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2017 Free Agency

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17 hours ago, Fisix said:

The hockey part was at the end.  Did you click on the google books link?

I clicked the links! I studied it a bit - on paper peonage is very different to slavery, but in the US context it was essentially the same thing. So, if peons agreed willfully to serve out their debt, what was their alternative if they refused to work for the debt-owner? What if a said peon decided "I'll go to France and open a bakery then repay my debt!".

In that regard, NHL players did not owe anything to the team before they signed, so they had a choice not to sign in the first place. And, I believe, that's why the monthly payments are there - because it's not slavery it's a contract. You stop honoring your contract - we stop paying you money. Shouldn't it be that simple? You're not necessarily fired, but you get some deduction of $$$ because you skipped work?

I think it's out of the realm of slavery and more into general Labor law. The Joker in the deck in all this is the NHL's codex, constitution or whatever, their universal anti-union wrench.

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23 hours ago, Fisix said:

I see your point.  But, I think it's a dangerous distinction.  See, for example:

http://www.pbs.org/tpt/slavery-by-another-name/themes/peonage/
http://wikidiff.com/slavery/peonage
https://books.google.com/books?id=iSTMCNVXNB8C&pg=PA226&lpg=PA226&dq=difference+between+slave+and+peonage&source=bl&ots=D4LIOGLC2d&sig=AjpRZMPV3TV1JwwVrlSYXhLFtWA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiP7KPuu7TVAhWLqVQKHVPjBAoQ6AEISDAG#v=onepage&q=difference between slave and peonage&f=false
(read the middle to the end of that inset paragraph, hopefully the link works)

So, while there may be some connotative difference between the terms, even by simple dictionary definition they overlap quite a bit, and for legal definition purposes, particularly as it pertains to the 13th amendment, I'd argue that they're synonymous.  As a lawyer, it's difficult to see two different words and even two slightly different concepts and not want to accentuate the differences; it's what lawyers do, we distinguish.  But, as legal terms, they're at least effectively synonymous - the legal restrictions and obligations are exactly the same.  Personally, I would lean heavily towards the argument that they are plainly synonymous... there's no legal distinction between how the legal system deals with them.

What puts it over the edge for me is the historical context, particularly in the US, where indentured servitude and/or peonage were used as... pretext? to continue all the same practices that were performed when slavery wasn't barred.

Do any of these terms seem like the right words to use when discussing whether or not a $60M player should perform his duties under his $60M contract?  Not really.  I get that.  But, it's the correct descriptive AND legal term to use when someone thinks a court can force someone to perform under a services contract.  We don't allow that because, even at $60M, you can't use the government to compel someone that way.  I know you know this, but I just wanted to bring that point home again - I was trying to use the term clinically, not as hyperbole.  

Won't it be interesting if Ovi is the only one who goes?  I could see both Getz and Perry deciding to sit it out if the team is rolling, but not so sure about the Swedes.  If any of the owners are permissive... I can't see too many of the other owners bucking the trend, and least likely our owners.

I still disagree. With respect to the peonage example, you're still missing the crucial aspect of a bargained-for agreement - i.e. the peon would agree to let a plantation owner pay his debt for him in exchange for the labor. The plantation owner was not permitted to just walk into the local jail and pay the fines for every black man that was locked up for vagrancy and then take them home to abuse them. Peonage still contained a bargained-for agreement - not a fair agreement, but an agreement nonetheless. Slavery (legally synonymous with "chattel slavery") did not involve any element of agreement between the laborer and the owner, so I still disagree that peonage and slavery are legally the same. They can be made to be functionally the same, as they were in the South by other laws and corrupt, racist authorities. But there is still a legal distinction.  Which is also why the 13th amendment refers to both "slavery" and "involuntary servitude" as separate terms.  

Regardless, this still goes back to the analogy that the players are akin to "slaves" because they can't go to the Olympics. It's still a ridiculous analogy IMO. These are highly paid athletes who live in beautiful homes and drive expensive cars. They've bargained away their ability to engage in certain activities in order to live the lifestyle they do. Most professional sports contracts contain a laundry list of activities that the athlete can't do.  For example, the NHL's standard player's contract contains the following:

Quote

The Player and the Club recognize and agree that the Player's participation in other sports may impair or destroy his ability and skill as a hockey Player. Accordingly the Player agrees that he will not during the period of this SPC or during any period when he is obligated under this SPC to enter into a further SPC with the Club engage or participate in football, baseball, softball, hockey, lacrosse, boxing, wrestling or other athletic sport without the written consent of the Club, which consent will not be unreasonably withheld. [Paragraph 7 on page 315 (EXHIBIT 1) of the CBA if you care to confirm]

An NHL player does not suddenly become a "slave" if he signs a contract that does not allow him to play beach volleyball at a 4th of July barbecue down in Huntington. It's no different with the Olympics IMO. I like seeing NHL players in the international tournaments as much as the next guy, but at the end of the day the league gets to do whatever it thinks is in the best interests of the league, and the players know that when they sign the contract.

