David W. Cerny - USA TODAY Sports

Take Town: Big changes in college hockey

I think I’m at a point in my life where you are just not going to get me to care how or why a guy ends up on LTIR. The Vegas Golden Knights had to put basically a third of a roster on the LTIR to activate Mark Stone, and people are mad about it, and it’s just like, man, how can you care anymore?

The Tampa Bay Lightning did it and won a Cup and Chicago did it and won a Cup, but Vegas does not seem particularly likely to win a Cup, and I just can’t believe anyone can get themselves mad about this. Let’s say your favourite little team is the Detroit Red Wings or Boston Bruins or Minnesota Wild and it gets into a situation where it wants to activate one of the best players in hockey for a roster spot as you chase a playoff spot or standings position. If your general manager didn’t pull out every stop, dump out every card up his sleeve, that would be kinda dumb, wouldn’t it? Why would he not-do that? To maintain an image of propriety? Please.

As long as those players are injured enough where they shouldn’t play, I don’t see the problem. The fact is that Hockey People, including fans, are poisoned by the idea that if a guy can physically get out there on two skates, he should be playing. But me, personally, I like seeing guys play at 100 percent and if that means they’re not “gutting out” a season where they kinda stink, I think that’s actually a good decision. I bet Stone could have played at like 50 percent capacity this whole time but demanding that he do it because it’s technically possible is ridiculous.

If your team was well-built enough to be in this exact position, or Tampa’s or Chicago’s before it, you’d be loving this. So save the boohooing and the moralizing about whether it’s cap circumvention. The salary cap is fake. It’s a made-up thing that’s not even as old as Shane Wright, and exists to benefit a bunch of old people. “Break” it all you want as far as I’m concerned. Mostly it seems like the smart thing to do, from a team standpoint.

Let’s go:

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NCAA NHL Anaheim Ducks Boston College Colorado Avalanche Dallas Stars Los Angeles Kings Nashville Predators Vegas Golden Knights NHL NCAA Wyatt Aamodt Drew Helleson Devon Levi Dryden McKay Ben Meyers Dallas Eakins Jerry York
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