unrestricted free agent

N is right. There is not enough Potatomann in this fandom. To make up for that fact while recognizing I am elbows deep in too many fics as it is, have a few of the Potatomann hockey rpf fics that exist out there in the CP-verse.

Private Lessons
Tater comes to Jack for drawing lessons after losing yet another face-off. Jack decides nudes are the best practice. Explicit.

Alexei Mashkov was supposed to be in the same draft as Jack, but then Jack dropped out with no word and plenty of rumors. Now they’re on the same team and Alexei is caught between a small measure of awe at an early role model and the growing warmth in his chest when he catches the rare sight of hockey robot Jack Zimmermann’s real smile. In getting to know the new rookie, Alexei finds more of what brings out that smile hidden amongst secret memories, heartache and a torn history with a new hockey rival. Past Jarse. Trigger warnings: accidental overdose, alcohol use and abuse, unhealthy relationships, past drug use and abuse.

The Wooing of Jack Zimmermann
Georgia Martin really wants Jack Zimmermann to sign to the Falconers, so she sends out the big, friendly, Russian guns when he agrees to come to a practice. 5+1 fic. 5 times Georgia uses Tater in her attempts to woo unrestricted free agent Jack Zimmermann and the 1 time Georgia finds out Tater actually wooed Jack.

A Bushel of Love
Obligatory Farmer’s Market AU. Alexei Mashkov has been helping at his family’s potato stall at the Farmer’s Market for years now. When a new face starts showing up on a weekly basis, he takes note. When that new face happens to be his hockey crush, Jack Zimmermann, captain of the Providence Falconers, Alexei—dubbed Tater by some of his friends at the market—decides this is going to be his best summer yet…the moment he’s capable of not making himself sound like a starstruck idiot. (please don’t judge by the title. I hate coming up with titles.)

Obligatory Farm AU. Jack Zimmermann has just been released from rehab and hockey and his father’s legacy are still touchy subjects. Deciding to remove himself from the sport as much as possible, Jack moves to Idaho and gets a job on a potato farm. Enter Alexei Mashkov, potato farmer and ex-hockey player—forced to retire early from a lasting injury by a bad hit. As the two get to know each other, they each find closure in their past, healing in their wounds and hope for the future.

Tater is a literal potato. A sentient potato. Crack. How is this not even the weirdest fic I’ve written?

The Price to Play
Jack Zimmermann is 18 years old and supposed to be on top of the world when his heart stops from an overdose. He wakes up in a Russian hospital four inches taller and in severe body pain. Alexei Mashkov is 17 and preparing for college when he is hit by a drunk driver and dies on the way to the hospital. He wakes up in a Canadian hospital with one of his hockey heroes calling him son. Jack finds himself freed of the shadow and weight of his family name and father’s legacy but with a body that has never known professional hockey. Alexei finds himself with the resources he never had growing up but with a shot reputation. When they both set the NHL as their goal, they end up on opposite paths careening towards each other until they finally collide in Providence, Rhode Island. Bodyswap AU.

Protect Your D-Man
Hockey’s rule #1 is to protect your goalie. No one had followed that rule more than Alexei Mashkov. But who protects the protector? When Mashkov goes down after a particularly brutal hit and doesn’t get back up, he ends up out for the season. It’s up to the brand new team Alternate, Jack Zimmermann, to help his friend and teammate get back up on his feet. Zimmermann never expected to get swept off his own while doing so.

anonymous asked:

It seems like there are so many paths to the NHL in hockey - juniors, college, prospects, AHL, the draft, free agents, etc. Could you help make some sense of that? Thanks for your hockey wisdom 😊

Yes, you are correct. I’ll try, although the intricacies of contracts (free agents, etc) is v. complicated. I’ll try to give it some coherence.

A player who is from North America and is 18-20 years old is eligible for the draft (if you’re European you’re eligible for the draft if you’re entering the league for the first time at any age). Now, being drafted doesn’t mean “you now play for the team that drafts you!” it means that they have dibs on you which they may or may not choose to exercise. A huuuuuuge percentage of drafted players never go on to play a single NHL game. 