 

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18 hours ago, dtsdlaw said:

I still disagree. With respect to the peonage example, you're still missing the crucial aspect of a bargained-for agreement - i.e. the peon would agree to let a plantation owner pay his debt for him in exchange for the labor. The plantation owner was not permitted to just walk into the local jail and pay the fines for every black man that was locked up for vagrancy and then take them home to abuse them. Peonage still contained a bargained-for agreement - not a fair agreement, but an agreement nonetheless. Slavery (legally synonymous with "chattel slavery") did not involve any element of agreement between the laborer and the owner, so I still disagree that peonage and slavery are legally the same. They can be made to be functionally the same, as they were in the South by other laws and corrupt, racist authorities. But there is still a legal distinction.  Which is also why the 13th amendment refers to both "slavery" and "involuntary servitude" as separate terms.  

Regardless, this still goes back to the analogy that the players are akin to "slaves" because they can't go to the Olympics. It's still a ridiculous analogy IMO. These are highly paid athletes who live in beautiful homes and drive expensive cars. They've bargained away their ability to engage in certain activities in order to live the lifestyle they do. Most professional sports contracts contain a laundry list of activities that the athlete can't do.  For example, the NHL's standard player's contract contains the following:

An NHL player does not suddenly become a "slave" if he signs a contract that does not allow him to play beach volleyball at a 4th of July barbecue down in Huntington. It's no different with the Olympics IMO. I like seeing NHL players in the international tournaments as much as the next guy, but at the end of the day the league gets to do whatever it thinks is in the best interests of the league, and the players know that when they sign the contract.

 

Peonage - I think the general idea is that there is no actual bargained-for agreement in real-life situations, or, to put a finer point on it, that the ratio of actual bargained-for agreements to pretext agreements that were really forced signatures on contracts that exchanged minor debts for much larger services obligations, approached zero (at least in the US).  That's why it was included in the 13th AM, was so that slavery costumed within another common name (indentured servitude, or peonage) wasn't going to pass muster.  But, we can agree to disagree.  They ARE different words, after all.  There's just no difference in how the law treats them.  Can you enter into such contracts, such as a contract to "work off a debt?"  Yes, but a court can't force you to complete the contract, it can only assign debt and/or identify and punish fraud. 

Hockey player contracts:  The sole point I was hoping to convey was that a court can't compel a player to play for a team, and that the reason why a court can't do so is because to do so would be acting in contravention of the 13th AM.  I'm expressly saying that not only are the hockey players NOT slaves, they CANNOT be slaves, regardless of the contract terms, at least in the US.

Someone above said something like the court could force a player under contract to not agree to join an Olympic team.  That's not the case.  A court can force a player to decide between getting paid under the contract and agreeing to join an Olympic team (and possibly paying liquidated damages identified in the contract, or losing the contract entirely), but the court can't force the player to play... otherwise the court would be breaching the 13th AM.  

And, here's the thing.  For most of us, deciding between getting paid $8M in a year and not is pretty much a non-decision.  We wouldn't even begin to think of jeopardizing such a contract, regardless of what we'd have to give up.  But, for at least some of these players, they already have so much money, and so many NHL awards, that they clearly could be willing to risk the contract to go to the Olympics.  That's what makes this conversation interesting... there's a non-zero chance they CAN and WILL decide to give the finger to the league and join an Oly team.  My understanding of the player contracts and employment law is that the best a court could do is end the player's contract (without a breach by the league or the team) and levy fines up to the value of the played portion of this seasons's salary.  All prior year's payments would be untouchable.  And, the team and the league would have to do their best to mitigate forward-looking damages (if they tried to argue such) by replacing the player (which might include attempting to negotiate a new contract with the player).

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On 7/30/2017 at 11:17 PM, wataduk said:

Isn't he still deciding on retirement or not?
Maybe he announced his decision. I haven't heard either way.

 

Fisher announced his retirement.

"This is the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but I know I've made the right one." - @mikefisher1212

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From what I've read in the Tennessean, he was contemplating retirement beginning of last season and looking at same as his last season. Preds wanted him back, cap space to do it as well. According to scuttlebutt, his wife played a role as well.

As an opponent, I'm glad to see him leave Nashville, they've got less bite and bark now. Tip of the bucket to him though, 1000+ games in this league isn't too shabby.

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Just make Forsberg the captain and rename the team the Tennessee Divers

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11 minutes ago, nieder said:

Just make Forsberg the captain and rename the team the Tennessee Holy Divers

FIFY.

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On 04/08/2017 at 6:28 PM, nieder said:

Just make Forsberg the captain and rename the team the Tennessee Divers

You could swap out Floppa with literally anyone else on that roster now and this post would still hold up.

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On 8/6/2017 at 8:10 PM, PetrSykora said:

You could swap out Floppa with literally anyone else on that roster now and this post would still hold up.

The smirk on his face when he realises the refs have fallen for another dive drives me insane. 

