Posts tagged “Willie Mitchell”

A Kind of Retraction of the Retraction

Stupid CBA’s frying my brain today. I was sort of right to begin with before I faked myself out. I think I’ve got it right now (correct me if I’m wrong).

This post by George had me go to the CBA to plow through the legalese for this crap from Article 50:

50.5 (h) (ii)
A Club shall be permitted to have an Averaged Club Salary in excess of the Upper Limit resulting from Performance Bonuses solely to the extent that such excess results from the inclusion in Averaged Club Salary of (i) Exhibit 5 Individual “A” Performance Bonuses and “B” Performance Bonuses paid by the Club that may be earned by Players in the Entry Level System and (ii) Performance Bonuses that may be earned by Players pursuant to Section 50.2(b)(i)(C) above, provided that under no circumstances may a Club’s Averaged Club Salary so exceed the Upper Limit by an amount greater than the result of seven-and-one-half (7.5) percent multiplied by the Upper Limit (the “Performance Bonus Cushion”).

If you’re still awake, that just says if a player qualifies for a bonus under some terms (relevant in this case: one year deals following 100 days on IR, as with Mitchell), the team can go over the cap a bit for that year.


50.5 (h) (iii)
At the conclusion of each League Year, the amount of Performance Bonuses actually earned … shall be determined and shall be charged against the Club’s Upper Limit and Averaged Club Salary for such League Year. To the extent a Club’s Averaged Club Salary exceeds its Upper Limit as a result of [entry-level or veteran performance bonuses], then the Club’s Upper Limit for the next League Year shall be reduced by an amount equal to such excess

For the 2010-11 League Year, all of the above-described Performance Bonuses that could be earned by the Players under SPCs with a Club shall be counted against such Club’s Upper Limit for that League Year (with no opportunity for the Clubs to “carry over” any charges to their Upper Limit for the following League Year), unless the NHLPA extends this Agreement for one additional year to September 15, 2012, consistent with Section 3.1(b) of this Agreement, in which case accounting for the above-described Performance Bonuses in the 2010-2011 League Year shall be treated as set forth in paragraph (ii) above.

Because the PA did extend the CBA, we’re under the terms in the first quote (50.5 (h) (ii)). Earlier in Article 50, it says cap hit is calculated by max bonus potential, so the Wings have to account for the possibility of Mitchell (and Modano) earning all of their bonuses now.

Put it all together and you have a situation where the Wings can calculate their payroll to a point over the cap for this year with bonuses and pay those bonuses on next year’s cap. Mitchell could still make a base salary of $1.2 million if Meech is moved and Abdelkader gets a cap hit of $875,000.

Mitchell Sounding Less Unlikely, Maybe Retraction

Update (06. Aug, 8:08 PM): Okay, never mind. I brain-cramped on bonuses. Any performance bonuses Mitchell might command would count toward his cap hit this year. Dumb mistake. Sorry about that…

He’d have to take $1.2 million or less total, which is not likely at all. But at least Holland and Mitchell’s agent have talked. – Matt

Update (1:43 PM): I should add that the current news is that San Jose and Washington are likely leading the chase for Mitchell. The Wings may not even be going for him. But it’s fun speculation. – Matt

If that speculation by Russo is at all accurate, the Wings could maybe do this, assuming they land Abdelkader at a cap hit of say $875,000 and move Meech. They’d have room to offer Mitchell up to $1.2 million in base salary and take the incentives on next year’s cap.

Not likely, but possible. If he wants to play here and if they go against their current “go, youth, go” stance on defense.