Some players who are drafted go directly to a big-league NHL contract. This is a pretty small percentage of the total players drafted. These are your first-round picks, the guys who’ve been tagged for hockey stardom since their teen years, the guys who’ve had scouts watching them for awhile. Most of them played in the junior professional leagues or the junior amateur leagues. Most of the players that have big name recognition fall into this category. Most players who are drafted (if they make it into the NHL system at all) begin in the minor leagues, playing first for their drafting team’s AHL or ECHL affiliate. They may or may not ever get called up to “the big show,” as the NHL is called by the players. Some play in the minors their whole careers. 

Some players who are drafted then go on to college and play there. They can leave college or graduate before joining their team or their team’s minor-league affiliate. If you watch college hockey, it’s pretty standard for them to mention which NHL team owns the rights to various players. Amusing side-note: it’s not uncommon for a player in college to have his rights traded before he’s even played. A guy playing hockey at Boston College who was drafted by, say, the Coyotes, might find that by the time he graduates his rights are owned by the Canucks.

If a player goes undrafted, after they age out of the draft they become a free agent, and can sign with whoever. A good example of this is Conor Sheary, who currently plays for the Penguins, but who was undrafted. He went to college, then signed with Wilkes-Barre (the Pens’ AHL team) and was eventually offered a contract by the Pens and he now plays on their first line as Sidney Crosby’s most dependable winger. Not bad for a guy who went undrafted, right?

(Note for CP readers: this is how Jack’s career went. He wasn’t drafted, went to college, aged out of the draft and became an unrestricted free agent who was then wooed by several NHL teams before signing with the Falconers.)

Some players, if they aren’t drafted or signed into the NHL system (minors or majors) play overseas for awhile in their professional leagues. Auston Matthews did this (he’s a rookie for the Leafs and one of the top contenders for rookie of the year this year). He’s an American player (the US players tend to have slightly different career trajectories than the Canadian players, there’s a way bigger junior professional component for Canadians, although US players can also play in the Canadian junior pro leagues) and played junior amateur for US Hockey, but before he was drafted he chose to play pro in Switzerland for a year to get experience before he became eligible for the NHL draft.

There are a bunch of routes to the NHL. Some but not all of them:

  • Junior amateur –> Drafted –> NHL
  • Junior pro –> Drafted –> NHL
  • Junior –> Drafted –> AHL –> NHL
  • Junior –> Drafted –> College –> AHL/NHL
  • Undrafted –> College –> Sign as a Free Agent –> AHL/NHL
  • Undrafted –> Free Agent –> Pro somewhere overseas –> AHL/NHL
  • European player –> Pro overseas –> Drafted or UFA –> NHL

And this doesn’t remotely cover all the ways that players can get exposure as teenagers or collegians, all the various teams/leagues/etc they can play with where they can come to the attention of scouts.

Anyway I hope this helps.


Russell Westbrook signs 5-year, $205M extension with OKC!

Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, the NBA’s reigning MVP, has signed a five-year, $205 million contract extension.

The deal starts with the 2018-19 season, and delivers Westbrook the biggest guaranteed contract in NBA history – six seasons and $233 million through 2022-23.

Westbrook’s agent, Thad Foucher of Wasserman Media Group, and Thunder general manager Sam Presti finalized the deal on Friday afternoon, league sources said.

After a historic MVP season averaging a triple-double of 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists, Westbrook’s choice promises the Thunder relevance and contention into the foreseeable future – and even stands as a victory for the NBA’s beleaguered small-market teams.

The timing of Westbrook’s extension could become a crucial cog in the recruitment of his new Thunder teammate Paul George, who will become an unrestricted free agent in July. 

anonymous asked:

im like super stupid so can u explain how the nhl draft works plS I DONT UNDERSTAND :(

ahhhh don’t worry! it’s p complicated and i don’t know everything but i’ll do my best to explain the basics

the NHL entry draft is held every year after the conclusion of the postseason, usually in late june. players eligible to be drafted are north american players ages 18-20 and players from outside north america who are at least 18 and have never played in the NHL. each team starts with one pick per round for seven rounds, and the order in which the teams pick is based on team standings during the previous season.

…..but wait, there’s more!