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3 hours ago, Drake12 said:

It's official! 8 years, AAV of 8.5m! So between Drat and McJeebus, how much does EDM have wrapped up in two dudes for the next nearly a decade?

https://www.nhl.com/oilers/news/oilers-sign-leon-draisaitl-to-contract-extension/c-290683522

 

So we're not going bother with RFA deals anymore? No more three year deals for an affordable several million. Then lock them up long term in their final year. We're just going to throw them all the money right out the gate. That's cool...

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3 hours ago, Drake12 said:

It's official! 8 years, AAV of 8.5m! So between Drat and McJeebus, how much does EDM have wrapped up in two dudes for the next nearly a decade?

https://www.nhl.com/oilers/news/oilers-sign-leon-draisaitl-to-contract-extension/c-290683522

 

Could be worse I guess. It's not like they're committing 10 million dollars over each of the next 4 seasons for guys like Kris Russell and Milan Lucic right? 

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This has got to make the Leafs happy. Matthews, Nylander, Marner. That'll be fun for them.

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Doing some math (I suck at numbers so I could be off base) and it looks like Chiarelli and Co are going to enjoy Cap Hell next season. 

Thirteen players signed through next season for $59.46M. That leaves $16M for 7 more roster players who will play in game. Add a forward or defenseman as a healthy scratch and things get a little more complicated. 

I'm gonna assume they sign their two "key" RFA's in Nurse and Strome. Color me surprised if that doesn't cost at least $8M. Then there's UFA Maroon. If he keeps his kinda close but not quite just under 30g pace, he'll get paid too. Maybe another $4M. He's replaceable. It's hard NOT to score with a McJesus. While on the other hand, if the chemistry remains, why change what ain't broke. Then Talbot the season after that.

They could probably get out of the Nuge's contract. He's not bad. But that six million price tag is hefty. Someone stupid like Vegas could pick that up next summer to keep cap compliant. They are good as stuck with that Neanderthal, stupid contract and a beautiful NMC. 

Just a few random thoughts but to me it looks like Edmonton will be enjoying the cap system the next few years. And this is where I'd drop the Gtzlaf popcorn gif if I could figure out the darn thing. 

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Oh Edmonton, you're getting a wee bit silly. Almost Toronto bat dung insane. I know, we all like our shiny new toys. I get it. But let's dial it down a notch. Let Draisaitl score one 30 goal season before we're calling him a perennial 30 goal scorer. I will concede that he was one goal shy of reaching that mark. Also at the same time, Maroon had 27. Age difference aside and upside and all the blah blah, would any pay Maroon $8M?

As much as I'd love to be annoyed with Edmonton and this potentially dangerous over inflation of the market with handing out high end contracts to second year players... Nashville screwed the pooch on this one. Giving Ryan Johanson, who hit the 30 goal plateau once, years ago a $8M deal was stupid. Right when you think the Predators were doing something right in losing the Cup and ditching Neal. They go release their piano key jerseys and inflate the market with unnecessary contracts. 

If Sam Steel's junior game translates well in the NHL, we're boned. Thankfully the Ducks have a GMBM. Who's shrewd and won't play those games. Then again, how long has he been here? I glad he is but it seems like he's kept his job longer than most of his contemporaries. 

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17 hours ago, poum said:

Oh Edmonton, you're getting a wee bit silly. Almost Toronto bat dung insane. I know, we all like our shiny new toys. I get it. But let's dial it down a notch. Let Draisaitl score one 30 goal season before we're calling him a perennial 30 goal scorer. I will concede that he was one goal shy of reaching that mark. Also at the same time, Maroon had 27. Age difference aside and upside and all the blah blah, would any pay Maroon $8M?

As much as I'd love to be annoyed with Edmonton and this potentially dangerous over inflation of the market with handing out high end contracts to second year players... Nashville screwed the pooch on this one. Giving Ryan Johanson, who hit the 30 goal plateau once, years ago a $8M deal was stupid. Right when you think the Predators were doing something right in losing the Cup and ditching Neal. They go release their piano key jerseys and inflate the market with unnecessary contracts. 

If Sam Steel's junior game translates well in the NHL, we're boned. Thankfully the Ducks have a GMBM. Who's shrewd and won't play those games. Then again, how long has he been here? I glad he is but it seems like he's kept his job longer than most of his contemporaries. 

GMBM's been willing to manage things and keep this team at the top of the league for the last half decade. Edmonton is a johnny-come-again-lately story, and the demands of the fanatics in Alberta are such that as soon as they smell playoffs, it's all caution to the winds. Same for Nashville. Pay up, we got past the first round of the playoffs (or the second), respectively!

So yeah, Getz and Perry (especially) had interesting years. But looking at their 8.625 per compared to some of these yahoos, and looking at Raks/Fowler/Hamper deals, I'd say we're sitting pretty for the next few years.

And Toronto....hello Canadian cap crush number #2!

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On 8/16/2017 at 6:05 PM, poum said:

This has got to make the Leafs happy. Matthews, Nylander, Marner. That'll be fun for them.

Young Guns TML have in their Roster is going to be very exciting for them...Wait and see Matthews has a Bright Future in Leafs restoration.

DuckPride 4ever

MooseDuck

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