As Labor Day wound down and ex-Predator Dan Ellis was pondering the monthly bills that he has, just like the rest of us, he voiced his frustration over Twitter about having to pay 18% of his check into the escrow account that is required under the current NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.
From the first Tweet, you could see the backlash coming from the Twitter-verse. Puck Daddy captures the moment and includes a bunch of tweet-backs from Pred Nation. Joe Yerdon also discusses the episode at PHT. The Goalie Guild ponders whether Twitter has become a distraction for Dan. Kurtenblog recommends Dan laying off Twitter for a couple of days. Finally, Section 303 suggests that the Tampa Media Relations folks should step in and save Dan from himself.
Dan couldn't stop the hemorrhaging on Tuesday when he apologized saying @33dellis: I apologize to anyone that I may have offended. I drastically under estimated the power of twitter!
Folks were furious that a guy making $1.5 million per year could complain about money. Obviously, it's more than many folks make in a career and there are few professions that offer this level of compensation.
However, there is another side to the coin that folks weren't considering while hashtagging everything in sight with #DanEllisProblems. Chris Botta points out that Dan has been one of the more honest Tweeters among athletes and doesn't want Dan to quit being @33dellis. I don't either. The guy Tweets his opinion, like it or not.
I have sympathy for NHL player's plight with escrow. Specifically, Dan is set to make $1.5 million this season. He will pay 39% of that in Federal Income Tax, roughly $7000 in Social Security, 10% to his agent, and then 18% in escrow which totals up in excess of 66%. Not that many folks would cry about his $500,000 take home pay, but two-thirds of your pay is a big chunk to have taken out.
It's worse for players making the minimum of $500,000 where their take home would be $167,000 and they still have to pay weird taxes like Tennessee's $2500 per game for up to three games. They go into the hole every time they come to Nashville for a game, even if they sit in the press box.
The best perspective on the situation that I have seen is from Courtney Beckham at Girls Who Give a Puck who I emailed back and forth with yesterday. She does a great job of looking at the big picture of player's "money problems" and making a great argument for cooler heads to prevail.
All of us make Tweets out of frustration that could be construed to be politically incorrect or offensive to some. Last night when our power went out again (several times lately) and I was scheduled to be on RLD Radio, I Tweeted "@PredsOnTheGlass: I feel like I live in a 3rd world country. Power is out and going on @RLDhockey Radio at the top of the hour while sitting in the dark."
Was that nice sensitive Tweet? No not at all. Having the power off for an hour in no way compares to living in squalor where there is no electricity, clean water, and disease runs rampant. Luckily, few folks take me seriously. What if Dan Ellis made a stupid comparison as I did to living in third world conditions? It probably would have been round three of @33dellis-gate.
Let's all just chill out, cut Dan a little slack, and be a little more sensitive with our tweets. NHL players are just like the rest of us. We all mess up at times and we're all lucky not to be under the same microscope as Dan.
I appeared on Ryan Porth's RLD Hockey Radio Tuesday night with guests Jeff Marek from the CBC and Agent Scott Norton of Norton Sports. Both had interesting perspectives on hockey matters as the summer winds down.
In the second hour, Ryan and the other co-host, Anthony Curatolo and I had fun round-table discussions of many topics and made a few predictions that will make us look brilliant or like fools by next June.
Here is the player to listen to the show.
In Pred Nation...
Josh Cooper has the latest on the Cody Franson contract negotiations and a story on the practice goalie that the Preds have used during informal skates. Josh also published the first look at the rookies that are headed to Florida next week for two quick games against the Panther rookies.
Jas Faulkner has part 3 of Fanwanking Nashville Hockey with an analysis of the wingers.
Player of the day at OTF is Ryan Parent. It will be very interesting to see hat he does this season after injuries and mediocre play slowed him in Philly. Dirk is up early today with fresh Breakfast Links. He really seemed to like the NHL Slapshot for the Wii.
Paul McCann makes a few points in a post yesterday. We will have more on his Pred's Road Trip to see the Carolina Hurricanes soon.
At Vintage Leaf Memories, Michael Langlois has a nice post about comebacks from retirements that includes Blake Geoffrion's grandfather "Boom-Boom."
Hockey Prime Time has a season preview for the Predators. Like many other's they worry about the departure of Jason Arnott. They obviously weren't paying attention last season.
Around the NHL...
Here is the man I've wanted to hear from for about six weeks. Jay Grossman appeared on XM's Hockey This Morning with Mike Ross yesterday. Here is the audio clip. Good stuff.
Ryan Porth has his first pre-season Power Rankings up and you may find a few surprises at the top.
Rebekah Sanders has an update from the City of Glendale's meeting yesterday on the potential lease agreement with new Coyote's suitor Matther Hulsizer.
Matt Reitz continues his preview series with five folks you may know previewing the Atlantic Division.
Thirty Teams in One Day! That's right, Tapeleg has the preview Twitter style with 140 on each team. Very creative.
The digital version of The Fourth Period Magazine went live and looks fantastic. Check it out.
Upper Deck has some behind the scenes news and pictures from last week's Rookie Showcase event in Toronto.
On the signing front, Montreal signed Jeff Halpern and the Coyotes invited Kyle Wellwood to camp for a tryout (food jokes with held).
From @NYP_Brooksie: Source: Bobby Ryan has reached agreement with Ducks for contract believed 5 yrs for approximately $5.5M per. Others say it's not done yet but could be soon.
Dan Hamhuis wants to be more offensive this year but will have to earn power play time.
The KHL season starts today but things aren't completely well in Russia as we hear from the Moscow News.
Nice move by the Toronto Maple Leafs to honor the military by putting red maple leaf logos on the centre ice red line for the coming season. It's good to say something nice about the Leafs occasionally.
Paul Bissonnette has agreed to write a monthly column at The Hockey News. The first one is up and discusses Twitter. Imagine that!
For our friends in Canada, it's time again for the 2010 version of Battle of the Blades. Motherpucker Hockey has the press release for this year's series. I'm putting my money on Georges Laraque.
The Devils are still under attack, this time by the fans. Intent To Blow has the story. A second story involves Jaroslav Halak teaching Cary Price how to stand on his head.
Odds and Ends...
You can't make this stuff up. Rodney King is now engaged to one of the jurors that awarded him $3.8 million. Maybe Rodney should Tweet about his money problems too.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass