Despite leading the league in shutout, the Blue Jackets' Pascal Leclaire wasn't part of the NHL All-Star Game.
This past Friday my four-year-old son and I are driving home after a little shinny at Otter Creek in North Toronto when he asks me which teams are playing tonight. I explain there are no games since it’s the all-star break, which leads into the following exchange:
Hayden: Who plays in the All-Star Game?
Me: All the best players; you know, the ones with the most goals and points, the best goalies. Also, each team has at least one player in the game and the really good teams like Detroit, Anaheim and Ottawa will have three or four players.
Hayden: Who’s playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Me: Who do you think?
Hayden: Andrew Raycroft?
Me: (OK, I guess I haven’t explained this well to him, so I try again). Only the very best players are in the game, who’s the best player on the Maple Leafs?
Hayden: Mats Sundin?
Me: Right, but for some reason he’s not in the game. For Toronto it’s Tomas Kaberle, he’s a defenseman.
Hayden: Does he score lots of goals?
Me: Yeah, he scores a few goals and he gets lots of assists.
Hayden: Which ’fenseman has the most goals?
Me: Mike Green of the Washington…
Hayden: Capitals! (You know those people who like to finish your sentences; well Hayden likes to finish team names). Is he is in the All-Star Game?
Me: Umm, no he isn’t.
Hayden: Why daddy?
Me: I don’t really know. It’s hard to explain.
Hayden: Who are the goalies?
Me: Well, there are three for each team.
Hayden: Which goalie has the most shootouts (he means shutouts)?
Me: Pascal Leclaire of the Columbus…
Hayden: Blue Jackets! He’s in the All-Star Game, right daddy?
Me: Well, no he’s not in the All-Star Game either.
Me: I don’t know. Some of it is because they had to pick one player from each team and the one player they picked from St. Louis…
Me: Yes, the one player going from the Blues is their goalie, Manny Legace.
Hayden: So, the St. Loolis Blues don’t have any players with lots of goals?
Me: Well, actually, they have a player named Brad Boyes who has more goals than everyone in the Western Conference except for Jarome Iginla.
Hayden: So, he’s in the All-Star Game?
Me: No, he’s not in the All-Star Game, either.
Hayden: Daddy. I don’t think I understand how they decide who plays in the All-Star Game.
Me: That’s okay, nobody does.
DON'T MOVE OR I'LL SHOOT
The recent contract extension signed by Alex Ovechkin was notable for what it did not include – a no-move clause.
Players can negotiate either a no-trade or a no-move clause in their contracts. However, no-trade or no-move clauses cannot take effect until the season in which the player would have been eligible to become an unrestricted free agent.
This is an important point because it means players such as Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Mike Richards can be traded up until that time (it’s not likely but you never know).
The difference between the two clauses is that while a player with a no-trade clause can be sent to the minors, a player with a no-move clause cannot.
Approximately two dozen NHL players have contracts with no-move clauses (including at least one other player on the Washington Capitals) so it was surprising Ovechkin did not insist on having one in his contract and settled instead for a partial no-trade clause.
There are approximately 90 NHL players with some form of no-trade/no-move clause, including ones like Ovechkin’s that limit the number of teams to which a player can be traded.
The ever-increasing amount of players negotiating these clauses is another reason why the number of trades has fallen so dramatically recently.
Rand Simon is an NHLPA certified agent. He has spent the past 14 years with Newport Sports Management Inc. He will be blogging for THN.com throughout the season. You can read his other entries HERE.