  • the selection order goes like this: 
    • the winner of the draft lottery (one of the fourteen teams who didn’t make the playoffs, selected in a lottery that’s weighted in favor of the ones who sucked the most during the regular season)
      • starting this year (2016) there will be three winners of the draft lottery who will be awarded the first three selections
    • the other thirteen teams who didn’t make the playoffs, in order of how much they sucked during the regular season (the teams that sucked the most get to go first)
    • the teams who didn’t win their division during the regular season, made the playoffs, and didn’t win the stanley cup (again in order of how much they sucked)
    • the teams who won their division during the regular season (you get the idea here)
    • the team that won the stanley cup
  • sometimes a team will get more than one pick in a given round–these are called compensatory picks, and i think they’re mostly awarded in the event that a team is unable to sign a first round pick to a contract within two years of drafting him
    • an example, bc that kinda looks like word soup: if vancouver selects liam burke (an imaginary hockey player) 9th overall in the 2011 draft, and liam decides he doesn’t want to play hockey in vancouver so he refuses to sign a contract with vancouver’s team, then vancouver will get the 9th pick in the second round of the 2013 draft in addition to their regular selection in that round (and everyone picking lower than 8th gets bumped down a spot to make room for vancouver)
  • teams are allowed to trade picks both during and before the draft, and it’s not uncommon to trade picks several years in advance, but selections are made by the team who originally held the pick
    • another example, bc examples are great (this one’s real!): san jose made a trade with boston last summer in which san jose got martin jones, and boston got sean kuraly and san jose’s 2016 first round pick. during the draft this year, the boston bruins will get the 14th overall pick plus the 29th or 30th (depending on whether or not the sharks win the stanley cup), but san jose will make the actual selection before sending whoever they pick to boston
  • NHL clubs hold exclusive bargaining rights with players they’ve selected for two years, unless a player is a college student when drafted or becomes a college student within two years of being drafted
    • if a player is drafted at 18 or 19 while a college student, or is drafted at 18 or 19 and becomes a college student before the two year period following his selection by an NHL team expires, and remains a college student until graduating, the team that drafted him holds the exclusive right to negotiate his contract until august 15th following his college graduation
    • if a player is drafted while a student or becomes a student within two years of being drafted and leaves college before graduating, the team that drafted him retains exclusive negotiating rights until (a) the fourth june 1st following his selection in the draft or (b) 30 days after the NHL central registry receives notice that the player is no longer a student, whichever is later
      • but! if a player leaves college on or after january 1st of his senior year, the team that drafted him holds negotiating rights through august 15th of that year
        • (this is a fairly recent update to the CBA in order to close a loophole that allowed players to be drafted, go to college, play NCAA hockey for four years, then drop out during spring semester of their senior year and become unrestricted free agents with no obligation to the team that drafted them)
NHL Off-Season Trade Lingo

i was asked to explain certain contract terms but since I didn’t fully understand what all of them meant I had to look some of the words up and then I combined those definitions with what I knew and created what I hope to be the easiest explanations (or the most simple ones).. but some of the definitions may be a bit off lol

salary cap: total amount of money each team is allowed to pay its players every season. most pro leagues have salary caps to prevent the larger, richer teams from signing all the top players while the smaller teams have no opportunity to do so. if teams and players negotiate contracts which break the rules of the cap, then they will be penalized. see: ilya kovalchuk

buyout: the team can terminate 2 players contracts (if they were signed before Sept. 15, 2012) and it won’t count against the salary cap. if a player’s contract is bought out and they are younger than 26 then they are still paid one-third of their remaining salary and if they are at least 26 years old they are paid two-thirds of their remaining salary over twice its remaining length. The player then becomes an UFA and can sign with any other team. Only 4 teams have used both their buyouts (Habs, Flyers, Leafs & Hawks) and 10 teams have used one. They have until June 30th to use the buyouts. See: Daniel Briere, Vincent Lecavalier, Ilya Bryzgalov 

