"What can the PA actually do?" and other imponderables

The New Jersey Devils Will Remain Shorthanded for the Time Being - In Lou We Trust
The NHLPA apparenly isn't happy about the Devils having played with 15 skaters. [Nick Kypreos tweet:]

Donald Fehr and #NHLPA to conduct an internal review to see if the CBA was violated when #Devils decided to only dress 15 skaters.

This is ridiculous by [sic] the PA [...] because last night wasn't the first time a team played with less [sic] than 18 skaters in a game [...]


In addition to precedent, what can the PA actually do? Not have the power to force New Jersey to send a player/NHLPA member to the minors just to make space for injury replacements?

You mean, besides launching a formal Article 26 investigation leading to fines, cap penalties, loss of picks and/or suspensions?

Also, the Devils already have "space for injury replacements." The CBA provides for this. The problem is that the Devils are millions of dollars over the cap, so they squandered the LTIR replacement space in advance, in order to avoid being in circumvention (um) again.

I also wanted to weigh in on your reaction to various members of the MSM, who voiced the concern that not dressing a full roster is bad for the fans.

As a season ticket holder and a Devils supporter who was at the game, their "concern" is garbage. Maybe it's just me, but I'm quite offended by others claiming I've been wronged somehow.

Quite. However: fans, plural. Last I checked, Wyshynski is also a fan. Or, as you would say, "fan."

Let me get this straight: Are Wyshynski, Adams, Kypreos, et al actually arguing that I was cheated out of the money because they don't have a complete fourth line? A fourth line that sees limited minutes on most nights, as triumph44 pointed out? A fourth line that is usually subjected to the bench [ed. sounds painful] when coaches shorten it in a game? A fourth line that would feature, who exactly? Pelley and 2 call ups from Albany? The argument is that missing that completed fourth line made the Devils that much inferior to Pittsburgh, a game that ended 3-1 with an empty net goal by the Penguins, and so the fans lost out. They cannot be so serious to say such shortsighted foolishness [...]

Well, to be fair, you're the one who said they said it. They didn't say it. I'm pretty sure Puck Daddy specifically distinguished between a short bench for one game and a short bench over several games.

Also, re "short-sighted foolishness": projection denied.

[...] yet that's apparently what I'm reading, in the typed word.

I understand hyperbole is big in the media. Would it be hyperbole to claim such points as [sic] hysterical?


A full fourth line would have been nice, but let's not pretend that alone would have led to a Devils victory.

Indeed. (Quite!) Let's not. However: nobody's pretending that.

Lots of things -- alone -- do not lead one to victory. For example, sticks. That doesn't diminish their importance.

If you want to blame Lou Lamoriello for the Devils getting into this mess on the cap and/or not making a permanent move to make space, then you'll get no argument out of me.

[wipes brow] Rationality returns --

But I, for one, refuse to be your rhetorical prop.

-- however briefly.

To suggest that I and the 12,879* at the game were somehow wronged in all of this, that we wasted our money and time to go to the game, because the Devils weren't able to get two more forwards to create a 10-minutes-at-the-very-most line of forwards is simply ludicrous.

The reason that hypothetical Elite Superstar X plays 19 minutes a game and not 20, or plays 22 minutes a game and not 23, is not just because coaches love variety. It's the same reason they count pitches in baseball. Because the coach knows that the player has a limit, beyond which his play will suffer. If a fourth line plays ten minutes, it's because the coach believes that the physical limit of the first three lines is (in total) 50 minutes.* Beyond which, three exhausted superstars are not even as good as a fresh trio of subpar knuckledraggers. If you simply dispense with a fourth line, you carve up those ten (or 5 or 7 or 12) minutes among the other three lines.

A shift is 45 seconds long (and again, it's not arbitrary: 55 seconds and you have exhaustion; exhaustion equals mistakes; mistakes equals...). Last year, every member of the Devils, but one, had an average shift length of between 40-47 seconds (Ilya Kovalchuk averaged 58 seconds). So that's...11-14 exhausted sub-par shifts per game? How many goals against is that worth?

Last year, the difference between the Devils' goals-for and goals-against averages was less than half a goal.

*Yes, I know sometimes you put out your goons on specific goon ops.

Maybe I'm the fool and someone feels otherwise [...]


As noted earlier, this wasn't the first time it happened and it probably won't be the last given the future. [...] Anyway, the situation is what it is now. The Devils will have 16 skaters tomorrow unless some move is made prior to the game in Buffalo against the Sabres. There may or may not be more moronic commentary about it.

Or, as you put it so inscrutably well, "it probably won't be the last given the future."