, and yet here we are:
Man, I like that action on Paul Maurice. The Jets have looked completely discombobulated so far this year. But where do we stand on Jack Capuano getting canned first? 15/4 really isn’t as big a bet as I would have thought. I don’t know if I buy it. But hey, the Islanders haven’t looked good either, and they probably expect to go places after their spending this summer. Not sure how realistic it is, but fair enough.
There’s basically no way Julien or Vigneault get fired before the season ends though, right? Like that would be crazy.
1 – The dog at the Preds game
Who’s a good little gal? It’s Annie, the very nice kind beautiful friendly dog who went to the Preds game and had such a good time with all her friends. And the Preds won! Annie should be at every game! Hooray for Annie, the good dog we all love!
(Not ranked this week: The Kings’ goaltending situation.
When you’re like “Hmm, maybe we’ll trade for Ondrej Pavelec, you’re in a lot of damn trouble.)
(All statistics via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)
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