unrestricted free agents: every July 1st UFAs are free to sign with any team without compensation to the former team. You qualify to be a UFA if you fall into either of these groups:
- you have reached age 27 or have 7 years of NHL experience, whose contracts has expired
- you have reached age 25 and have 3 years of professional experience (beyond junior or collegiate hockey) and your contract has expired, but have played less than 80 NHL games if you’re a forward or defensemen and 28 NHL games for goaltenders.
- players whose contracts have been bought out by their former team.
- players who do not meet the requirements of the first two groups but who have not been offered a contract by the Monday after the NHL Entry Draft or June 25 (whichever is later).
For it to count as a year of experience in the NHL generally it means you have to have been included on a NHL roster for at least 40 games a season for forwards and defensemen or 30 for goaltenders. see: Dave Bolland, Steve Ott, Jarome Iginla 

restricted free agents: all players whose contracts have expired, but who do not qualify in any of the other groups (to be a UFA) are considered a restricted free agent on July 1 if their team has tendered a qualifying offer by June 25 or the first Monday after the NHL Entry Draft, whichever is later. A qualifying offer is a single year contract offer that is either the same amount as the previous year, or a slight raise, according to the previous year’s amount. RFAs that have received a qualifying offer can also be traded, even if contract terms have not been agreed upon. All qualifying offers expire on July 15. see: PK Subban 

salary arbitration: to be eligible for this you have to be a RFA who signed their entry-level contract at 18 or 19 who had has at least 4 seasons of NHL experience (in this case a minimum of 10 games counts as a season) and if you were 20 years old, the games just have to be non-collegiate. if you signed your first NHL contact after age 21 you become eligible once that contract first expires. 
the deadline for the request for arbitration is july 5 but the team and player can negotiate up until the hearing in an effort to agree upon a contract and avoid using an independent arbiter (see:TJ Oshie). if they can’t negotiate themselves and have to use and arbiter, once the arbiter makes a decision on a contract amount the team has 48 hours to decide if they want to agree to the amount and if they dont then the player becomes a UFA. but they only have this period of 48 hours if the player decided to go into arbitration. if the team decided to go into arbitration with the player then the arbiter’s decision is binding. 
a player can only be put into arbitration by a team once in his career. see: Ryan O'Reilly 

waivers: when a player is put on waivers it means that they are now available to every other team in the NHL and can be “claimed” by a new team. if they are, the new team takes over the player’s contract and in some cases pays the old team a small amount of money for the player. if no other team claims them, then they’ve “cleared waivers” and the team can either send the player to the minors (within 30 days), or the team can keep that player with their club. if a player refuses to report to the minors the team can suspend them and not pay them their salary. see: Ryan Jones

no-trade clause: a player can’t be traded unless they say so and it’s only when they “waive” this clause that their team will move them somewhere else. generally when players sign these clauses they have a list of 8-10 teams that they would consider being traded to in the case that they did waive this clause. the teams don’t need their consent to send them to the minors though. see: Vancouver Canucks (they’ve kind of screwed themselves with the amount of NTCs they’ve signed).. or Dany Heatley, Mats Sundin 

no-movement clause: a player can’t be traded, put on waivers, or assigned to the minors by their team without the player’s consent. the player can still be bought out though. see: Zdeno Chara, Patrick Kane 

sometimes in cases of NTCs and NMCs they don’t go into effect as soon as they’re signed, but rather when the old contract expires and the new one begins, so instead of honouring these clauses, the teams will try and get out of them before they’re bound by them (by trading the player even though they’ve signed a contract extention). see: Sam Gagner (there are rumours he may be moved before July when his NTC goes into effect so that the Oilers won’t have to honour it)

49ers DT Justin Smith decides to retire from NFL after 14 seasons -

The San Francisco 49ers have announced that defensive tackle and five-time Pro Bowler Justin Smith has decided to retire after 14 seasons in the league.

The 35-year-old Smith missed just two games in his career and started 217 of 221 games played, including a streak of 185 consecutive starts from his rookie season through December of 2012.

“You know when it’s time. It’s a young man’s game. As you get older, it’s harder to keep that same intensity,” Smith told the team’s official website. “If you don’t have the tools, you can’t do the job. It’s time to go.”

While Smith has decided to walk away from suiting up on Sunday’s, he’s not done with football.

“I’m sure I’ll be doing something football related. I’ll stay around the game as much as I can.”