Today in Unlikely Scenarios: Willie Mitchell

Using CapGeek’s new-fangled Flash-based cap calculator (sorry, iPhone/iPad users), I came up with the following lineup/payroll:


Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Tomas Holmstrom ($1.875m)
Todd Bertuzzi ($1.937m) / Valtteri Filppula ($3.000m) / Johan Franzen ($3.954m)
Jiri Hudler ($2.875m) / Mike Modano ($1.250m) / Daniel Cleary ($2.800m)
Patrick Eaves ($0.750m) / Justin Abdelkader ($0.750m) / Darren Helm ($0.750m)
Drew Miller ($0.650m) / Kris Draper ($1.583m)

Nicklas Lidstrom ($6.200m) / Brian Rafalski ($6.000m)
Brad Stuart ($3.750m) / Niklas Kronwall ($3.000m)
Jonathan Ericsson ($0.900m) / Willie Mitchell ($1.500m)
Jakub Kindl ($0.883m)


Jimmy Howard ($0.716m) / Chris Osgood ($1.416m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter) (these totals are compiled using the bonus cushion)

SALARY CAP: $59,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $59,375,378; BONUSES: $0

CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $24,622

In a Ritola and Meech-less roster reality, the Wings can squeeze Mitchell in if they convince him to take a $2 million paycut. Unless Willie’s thinking a year in Detroit would help his chances at big bucks next summer, however, I’m going to have to say that’s about as likely as Chicago having 23 men under NHL contract is.

Ship Draper to Tampa Bay and the number goes up. But there’s just no way that happens.

More on Franzen

Looks like Johan may not just have a concussion, according to Ansar Khan.

He reports that an examination of Johan’s left knee contradicts the result of the MRI taken Wednesday night, which means there is damage after all. The MRI will be re-done to determine the extent of it, but, seeing how much his knee twisted when he fell, I wouldn’t bet on this being a minor deal.

Khan also says Holland has talked to the NHL about a suspension for Willie Mitchell but was told no. He believes late hits (note: not hits to the head) will be a “hot topic” at the next GM’s meeting. I would hope so, Kenny. It’d be a good place to start, that’s for sure.

Wings 3, Canucks 4 (OT)

Update (2:33 PM): Ansar Khan reports that Franzen will be out at least a week with a concussion and left knee injury. That means he should be back for the December 1st game against Minnesota.

Khan also mentions Chris Chelios thinks Mitchell should be suspended for the hit. You wish, Cheli.

Unrelated: apparently, Hasek will start on Friday against the Blues. This stands in contrast to other reports that Joey MacDonald would start, with Dom backing him up. With the Wings in Nashville the next night, it’s an interesting decision to start Dom against one of the league’s worst teams. Maybe they’ll start him two nights in a row, after all. – Matt

The Wings blew a two-goal third period lead and lost in overtime last night to the Canucks in their first game back from a three-game road trip. It was an uncharacteristic game for this team as the defense allowed 30 shots as well as a comeback by Vancouver

Dominik Hasek was in net for the Wings and didn’t look bad on most of the 30 shots he faced, though a couple of the goals he allowed were stinkers (more because of bad luck than anything else, though).

The first goal, which came at :18 of the first period, was off a major deflection at the top of the circle and he didn’t have much of a chance to stop it.

On the second goal (4:50 of the third), he came out to challenge Henrik Sedin and made the save. The rebound, however, went right to Markus Naslund and he put it right into the net which had been vacated by Dom for the initial save.

Dom just fell down on the third goal (7:23, third), having stepped in a rut or something, making it easy for Brendan Morrison to put in the net.

The game winnner in overtime was due to a bad turnover at the Vancouver blueline during a line change, giving Morrisson an easy breakaway. He beat Dom with a quick shot to the 5-hole to put it away.

There were a few instances where Hasek was slow to get up after making a save. Hopefully that was more him being cautious than actually experiencing pain.

The Wings’ first goal, at 9:24 of the first, came off a nice play by Robert Lang in the corner. With Willie Mitchell handling it, Lang came up and poked it away before stepping around him and picking it up. He centered it to Mathieu Schneider, who got a backhand shot on net that was stopped by Roberto Luongo. The puck went up in the air, however, and Schneider got his stick on it to knock it into the net. The play was reviewed briefly but the goal stood.

Their second goal, which came at 12:05 of the first, was a bit of a lucky bounce, though it may have gone in anyway because Henrik Zetterberg was right there. With the Wings on the power play, Nick Lidstrom took a shot from the left wing, aiming at Luongo’s far side. Luongo got a piece of it but it ended up bouncing off Matthias Ohlund’s leg and into the net.

