Curtis Glencross, aka “CG22” or “Gold Rush Glencross” or “GlenX” or “Glengary Glencross”, is still without a contract for the 2015-16 season. After seven points in 18 games for the Capitals, the 32-year-old forward is a man without a country. It’s at this point that Glencross is beginning to regret taking that hometown discount ($2.55 million) with the Calgary Flames in 2011, back when he was a 20-plus goal scorer.
“If I could do it again … as much as I love (Calgary) and call it home and met great people, at the same time, when it’s time for you to cash in, you have to take advantage and cash in. You can’t take a pay-cut or hometown discount because things change.”
That’s surprising candor from a professional hockey player.
Old-school hockey types are big on sentimentality: the star player taking a paycut so his team can sign better players to put them over the top, the Cup-contending team giving an aging veteran one last tryout contract so he can end his career at home, and the persistent signing of players who aren’t good at actual hockey but can punch faces good. Here, Glencross punctures that bubble. He realizes should have gotten paid when he can, because look where those warm feelings left him: without a contract and under-compensated for years of being a darn good middle sixer.
(That same sentimentality apparently also afflicts the Calgary Sun, who characterized Glencross as “one of the most surprising NHL veterans to be unsigned.”)
Glencross spoke well of his time in Washington, for the most part.
“They were very welcoming, and I had a lot of fun there, but when you come in late, they don’t know you.”
Glencross was scratched for four games in the postseason. Before coming to DC, he had long been a favorite player of Capitals analyst Tim Barnes and the topic of frequent discussion on Barnes’ now-defunct blog.
At 32, Glencross is still a viable hockey player, but his chance at a $3-million contract has passed. Previously known as a “moneypuck” player, Glencross speaks with wry wisdom about the current market.
“Everyone waits for free agency to get a good paycheque [RMNB Ed. note: Canadians spell funny.). Turns out, it’s different. I thought something would be done by now, but obviously, the market is not there, and everyone is against the cap. Teams are paying the top-two lines so much money that all they can do is fill with entry-level guys who are going to not cost much.”
He’s not entirely wrong. While teams aren’t exactly filling their bottom sixes (bottoms six?) with $525k players, it’s still a difficult time financially for hockey clubs and for players on all sorts of margins. As a guy who could have and should have been making top-six dollars a few years back, Glencross is surprised to now find himself on one of those margins. But if the player can realign his expectations, he’ll likely become a valuable depth player for some team. Knowing our luck, it’ll probably be in Pittsburgh.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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