Smith finished his career with 1,370 tackles, 87.0 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, 10 fumble recoveries, three interceptions and 30 passes defensed. He posted at least 5.0 sacks in 12 of his 14 seasons played and is one of 13 players, since sacks became an official statistic in 1982, to register 5.0-or-more sacks in 12-or-more seasons. With 6.5 sacks during the 2013 regular season, Smith became just the 20th player in NFL history to register at least 5.0 sacks in 11 separate seasons. He also posted at least 6.0 sacks in four consecutive seasons (2008-11), becoming just the third player in 49ers history to do so.

“Tough. Physical. Durable. Hard-working. Dedicated. Selfless. Justin embodies each of those qualities and brought even more with him to work each and every day,” 49ers CEO Jed York said via the team’s official website. “Whether it was chasing down a wide receiver and forcing a fumble to seal a win, or driving a tackle back into the quarterback’s chest, he gave everything he had every play. Justin … will always be remembered as one of the 49ers all-time greats.”

Smith was a first-round pick (fourth overall) of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2001 NFL Draft. When he became an unrestricted free agent in 2008, the 49ers swooped in and landed one of the top free agents on the market. A year later, Smith enjoyed the first Pro Bowl season of his career, which sparked a five-year stint of representing the 49ers on the all-star roster.

Smith has apparently decided not to hold a farewell press conference, but he has a good reason not to.

“Justin is the consummate professional whose impact on this organization can never be measured by statistics alone,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said. “His durability, competitiveness, work ethic, strength and rare stamina helped set him apart over his 14-year career. Cowboy will go down as one of the best to ever wear a 49ers uniform and his candidness, work ethic and pure passion for the game will be missed. We wish the very best for him and his family!”

Smith played collegiately at the University of Missouri where he earned first-team All-America honors as a junior and was a unanimous selection to All-Big 12 First Team. He was also named First-Team All-Big 12 as a sophomore.

Lakers trade Steve Blake to Warriors for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks.

The move gives the Warriors a much needed backup point guard for Steph Curry, and cuts the Lakers’ luxury tax hit about $3.5 million.

Brooks is on an expiring deal and Bazemore will be an unrestricted free agent unless he’s tendered a $1.1 million qualifying offer. Probably unlikely that that happens, however.






Jan. 6 - QB Drew Brees named Associated Press Offensive Player of the Year. Jan. 7 - Defensive Coordinator Gary Gibbs is relieved of his duties after three seasons. Jan. 12 - Pete Carmichael Jr. is promoted to offensive coordinator. The club also announced that Aaron Kromer was promoted to offensive line coach/running game coordinator and Joe Lombardi to quarterbacks coach and hired Bret Ingalls as running backs coach. Jan. 15 - Saints announce the hiring of Gregg Williams as the team’s defensive coordinator. Feb. 17 - Saints release all-time leading rusher and touchdown scorer RB Deuce McAllister after eight seasons. March 27 - LB Jonathan Vilma re-signed with the team, inking a five-year contract to keep him in New Orleans. T Jon Stinchcomb re-signed with the club, also signing a five-year contract. March 5 - Saints signed unrestricted free agent CB Jabari Greer. March 12 - FB Heath Evans signed with the Saints as a free agent. March 24 - Saints sign unrestricted free agent FS Darren Sharper. March 30 - Saints announced the team’s training camp would be held at their home practice facility in Metairie, La. April 25- Saints use the 14th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft to select Ohio State CB Malcolm Jenkins. April 30 -

