Ron Wilson Likes to Give His Players a Little “Extra Incentive”
We don’t write a lot about hockey here at the Deuce, but when you see a story as dumb as this, it deserves degradation. Ron Wilson, in the midst of a terrible season with the Toronto Maple Leafs, put $600 “on the board” for the player who scored the game-winning goal in Tuesday night’s game. Why $600? Well, Wilson was attempting to win his 600th game, becoming only the 6th coach in NHL history to do so.
(There are a lot of 6′s in this story. This makes me think of the devil, which leads me to exorcisms, which leads me to ‘The Rite,” the new Anthony Hopkins movie. I saw the preview for that movie when I went to see “True Grit,” and… I might have “forgotten” to turn the TV off before I went to bed that night. Damn, that looks scary. You know what movie will also give me nightmares? ”The Green Hornet” but only because I’ll feel awful for the millions of dollars spent on that movie that could have gone to poor people. “Daredevil” may have finally met its match for worst superhero movie. What, you don’t care? Its a freakin’ hockey article, cut me a break here).
Anyways, Wilson wanted to become only the 6th coach in NHL history to win 600 games so he offered $600 to the player who scored the winning goal in that night’s game against San Jose (who Wilson also used to coach). Toronto won the game 4-2 with Carl Gunnarsson scoring the game winner. Carl got his $600. Now the NHL says a fine is coming.
This is stupid. I understand the collective bargaining agreement might prohibit these things, but a coach putting money on the board isn’t an endeavour to circumvent salary cap limitations — it’s an attempt to build a little camaraderie during a miserable season. Secondly, I have a hard time believing this is the first time a coach has ever done this — why is the NHL going after them now? Especially when the motivation for the reward is related to a piece of NHL history. Thirdly, I don’t care whether they earn the NHL rookie scale or not, $600 is nothing to a professional athlete, even if they’re professional hockey players playing in a struggling league. Judging by the gold Rollie Ron Wilson is rocking in the pick above, these guys probably do OK for themselves. So NHL, instead of trying to replicate the corporate boredom of the NFL, maybe it’d behoove you to be more like the NCAA: enforce only the rules you want — it’s way easier.
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