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NHL players see third paychecks vanish


NHL players see third paychecks vanish

NHL players felt the sting of the lockout a little more deeply today when they did not receive their third paychecks of the season.

Players are paid on the 15th and the last day of every month, based on a 185-day season. In other words, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin missed out on a check worth $729,729.72, minus taxes and whatever deferred payments the NHL planned on taking out.

[For those curious about these things, Ovechkin grosses $48,648.65 per days during the season, which means he has sacrificed more than $1.7 million already this season.]

With no talks scheduled between the NHL and its players’ union, it’s a safe bet that fourth check of the season won’t be coming at the end of this month.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Canadian Press today he is “more discouraged now than I have been at any point in the process.”

The NHL has canceled all games through the end of November and the Sports Business Journal reported that if the parameters for a new CBA are not in place before Thanksgiving, the NHL will cancel games through Dec. 15.

If that occurs the next step would be wiping out the entire season.

While that may seem like a drastic measure for a league that brought in a record $3.3 billion in revenue, NHL owners are fighting hard to achieve a 50-50 split in revenue after seeing 18 of 30 teams report a loss of revenue for the 2010-11 season.

Those losses, which were reported by Forbes last year, showed the huge disparity between the “haves” and “have nots” of the NHL.

For instance, the Toronto Maple Leafs [$81.8 million], Montreal Canadiens [$47.7 million] and New York Rangers [$41.4 million] accounted for a combined $170.9 million in profits – that’s more than the league’s 27 other teams combined.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Coyotes [$24.4 million] and Columbus Blue Jackets [$13.7 million] combined for $38.1 million in losses.

Now you see why the NHL is so adamant about achieving an immediate 50-50 split in league revenue and why so many owners are resistant to honoring contracts without the aid of deferred payments.

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Newest Caps defenseman Radko Gudas happy for a fresh start in D.C.

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Newest Caps defenseman Radko Gudas happy for a fresh start in D.C.

Radko Gudas was surprised, but also relieved. A different year in Philadelphia, where everything seemed to go wrong for the Flyers, is behind him now. He plays for the Capitals now. 


“I was a little bit shocked to be honest,” Gudas said in a conference call on Tuesday. “But when I heard where I'm going, I was pretty happy that I got traded to a team that's well known for their winning and their will to win every game they play.”


It capped a whirlwind few days for the 29-year-old, a polarizing figure in the sport along the lines of Washington forward Tom Wilson. Gudas has been suspended four times by the NHL Department of Player Safety. To say he plays the game on the edge is an understatement.


“Staying on right line of suspensions: It's always tough lately in the hockey these last few years,” Gudas said. “I worked on it in the summer and I thought I adjusted the game enough to still be able to play physical, just not be a liability out there for my team. It's always something hard to adjust, but we still have to do it. It's our job.”


In the midst of a rough year for Philadelphia that saw a coach firing and a late playoff surge fall short, Gudas took advantage of increased ice time – and cut his penalty minutes to 63 from a high of 116 when he joined the Flyers four years earlier. He will never be a big offensive threat, but he’s figured out how to suppress shots and play a reliable defensive game.


At a friend’s wedding in the Czech Republic on Friday when he got the news, Gudas received messages from his new teammates and wasn’t even sure who, exactly, of the Capitals coaches he spoke with. There was a lot going on. But he’s excited to play “for a well oiled machine” like Washington, which has its 2018 Stanley Cup and has won the Metropolitan Division four years in a row. 


Gudas knows fellow Washington defenseman Michal Kempny, 29, well. The two men were born just three months apart in 1990 and were teammates on the World Juniors under-18 Czech Republic team in 2008. They reconnected in 2017 for the Czech Republics’ entry in the IIHF World Championships. Jakub Vrana, 23, is a third Czech on one of the NHL’s most diverse rosters and played with Gudas at the 2019 World Championships. Kempny was still recovering from a torn hamstring sustained during the regular season. 


That familiarity is nice, but Gudas has been traded before when Tampa Bay sent him to Philadelphia in 2015. You just adjust to the role given with your new team. He’s ready for a fresh start with the Capitals. 


“They’re the winners from last year, they were the contenders this year,” Gudas said. “They always have a good team. They in the playoffs every year all these years. Play my simple game, the guys to know what to expect for me and know I’ll be there for them.”

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Capitals Talk hosts "Capitals On the Clock" special: How to watch, live stream, listen

Capitals Talk hosts "Capitals On the Clock" special: How to watch, live stream, listen

With the NHL Draft just a few days away in Vancouver and after countless mock drafts, NBC Sports Washington will have you covered as the Capitals decide who to take with the 25th overall pick.

As part of NBC Sports Washington's coverage of the NHL Draft, the Capitals Talk Podcast will host 'Capitals On the Clock: Draft Night' on linear television and as a live stream on the NBC Sports MyTeams app.

Capitals Talk will sit down with Rob Carlin, Grant Paulsen, Al Koken, Michael Jenkins, J.J. Regan and Brian McNally to discuss the Capitals the 2019 Draft. They'll be joined by Zack Fisch, Manager of Media Relations & Broadcasting with the Hershey Bears, who will shed light on who's ready to make the jump from the AHL to the NHL.

The live stream will also include an NHL and Capitals Draft trivia segment which fans will be able to play along with.

And if you haven't already downloaded the MyTeams App, you can do so right now, RIGHT HERE.

Capitals Talk Podcast "Capitals on the Clock" Special

When: 8 p.m. Friday June 21

Where: NBC Sports Washington and NBC Sports MyTeams App