It's officially official.
The 2012-13 NHL hockey season has been locked out until further notice. Negotiations between the league and the NHLPA will continue in the coming weeks/months (we hope), hopefully ending in a resolution that will bring about a delayed start to the season rather than a year-long lockout, but nothing is certain.
As for the rules applied to players and their teams during a lockout, here they are courtesy of ESPN:
- Players are barred from using any NHL team’s private facilities. So for most players that means having to get together and buy ice time elsewhere to continue their workouts.
- Players will not be paid their 2012-13 salaries during the lockout. The first of 14 paychecks was expected in mid-October. On the flip side, players will get escrow checks from the NHL in mid- to late October, which counts for 8 percent of their 2011-12 salaries (they paid 8.5 escrow last season, but are getting 8 percent of it back). That’s a nice chunk of change for the players to get at the start of a lockout.
- There is a small group of players, however, who will continue to receive their full NHL salaries: the injured ones. Any player injured in a hockey-related fashion is entitled to his full salary until he fully recovers and is deemed fit to play by team doctors.
- Players are free to play in other leagues once they’re locked out. The key for those players is to get insurance for their NHL contracts in case of injury while playing overseas.
- All signing bonuses will be fully paid regardless of the lockout. That’s why so many contracts over the past few months included signing bonuses. It’s guaranteed money in the bank regardless of a lockout.
- Players who are 19 and under who are junior-eligible can still be sent back to their junior clubs.
- Players cannot be traded during the lockout.
- Clubs cannot make players appear at promotional events nor ask players to show up for training or conditioning camps.
- If a player is injured while playing in another league during the lockout, an NHL club can suspend him without pay until he is fit to play.
- Players who were bought out in a previous year and still have buyout payments due to them will continue to receive them during the lockout.
As far as the New York Rangers are concerned, none of their players have shown any interest in playing in various other leagues across the Atlantic Ocean despite what you may have read elsewhere. In fact, Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan have spoken with head coach John Tortorella on what is best for the squad during this time of waiting, and they agreed that the guys will all gather at an undecided location to continue offseason workouts leading up to the season's start -- whenever that may be.
Obviously Tortorella will be excluded from these workouts, although I'm sure the captains will be in touch with the coach.
As for the Ranger players who will be dropping down to the Connecticut Whale to kill the time by playing in the AHL, the following were assigned to do so by the team on Friday: Sean Collins, Tommy Grant, Michael Haley, Chad Kolarik, Kris Newbury, Logen Pyett, Brandon Segal and Mike Vernace.
The remainder of players who would've been eligible also would have had to pass through waivers, so do not expect anyone else from the Blueshirts' NHL squad to be assigned to play in the AHL.
Lastly, in regard to this blog, we will continue to provide readers with all updates related to the CBA negotiations and, of course, if anything major occurs that is Ranger-related (which more than likely will not). Yes, unfortunately that means things will be ultra slow around here until this all gets resolved, but that will be the case in all of the hockey world for the time being. I know, this totally sucks.
But when the season does resume, we'll be back to our normal in-season coverage here on The Rangers Tribune, and trust me, after this elongated offseason, we'll be raring to go.
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