NHL Rumors: Oilers, Flames, Rangers, Hourly Staff, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the New York Rangers have signed a new player, even though they were trying to keep it secret. There is news on what happens to some of the conditions on trades that took place this season should the regular season now be over. Plus, there is some hostility circling some of the NHL franchises that are electing not to pay their hourly or part-time employees and players who are stepping up to look after those employees.

Trade Conditions on Some Pretty Big Trades

While the season could conceivably still resume and knowing this is likely the last thing on the minds of NHL leagues offices today, there’s some buzz about what happens to some of the trade conditions if the regular season doesn’t get completed.

Edmonton Oilers James Neal
Edmonton Oilers forward James Neal (Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports)

For example, the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames made a deal that included James Neal coming to Edmonton for Milan Lucic. Part of the trade condition was that if Neal scored 21 goals, the Flames would receive a 2020 third-round draft selection. Between injuries and the season pausing, Neal has been stuck at 19 goals for some time. The other part of the condition is that Lucic has to trail Neal by 10 goals or more. Unless there’s some kind of pro-rated version of that condition, it appears the Oilers will keep their pick.

This isn’t the only condition the Oilers have to think about as a number of players have conditions on their contracts based on games played, plus-minus and ice time.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes had conditions on their trades as well. And, while I haven’t dug into every team, it’s logical to assume that each NHL franchise has at least 2-3 players with conditions and bonuses that will change if no more games are played.

Does the NHL look at these deals and try to figure something out for teams that may have put those conditions in place because they were likely? Can that even be assumed?

Related: Maple Leafs: Whipping Boys From the Last Decade

Some NHL Teams Not Willing to Pay Arena Staff

While things could change and it’s hard to judge too quickly as all of these delays and adjustments and mandates happen in real time, there is a growing list of NHL organizations that appear unwilling to pay their hourly part-time employees while games are on pause. It’s not going over well.

Some teams have come out and said they’ll find a way to ensure these employees don’t lose out because the arenas are closed while some players have actually put money in to help clubs compensate those employees. That said, there are close to 20 teams that aren’t willing to pay.

Players like Brad Marchand have pointed out that friends have started GoFundMe pages in cities where these teams aren’t willing to put forward the money. The backlash is that this shouldn’t fall on the players even though it was acknowledged players will continue to receive their paychecks as scheduled. Three pay periods remained when the pause was announced.

Related: 6 NHL Teams You Might Have Forgotten

Rangers Sign K’Andre Miller

Whether the season is on hold or not, business resumes for GM’s around the league. The New York Rangers have signed K’Andre Miller to an entry-level contract. Miller was a 2018 first-round pick (No. 22 overall) and spent the last two seasons playing for the University of Wisconsin under former Ranger Tony Granato.

Elliotte Friedman notes that the organization hadn’t planned on announcing the signing this weekend as they weren’t comfortable releasing the news with all that was going on in the NHL today. Unfortunately for them, word traveled fast.

The three-year ELC will begin in the 2020-21 campaign and is worth $925,000 with an AAV of $1.275 million. Miller will have a base salary of $832,500 along with a $92,500 signing bonus in all three seasons.

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