A priest in Minnesota will be able to get the attention of the NHL and get away with what he’s doing this year.
The NHL Players Association approved a rule change Monday that allows the Minnesota Vikings to keep their Travis Clark, a former NHL player and one of the most respected players in his era.
Clark’s contract is set to expire after the 2017 season and he’ll get $3.75 million next season.
He played in the NHL for eight seasons from 1998-2010, earning four Stanley Cups and being named to five All-Star teams.
But he also had several injuries and was suspended in 2011 for violating the league’s anti-drug program.
The Vikings are the only team to sign Clark in a similar manner to the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, who have signed five former players to long-term deals.
The Minnesota deal will save the Vikings about $100,000 in salary cap space, but it will still leave the organization without the protection of the league and will cost them more than the $1.8 million they were expecting.
The Vikings were hoping Clark would be able see the end of his career after being released by the NFL this offseason, but he opted to play in Europe for one season.
They’re still hoping Clarks recovery will be faster than anticipated, and they’ll have the support of the union to get his deal done.
The union has been trying to keep the salary cap down for years, so this new rule will help.
It will also help ensure Clarks injury-free career and give him the chance to focus on other things.
It’s not a perfect solution, but if the league were to keep Clarks contract intact, the Vikings could still keep him as a free agent and sign another player to a long-duration deal.