Draisaitl fined maximum amount for spear on Tierney

After spearing Chris Tierney in the ‘special purpose’ during Tuesday night’s 7-0 thumping by the San Jose Sharks, Leon Draisaitl escaped the swift arm of NHL justice with only a scuff mark.

Following Draisaitl’s Wednesday hearing with the Department of Player Safety it was decided the Edmonton Oilers forward only required a fine for his participation.

From the NHL:

Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl has been fined $2,569.44, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for spearing San Jose Sharks forward Chris Tierney during Game 4 of the teams’ First Round series in San Jose on Tuesday, April 18, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 13:44 of the second period. Draisaitl was assessed a major penalty for spearing and a game misconduct.

The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

In the game itself, Draisaitl was assessed a five minute major and was tossed from what would end up being a dumpster fire for his team.

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Flyers give Bellemare, Neuvirth raises in new two-year contracts

On trade deadline day, the Philadelphia Flyers made news by signing two players instead of trading them. Forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and goaltender Michal Neuvirth have signed separate two-year deals with the club.

Let’s start with Bellemare.

Bellemare has played in all 62 games for the Flyers this season and recorded 3 goals and 3 assists. He’s currently on the final year of a two-year contract with an average annual value of $712,500.

The 31-year-old has put up 12 and 14 points in his two previous seasons in the NHL. Maybe that steady production gave GM Ron Hextall confidence to double Bellemare’s current contract? The new two-year deal is worth $1.45-million PER YEAR.

How are Flyers fans taking it? Let’s check in with Broad Street Hockey.

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NWHL announces shortened schedule, Year 3 plans, and possible expansion

The NWHL dropped a few major announcements on Thursday evening that gives a glance into what the league’s plans are going forward.

The biggest change impacts the rest of the regular season and the playoffs. Instead of the regular season ending on April 16, it will now conclude on March 12.

The season bleeding into April was due to a three week league-wide break for national team players to play at World Championships and an increase in the number of regular season games played.

Now the three week break is gone as are 12 regular season games that would have taken place had the playoffs not been moved up. Boston and Buffalo will miss out on four games each while New York and Connecticut will lose two each.

As for the playoffs, they will take place between March 17-19. Biggest change here is compact schedule.

Last year, the Isobel Cup semi-final and final took place over two weekends with each round featuring a best-of-three series.

That’s gone now.

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Pros and cons of NWHL ‘attendance based bonuses’ for players

In the wake of the National Women’s Hockey League’s announcement of salary cut and the departure of three players (thus far) positive news is hard to come by.

On Friday, the league announced a bonus program for players directly tied to ticket sales.

From the NWHL press release:

For each game, players will receive 100 percent of ticket revenue after 500 tickets are sold. There will be a 50/50 split between the home and road teams participating in the game. The bonus is for every regular season game at every venue, and went into effect on Dec. 1.

“The decision to have the players benefit from strong attendance came out of recent discussions about how we can grow our league and business together,” said NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan. “We’re very happy to offer this to the players and be the only women’s hockey league in North America that not only compensates its players, but provides attendance-based bonuses. The players make our league, and they deserve this. Our fans should know that when they come out to see NWHL games and fill the stands, they are supporting our amazing players in a big way.”

As an example, when the Boston Pride hosted the Connecticut Whale on Dec. 3 and drew a capacity crowd of 750, the players from both teams shared all of the revenue from the 250 tickets sold over the 500-seat mark. The attendance-related payout is a bonus beyond each player’s salary.

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Molly Engstrom leaves NWHL for Swedish league

Connecticut Whale captain Molly Engstrom became the third player to leave the NWHL following the announcement of salary cuts.

Per a league press release, Engstrom played her last game for the Whale this past Sunday, and head to Sweden to play in the professional women’s league.

Sources tell Puck Daddy, Engstrom will join Djurgårdens IF. Looking at SWEHockey.se, it appears her new team will play next after the new year.

This was Engstrom’s second season playing for the Connecticut Whale. She signed in the first year for $12,000 and produced 5-points in 15 games played. For year two, she earned a $6,000 pay increase to $18,000. At the time of her departure, the defenseman had recorded 3-points through nine games.

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Don’t Snow the Goalie: NWHL drama, CWHL future

“Kate Cimini and Erik Wollschlager talk NWHL issues with Puck Daddy’s own Jen Neale. Board of Governors, sponsors, the All-Star Game to be held in Pittsburgh in the early days of 2017, player responsibilities and front-office issues are all on the table. Don’t miss this one. Also discussed is the CWHL’s future direction, a league only ten years in to its run.”

Women’s Hockey Notebook: All about the money

Picking up where we started with the notebook last season, we look at the number one topic surrounding women’s professional hockey this season – money.

1. NWHL

This weekend’s games:

Saturday
Buffalo Beauts (2-4-1) at New York Riveters (2-3-1) – 4:30pm ET
Connecticut Whale (2-3-0) at Boston Pride (6-0-0) – 7:30pm ET

Sunday
Boston Pride at New York Riveters – 4:00pm ET

1A. Salary cut fallout

Needless to day, it’s been a complicated two weeks for the NWHL after announcing salary cuts for players.

Morgan Fritz-Ward became the first player to announce that she will be leaving the league following the announcement of the salary cuts. She’ll play her final two games with the New York Riveters this weekend.

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NWHL vs. players: An avoidable situation turned ugly

On Friday, the National Women’s Hockey League confirmed reports that the league was cutting player salaries in order to keep the league afloat for this season.

With few exceptions, a majority of the players in the league stayed relatively silent following the official announcement. Saturday a group of players released a list of demands from the NWHL.

Mostly legitimate questions raised by the players, especially the insurance one. The only slightly eyebrow raising demand is the audit of the books. Who is going to pay for that? Accountants don’t like to do comprehensive business audits for free.

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Six questions surrounding NWHL after salary cut announcement

It has been a rough 24 hours for women’s professional hockey.

Late Thursday night, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period broke the news that the National Women’s Hockey League – the first paid professional women’s league – would be cutting players salaries in half.

NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan held a conference call with reporters on Friday to discuss the announcement. We wrote a quick recap of what was covered; however, there is so much more to unpack.

Here are six questions surrounding the NWHL as we try to make sense of what happened.

1. How did this catch everyone off-guard a month and a half into the new season?

According to Rylan the league ‘fell short on some projections’ and ‘had to pivot and make a business decision.’ The decision appeared to come down to folding the league entirely or cut the salaries of the players in order to stay viable; the NWHL chose the latter.

General managers were informed first of the change, followed by player representatives from each team, and finally the group as a whole.

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NWHL cutting player salaries in half: Report

The second season for the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) appears to be off to a rocky start, financially speaking.

Reported by David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period the first professional women’s hockey league to pay their players is allegedly cutting salaries to remain afloat:

As per information obtained by TFP, the NWHL informed its players on Thursday that they will be receiving a pay cut — believed to be 50% — in order to sustain the longevity of the League.

In an email sent out to athletes and league staff, [NWHL Commissioner Dani] Rylan notified everyone that players will be paid on a game-by-game basis. Players’ insurance will still be held up, and the 2016-17 schedule will still be played.

It’s believed Amanda Kessel is the NWHL’s highest paid player, earning $26,000 per season, while most players receive between $14,000 to $17,000 per year. The minimum salary is $10,000. Well, that all gets cut in half.

The season is already well underway and for most players, finding an alternative is next to impossible.

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