Why Leafs’ $100,000 Boxing Day fine sounds like a bargain

If Maple Leafs identifies a way to gain a perceived advantage, it will likely pursue it.

The NHL is unmatched when it comes to collective resources devoted to sports science, player development, nutrition and healthcare. These areas are not restricted by salary caps that can contribute an extra 1-2 percent of him to overall performance.

Every decision has a purpose behind it, so it’s worth unraveling the decision of the organization that was fined $100,000 by the NHL last week.

All indicators suggest players were happy with the evening flight to St. Louis on Boxing Day. It is even believed that he promoted it to set him up for success.

The Leafs were drawing a short stick with the NHL schedule resuming on December 27th. They faced his second-longest flight of the 11 teams traveling for the post-Christmas game, and were the only two visitors who had to change time his zone. he was one That had all caused the loss of a sluggish schedule, especially with the players finishing his four days without practice or games, plus any commotion that included their holiday celebrations. rice field.

The NHL is unique in suspending all team activities for Christmas. NBA and NFL play to the end.

In 2012, a three-day leave was introduced as part of an extension to the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, and Section 16.5(b) of that document stated: , including travel. “

There is no ambiguity.

The Leafs may claim they were only 103 minutes behind when they left at 10:18pm on Boxing Day, but the rule is that players won’t have to go to the airport on December 26 at all. Designed. Even after midnight, it probably wasn’t past the gathering.

Still, I can understand why they decided they needed buy-in to do it.

Had we followed the rules as intended, we would have faced the same crazy itinerary that Chicago endured on December 27th. The Blackhawks departed at 6:38 a.m. local time, and she jumped an hour earlier during her 89-minute flight to Raleigh, skating her morning. , he flew for another 99 minutes to his next destination after a crushing 3–0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Welcome back from your break!

One agent called this a “glitch” in the system. This is an example of how the NHL Players’ Association opened up a meaningful window for players to spend time with their families while on vacation, but ended up restricting players who wanted to keep things more typical. Routine on the other side of it.

Leafs players have been at home since Dec. 18, playing their final game before the afternoon break on Dec. 22, enjoying a smooth schedule ahead of Christmas. One morning, he slept in a hotel before moving to St. Louis and did his skating at the Enterprise Center, where he beat the Blues 5-4 in overtime.

Compare that to the other 10 teams that moved on game day on December 27th. Six of them lost, and four of the five teams flew for at least 80 minutes (the Toronto flight took him 98 minutes).

But it’s not just about winning one game. Leafs coach Sheldon Keef says it’s important to get back into a comfortable rhythm and get back into form as quickly as possible after a break he described as “disruptive” for all players. may have lost Thursday’s game 6-3, but Saturday’s game in Denver has more to play well than if the entire move were crammed into a shortened window of another 12 hours or so. I could have been in a good position.

“There’s been an overall excitement and great spirit in our group since we came back from our break here,” Keef told reporters. “

It’s probably no coincidence that we had a smoother re-entry than the other teams that ran straight out onto the road.

They need to break the rules to do that, and they don’t want to repeat that violation anytime soon.

But in a season with so much going on—one that can’t or shouldn’t be left to chance—Leaf can probably count the $100,000 dropped as money well spent. increase.

Chris Johnston writes about the sport of NorthStar Bets. NorthStar Bets is owned by NordStar Capital, which also owns Star’s parent company, Torstar. Follow him on Twitter. @Reporter Chris

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