Thursday, June 30, 2011

For the Love of the Game or Money

Semyon Varlamov (February 11, 2011 - Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images North America)
Well it has been awhile and I apologize for that…there has been a lot going on in my life and I have not been taking the time for this. 
Since the free agency starts tomorrow I have been thinking about why the hell a guy would leave the league or not sign a contract because he thinks he deserves a lot of money and isn’t getting what he wants…for example, Marty Biron made the choice to play for money a few summers ago and ended up scrambling to sign for a team towards the end of the summer.  This was because he thought he was worth more then he really was worth and held out for a better deal…he ended up as the third goalie for the Islanders.  The next summer (2010) he was the first guy to sign a contract on July 1st.  He signed for less money than he ever has, but secured a spot in the NHL for two more years with the Rangers….he’s playing for the love of the game.
Now let’s look at Semyon Varlamov.  This guy is young, he still has a lot to prove, and is leaning towards signing in the KHL because he thinks he deserves more money (see fellow netminder Michal Neuvirth's contract for the next two years, a similar amount Varlamov might be worth, but he wants more) and playing time.  Wanting more playing time is understandable, but your 23 years old and competing with two guys around your age for playing time and they may have beat you out.  This is beside my point. If your goal is to play in the NHL and you have shown you can play in the league at a young age, why in the hell would you go overseas and play in Europe or Russia for more money?  The odds aren’t in your favor to come back and play in the show, not to mention with the combination of a possible attitude problem…there are just too many good kids coming up.  So if you end up in the KHL Semyon, enjoy your money...the Cap's don't really need you anyway.
It makes me go crazy when guys in the NHL are leaving because they are not making “enough money.”  There are so many guys in the minors and at the lower levels that would give a lot to play just one minute in the NHL…so it is really a bummer when guys complain or do not sign a contract because of money.  Remember why you started playing the game boys.