Owner Tom Benson and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced a lease extension that will keep the Saints in New Orleans through 2025 and provide $85 million to upgrade the Louisiana Superdome. Benson also announced that he would purchase the Dominion Tower and develop a festival plaza outside the stadium. May 19 - The NFL announced that New Orleans has been named as the host for Super Bowl XLVII following the 2012 season. June 19 - Dennis Lauscha promoted to Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer. Sept. 13 - Saints opened their season with a 45-27 victory over the Detroit Lions, their most points ever on kickoff weekend. Brees tied a club record with six touchdown passes and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Oct. 1 - Brees named NFC Offensive Player of the Month for September after leading Saints to a 3-0 record and throwing for 1,276 yards and nine TDs. Oct. 25 - Saints improved to 6-0 with a 46-34 win at Miami, where they rebounded from a 24-3 deficit, tying their biggest comeback in franchise history. K John Carney became the fourth player in NFL history to reach 2,000 career points. Oct. 28 - Sharper was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month as he had three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. Nov. 8 - With their 30-20 win over Carolina, the 8-0 Saints now had the best start in franchise history. Nov. 22 - Following their 38-7 win over Tampa Bay to improve their record to 10-0, New Orleans’ 10-game winning streak was the longest in franchise history. Nov. 30 - In a 38-17 Monday night win over New England, where the Patriots averaged a club record 9.6 yards per play, Brees completed 18-of-23 passes for 371 yards with five touchdowns. His career-high passer rating of 158.3, was the only the second perfect rating in club history. Brees was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. Dec. 19 - After falling 24-17 to Dallas, New Orleans, finally had a blemish on its record after a club-record 13 victories. Brees threw his 121st touchdown pass as a Saint, making him the franchise’s all-time record holder and also became only the second NFL quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in four consecutive seasons. Dec. 27 - With a 21-yard interception return vs. Tampa Bay, Sharper set the NFL single season record for interception return yardage with 376. In the game, Brees completed a club-record 19 straight passes and also tied his  club single-season record for touchdowns passes with his 34th. Dec. 29 - Brees, G Jahri Evans, Sharper, T Jon Stinchcomb and LB Jonathan Vilma were named to the Pro Bowl, later to be joined by C Jonathan Goodwin and S Roman Harper for a franchise-record seven total Saints.

Jan. 12 - QB Drew Brees named The Sporting NewsOffensive Player of the Year. Jan. 16 - Saints defeated Arizona 45-14 in the NFC Divisional Playoffs at the Superdome. RB Reggie Bush scored touchdowns on a 46-yard run and an 83-yard punt return. Jan. 24 - Saints defeat Minnesota 31-28 in an overtime thriller in the NFC Championship Game at the Superdome, advancing the Saints to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history. Feb. 7 - Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Saints overcame an early 10-point deficit as Brees was named the game’s Most Valuable Player as he completed 32 of 39 passes for 288 yards with two touchdown passee and a 114.5 passer rating, tying the NFL record for completions in a Super Bowl. K Garrett Hartley became the first player in NFL history to boot three field goals of 40-or-more yards in a Super Bowl. 

Super Bowl XLIV was an American football game between theNational Football Conference (NFC) champion New Orleans Saints and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Indianapolis Coltsto decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2009 season. The Saints defeated the Colts by a score of 31–17, earning their first Super Bowl win. The game was played at Sun Life Stadium inMiami Gardens, Florida on February 7, 2010 for the fifth time (and in South Florida for the tenth time), the latest calendar date for a Super Bowl yet.

This was the Saints’ first Super Bowl appearance and the fourth for the Colts franchise. The Saints entered the game with a 13–3 record for the 2009 regular season, compared to the Colts' 14–2 record. In theplayoff games, both teams placed first in their respective conferences, marking the first time since Super Bowl XXVIII (16 years previously) that both number one seeds have reached the Super Bowl. The Colts entered the Super Bowl off victories over the Baltimore Ravens andNew York Jets, while the Saints advanced after defeating the previous year’s runners up the Arizona Cardinals in their first game and theMinnesota Vikings in the second.

Down 10–6 at halftime of Super Bowl XLIV, in what many consider the turning point of the game, New Orleans successfully recovered a surprise onside kick on the second half kickoff, and subsequently took the lead on Pierre Thomas’ 16-yard touchdown reception. The Colts responded with Joseph Addai’s 4-yard touchdown run, but the Saints then scored 18 unanswered points, including Tracy Porter’s 74-yard interception return for a touchdown, to clinch the victory. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who completed 32 of 39 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns, was named the Super Bowl MVP. His 32 completions tied a Super Bowl record set by Tom Brady in Super Bowl XXXVIII.

The live broadcast of the game on CBS was watched by an average US audience of 106.5 million viewers, making it the third most-watchedSuper Bowl.The National Anthem was sung by Carrie Underwood and the halftime show featured the British rock band The Who.