Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I guess the fundraising can wait

So, Georges Laraque appears to believe he'll be better suited to concentrate on his fundraising efforts for Haiti from Sweden.

He told Swedish newspaper Sportbladet that he would gladly play the rest of this season for second-tier club team AIK Stockholm as long as his travel and living expenses were paid for.

"I would play there for free," he told the newspaper, at least according to the online translation of the story. "I do not care about money right now."

Of course, Laraque probably said that assuming he would be getting the rest of his $1.5 million salary from the Habs while skating for Stockholm. But, thanks to The Gazette's Dave Stubbs via his twitter feed, we learn that in order for Laraque to play in another league while still under contract with the Canadiens he would have to a) get permission from the team and b) clear waivers.

Now, his no movement clause in his contract means the team is not allowed to place him on waivers, so Laraque would presumably have to lift that clause.

The bigger question here is that if the Canadiens loan Laraque to a European club, can they liberate his roster spot and clear the rest of his salary off the cap? The CBA clearly states that Laraque would indeed need to clear waivers, but I couldn't find any mention (in an admittedly quick browse of the voluminous document) of what happens to the player's salary in the event of a loan to a European club.

If I were to guess, I would think the Habs would get some cap relief, but only if AIK Stockholm pays Laraque's salary. I somehow doubt that would happen.

In any case, it seems to me Laraque was a bit disingenuous the other day when he said his banishment from Hab land would allow him to focus his efforts on his fundraising campaign with World Vision and the NHLPA (you can access the silent auction for that campaign here). Unless, of course, he feels he can do more in Sweden while also playing hockey.

UPDATE (3:30 p.m.) Stubbs reports at Habs Inside/Out that if Laraque clears waivers and plays in Sweden, Habs still on the hook for remainder of his salary but it would come off the cap and his roster spot would be cleared.


metricjulie said...

thank you for saying it, Arpon.

that's the first thing i thought to myself when i read the news.

if he's going to use Haiti as an excuse to make the habs organization feel bad, he needs to step up and use this free time and free money to help out.

Krons said...

I think the Habs still have to pay his salaray, only his salary wouldn't count against the cap anymore and they could fill his roster spot!! I don't think the Habs could ask for anything more!!!

Habs Laughs said...

Takes balls to say what everyone was thinking...and you have those balls.

Good stuff man.

Topham said...

He means well. Seems he can't stick with a single course for more than a few days though.

We get closer to the root of this dic=straction every day...

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you are posting this in light of the horrors in Haïti. The man has an obvious interest in staying in shape as well doing charity effort. To actually say that Laraque is FAKING his concern for Haïti and loved ones is disgusting. Ok you didn't like him as a player, move on.

boy oh boy the commenters were even worse.

We didn't need this cap space on the short term and the rest of the world sees what the habs did as being pretty petty. Somethings are more important than hockey folks.

Tom said...

What's with the hate-on pal?..someone has to take the facts and write about them. Kudos to Arpon to NOT always being subjective in his blogging.

Arpon Basu said...

Thanks for the comment, Mr/Mrs anonymous, and thanks for reading as well. You're entitled to your opinion as I am mine. I just find it odd that one week he says he will devote all his time to the fundraising campaign and then he's talking about playing in Sweden. The two seem contradictory to me. But maybe that's just me. I'm not questioning his concern for the country or for his loved ones.

john deere said...

That almost sounds like an easy out for teams that have big contracts on the books like NY Rangers (Redden), Edmonton (Horcoff). As long as the team is willing to pay the rest of the guys salary they can move forward with a clean slate. Or someone with bags of money (Toronto) can take on big contracts plus another guy or prospect on the side.

I'll be interested in to see how this plays out.

Anonymous said...

So for you he has to give up hockey completely and go dig up bodies in Port-au-Prince for you to be satisfied? With his celebrity and the internet he can help a lot wherever he is in the world.

John Deere looks at what is REALLY interesting here. The NHL and the euro leagues need to get a cohesive system set up that honors the intent of the salary cap and respects the integrity of contracts on both sides of the pond.