The Wings scored a goal just before the 19:00 mark of the second period when Pavel Datsyuk made a nice play to Mikael Samuelsson, who one-timed the puck into the net. The goal was waived off due to “incidental contact,” however, because Tomas Holmstrom had been pushed by Ohlund into Roberto Luongo. Okay, that’s fair. But why wasn’t Holmstrom called for goaltender interference? Isn’t it an either/or situation? Either it’s a goal or it’s a penalty. Doesn’t make any sense. Was it because Ohlund pushed Homer into the net? Then why wasn’t Ohlund given a penalty? Very strange call (or non-call).

The Wings’ actual third goal came at 19:00, just seconds after Samuelsson’s was disallowed. Kris Draper and Dan Cleary broke free on a 2-on-1, with Draper carrying. He made a great pass over a sprawling Willie Mitchell and Cleary redirected it on net. Luongo made the save but the puck trickled out to his right as he fell. Cleary, demonstrating great hands and patience, picked it up, shifted forehand to backhand and roofed it to make it 3-1. Great goal.

Okay, now that I’m done talking about the goals, I can move on to The Hit.

With Mathieu Schneider in the box for interference, the Wings were on the penalty kill. The Canucks weren’t doing a very good job setting up and generating pressure so when the Wings gained control after a failed attempt by Vancouver, they decided to carry it out of the zone rather than just shoot it.

Johan Franzen took the puck up the left wing and met the Vancouver defense at their blueline. The puck got knocked back to Franzen’s wing man, Pavel Datsyuk, and Johan turned his head left to follow the puck. Just as he got his head forward again, Willie Mitchell came across and decked him, laying his shoulder directly into the side of Franzen’s face. Johan took the brunt of the hit on the jaw and was knocked silly. He dropped his stick, his gloves flew off, and his legs went sprawling (bending his left knee at a bad angle) as he turned and fell backwards onto the ice.

The play was quickly whistled dead and Franzen was immediately attended to by the trainer. While this was going on, FSN’s color man, Mickey Redmond, began talking about how players today need to learn to let up on a play like that rather than follow through on their hit when someone’s head is open like that. I couldn’t agree more. The play may be currently legal but with hits like this coming with more frequency, it may be time to change the rule. It doesn’t make any sense that players can be called for the most insignificant contact with their sticks while they can get away with giving someone a concussion like that.

My views on the subject are already known so I won’t say much more, except that the Wings need to stop being so tolerant of these hits on their teammates. Reading some of the quotes from the guys today seems to indicate they aren’t happy with what happened:

“I thought it was a cheap hit. Frankie’s a big guy, went down hard. Willie Mitchell’s coming off a concussion and going out there head-hunting, that stuff comes back to haunt you at the end of the day. The only way to get back at them is to lay a hit on their good players, or Willie Mitchell. It just seems Willie never goes in the corner.’’ – Dan Cleary

Ken Holland, it’s time to call up someone that will defend his teammates. Chris Chelios, Pavel Datsyuk, and Jason Williams approached Mitchell after the play but they can’t do anything but yell at him. It’s time for the team to send a message that they aren’t going to tolerate hits like that.

What’s sad is Mitchell did get a penalty on the play but only because the puck was gone. It was an interference call, not roughing. Had Johan still been carrying the puck, Mitchell would have gotten away with it completely. Disgusting.

Going back to the comment about insignificant contact with sticks, two Wings penalties in the third period look particularly ridiculous in light of the Franzen hit. Both Lidstrom and Holmstrom were called for hooking, two seconds apart, giving Vancouver a 5-on-3 power play on which they would eventually score. The call on Lidstrom would have been bad enough, because the contact there was so slight I don’t know how the ref could justify calling it, but the call on Holmstrom was incredibly bad. He literally did not touch the Vancouver player.

Horrible officiating and an unbelievable hyopcrisy, where Franzen gets a concussion and an injured knee on a hit that resulted in an interference penalty but Homer and Nick get called for hooking when only one of them made contact.

Anyway, it was overall a very unsatisfying game. Hopefully Friday’s match against the Blues will be better.

Happy Thanksgiving!