The CH and her castaways from Robidas Island

Nobody said the name of Robidas Island on Saturday as the Canadians’ management and players drew a line under the terrible 2021-2022 season. But from introspection to introspection, it felt like a main topic of the day.

So much so that with a little imagination you could almost see a new part of the island set up specifically for the weary Canadian warriors.

Robidas Island was invented by a Toronto journalist in the 2015-2016 season. Back then, the manager of the Maple Leafs was Lou Lamoriello. Defender Stéphane Robidas suffered an intractable knee injury just before his 38th birthday. And for two years, Lamoriello had literally wiped him out of his salary cap and team entourage by putting his name on the long-term injured list.

Cleverly, Lamoriello dropped such a player over 35 from his squad without being penalized by the league and without sacrificing financial flexibility.

***

Several other brave veterans have made their way to Robidas Island over the years, including Chris Pronger, Nathan Horton and Marian Hossa.

The Hossa case caught the NHL’s attention five years ago because it allowed the Blackhawks to bypass the salary cap.

In the collective bargaining agreement, you guessed it, violating the salary cap is a mistake whose severity transcends any aggression that can happen on the ice. Simple question of priorities.

Marian Hossa won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Photo: Associated Press/Nam Y. Huh

In 2009, the Slovakian signed a 12-year contract with a total value of 63.3 million. This arrangement earned him $59.3 million for the first eight years and $1 million annually for the last four years. However, due to unbelievable bad luck, Marian Hossa contracted a skin disease and was forced to resign just before the less lucrative part of his contract could begin.

Spread over 12 years, Marian Hossa’s average salary had given the Blackhawks a combined advantage of around $10.5 million over the first four years of his career. If Hossa had officially retired, Chicago would have been accused of cap evasion and would have had to cut that amount from their roster for the next four seasons.

Instead of being fined, the management just sent him to Robidas island! And only recently, a year after the end of the contract and without having lost a single dollar, Marian Hossa finally announced his resignation.

***

All this to say that contrary to popular belief (a fiction maintained by the previous CH government) Shea Weber is no longer captain of the Canadian. For the simple and good reason that he became a citizen of Robidas Island in the summer of 2021 and will remain so until June 2026.

Weber ended the last campaign in pain and misery. He is disabled by a chronic injury. He can no longer play hockey.

He still had $12 million in salary to earn between the 2021-2022 and 2025-2026 seasons. There was therefore no question of a declaration of resignation. And if he had, the Nashville Predators, his former employer, would have been fined a total of $24.5 million on their payroll over the following seasons.

Shea Weber

Shea Weber

Photo: The Canadian Press / Paul Chiasson

Weber is now retired. It’s an open secret that no one can repeat. Remember the crush when Jonathan Drouin said it last fall.

Although he is no longer a member of the CH, many fans criticize Weber for not showing up at the microphone to explain his situation and for not participating in team activities often enough. And incredibly, viewers even booed him at the Bell Center on Friday night!

The truth is, until the NHL recognizes his permanent disability, he has nothing to gain by walking on eggshells in front of the cameras.

Shea’s situation is complex on many levels, from insurance issues (salary) to issues with the league that we don’t want to (publicly) discuss.declared Kent Hughes yesterday.

(…) It is out of the question for us to prevent him from discussing it. I don’t think Shea is comfortable answering questions without being able to say too much about his injury (…). He doesn’t feel comfortable being placed in a context where he’s being told he can talk but without addressing his injury or so and so. It’s not a lack of respect on his part. It’s just that he’s not comfortable with the contextcommented the Canadian’s DG.

***

It may be necessary to get used to the caution, silence or cryptic language of Robidas Island residents. Unfortunately, judging by Carey Price’s words, it looks like he has a great chance of ending his career there as well.

The CH Star goalkeeper explained that he saved the goal on Friday because he thought it could be his very last game. The hints made that day by Martin St-Louis, some players and kit manager Pierre Gervais took on a whole new meaning. As did the celebrations that took place in the dressing room after the game.

Carey Price and Alexander Romanov hug.

Carey Price and Alexander Romanov hug.

Photo: Getty Images/Minas Panagiotakis

Price has $31.5 million in salary over the next four seasons. The structure of his contract has seen CH around £10.75m over the past four seasons.

My knee is still very swollen. Because of this, there are some things that are difficult to do correctly on the ice rink. (…) My honest opinion is that I don’t think my current state would be sustainable for a whole season. I have several questions about thissaid Carey Price.

Last Thursday, the CH goalkeeper met with his orthopedist, Doctor Robert Marx, in New York to try to understand why his knee is not healing. He says he didn’t get clear answers to his questions during his visit. So much so that he intends to get a second medical opinion on his condition. The price does not preclude a repeat operation.

He tried to be optimistic, stressing that he wants to fight to come back strong and that he has plenty of time to prepare for next season. But let’s tell you how it is: The chances that he will be on Robidas Island are currently higher than in CH’s starting XI next October.

How sad.

***

In the same way, the courageous Paul Byron appeared before the journalists in the late morning.

Constantly plagued by injuries, the plucky 33-year-old forward has only played 102 games in the last three seasons. Once one of the NHL’s most prolific 5-on-5 forwards, he’s only managed 13 goals and 20 assists in that span.

This season, it was hip surgery that forced him into a lengthy rehabilitation. He only played 27 games during which his operated (left) hip began to fail and swell up again. As a result, he was unable to finish the season with his teammates.

He still has one season left on his contract (3.4 million) and he believes that next summer will be his last chance. Lucid is now considering his career in the short term.

I still have a few months to work hard. If I’m not able to get back in shape, I may have to make a difficult decision.he confided.

When things don’t go the way he wants, at least Byron isn’t alone on the island.

A banner announcing the Radio-Canada Sports Podcast: So Much Hockey

Leave a Comment