Two dudes blogging and podcasting about the San Jose Sharks, straight from sunny California.

post Juggling Vesce and Leach

December 3rd, 2009, 12:33 pm

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike
Goddam it, shouldn't I be the one starring in that stupid George Clooney Movie?

Goddam it, shouldn't I be the one starring in that stupid George Clooney movie?

Ryan Vesce, along with Jamie McGinn and Logan Couture, has been on the short end of the stick when it comes to the Worchester shuttle this year, and I heard a rumor that’s he’s being called up for the game tonight:

Oct 17 Ryan Vesce RW Called up from minors (from Worcester-AHL)
Nov 14 Ryan Vesce RW Sent to minors (Worcester-AHL)
Nov 21 Ryan Vesce RW Called up from minors (from Worcester-AHL)
Nov 22 Ryan Vesce RW Sent to minors (Worcester-AHL)

But unlike McGinn, Couture, Joslin, McLaren, and the rest of the crew that are accruing frequent-flyer miles at a fantastic rate, Vesce is a veteran player.  Some people may know a bit about the waiver rules in the NHL- they are based solely on age and years of experience.  Young guys like the ones I mention above are exempt from waivers, a process where any other team in the NHL can take a player for free and assume their contract.  But Vesce is 27 years old, way too old to be exempt from waivers, which he would need to clear to be sent to Worchester, and re-call waivers, which he would be required to clear to come back to San Jose.  How come we never hear about him clearing waivers, like the recently demoted goaltender Stephen Valiquette of the Rangers?

It’s because the Sharks are being extra careful  with Vesce, and taking advantage of some CBA minutia.  As some of you might know, I’m oddly fascinated by the various obscure rules of the CBA, and none may be more confusing than the waiver process.   The Sharks are manipulating his time carefully so that he’s not subject to either regular waivers (which is how he would be sent down) or recall (which is how he would come back).  This is a pretty neat trick.  The harder thing to get around is the recall (or re-entry) waiver process, and the Sharks are taking advantage of section 50.9(g) of the CBA:

The Re-Entry Waiver procedure will not, however, be applicable to Veteran Minor League Players defined as follows: (i) for goaltenders, Players who have:
(A) played in 180 or more professional games in North America (NHL, AHL and ECHL), and
(B) not spent more than 80 NHL games on NHL roster over the prior two (2) seasons or more than 40 NHL games on NHL roster in the immediately prior season; and (ii) for defensemen and forwards, Players who have:
Neither the salaries nor signing bonuses paid to minor league Players shall be counted against a Club’s Upper Limit or the Players’ Share. For a Player on a One-Way NHL Contract or a Two-Way Contract with a Minor League Salary and compensation that could be earned in excess of the following amounts:

2005-06: U.S. $75,000
2006-07: U.S. $95,000
2007-08: U.S. $100,000
2008-09: U.S. $100,000
2009-10: U.S. $105,000
2010-11: U.S. $105,000
2011-12: U.S. $105,000

the following rules shall apply:
(i) To the extent the Player does not require Waivers to be Loaned to a minor league affiliate, he can be freely Loaned and Recalled

Vesce makes $105k, right under the wire, so this first rule doesn’t apply- Vesce is not subject to recall waivers.  Now what about regular waivers- how does he get around that, being 27 years old, with NHL experience last year?

13.5 Waiver Expiration. The rights granted under this Article to Loan a Player(s) who is otherwise required to clear Regular Waivers to a minor league club expire for any Player(s) who, after clearing Regular Waivers:

(i) is not Loaned to a minor league club, or is Recalled from a minor league club (except on emergency recall); and

(ii) remains on an NHL roster for thirty (30) days (cumulative) or plays ten (10) NHL Games (cumulative).

So looking at the above chart, we know know why Vesce was sent back down on the November 14.  Because his waiver exempt status was about to expire.   Now with the new addition of Jay Leach, the Sharks are taking advantage of another waiver wrinkle – since Montreal got Leach on re-entry waivers, they only had to pay half of his salary, the Devils the other half.  And now that the Sharks got him on regular waivers from Montreal, they are required to pay the amount the Habs did, about half the league minimum.  Leach may or may not have been “a guy that our guys (scouts) have liked” as Pollak reported, but more likely it’s that “he’s a guy that our guys (accountants) have liked”.

post Who’s the Goat?

November 13th, 2009, 10:52 am

Filed under: blog — Written by Mike

*Vesce shown actual size

Dallas is certainly a worthy opponent, and the Sharks again managed not to lose in regulation last night, falling 3-2 in the shootout to the Stars.  Of course, the way they lost will the be the topic of discussion today, mostly because there isn’t much to talk about regarding the Sharks.  I don’t mean for this to be a strident, finger-pointing post, because these games happen, and you can’t expect the boys in teal to be in absolute top form every game of the year.  I thought Dallas played very well, with a few more crazy-Turk (Turco) moves than I’m used to seeing.  I was a bit surprised at their lack of offensive firepower- I thought their D would be the main issue with the Stars.  Only James Neal seemed to be a consistent threat, with Brad Richards (their top scorer) and Mike Ribero (their top actor) held at bay.

So the game seemed to be going according to plan, the Sharks finally manage to crack Turco on a classic Dany Heatley tally and a flukey Ryan Clowe wrist shot that went off the D, and then the third period happened.  The one off of Demers’ boot was just bad luck more than anything.  The second was worse, because it stemmed from a bad clearing attempt, with a scrum in front finally tying the game.  Fairly lively overtime, and like always, I go into the shootout with more than a touch of dread.  Nabby is tied for third all time in losses in the shootout (tied with Tim Thomas, behind only Giguere and Luongo) with a win percentage of .455 and save percentage of .584.

The title of this post refers to the odd (some might say lame) selection of the third shooter in the shootout.  McLellan kept his second best shootout player (Ryane Clowe, 6 for 13 all-time) on the bench in favor of Ryan Vesce (now 0 for 1 all time).  To be honest, after you get past Pavs (14 for 25) and Clowe, it does get a little thin, choosing between Dan Boyle (4 for 13), Patrick Marleau (5 for 17), Dany Heatley (4 for 21) or Devin Setoguchi (1 for 6).  I’m glad McLellan chose Boyle, because if nothing else, it’s entertaining watching Boyle make about a thousand moves, sending the goalie into a full spin and flop.  This time Turco spun and flopped correctly, and made a no-look save on Boyle’s backhand.

But Vesce, not so much.  He skated straight down the center of the ice, handled the puck a couple of times, tried to deke, and left the puck behind him.  He swept at it on the backhand, but because the forward progress had stopped, it wouldn’t have counted even if it had gone in.  Not exactly an impressive performance.

It’s a minor point, but who’s the goat in this situation?  McLellan for putting in a guy that’s ice cold?  Or Vesce who didn’t even manage to keep the puck on his stick when he tried to shoot it?