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NHL teams, community ease burden on traded players

Updated February 23, 2019 - 6:27 pm

Golden Knights center Paul Stastny calls being moved at the NHL’s trade deadline “an emotional whirlwind.”

Stastny knows how difficult saying goodbye to teammates, packing up your family’s belongings and starting a new chapter is after leaving the St. Louis Blues for the Winnipeg Jets last season. That’s why he’s thankful the teams and hockey community are there to help players transition during a stressful period of their lives.

“You realize how small the community, the hockey world is,” Stastny said. “How so many different people have ties to so many different cities everyone kind of takes care of each other.”

The league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement puts clubs on the hook for many of the logistical costs of trades to ease the burden on players. If a player buys a residence in the city he gets traded to, his new team must pay for the rent or mortgage (within limits) for his former home for up to sixth months.

Clubs also are on the hook for the player’s moving costs (including shipping one or two cars) if he moves to his new city. His family also is entitled to one round-trip plane ticket from the former city to the new, or one round-trip ticket and one one-way ticket if he intends to move his family (for house hunting and then for the actual move).

Before finding a new residence, a player can get a paid-for hotel room for 21 days, but Stastny didn’t use that perk.

“I could’ve done it if I was by myself, but I think with family and kids that’s a different ballgame,” he said.

What the CBA can’t help with is determining where to actually move to. That’s where hockey connections come in handy.

Stastny found a furnished house to rent thanks to Winnipeg native Ryan Reaves’ mother, Brenda. And when Reaves was traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Knights last season, former teammate Chris Stewart helped connect him with Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker, who grew up in Las Vegas.

Reaves moved into Zucker’s Las Vegas home, and Reaves rents out his home in Winnipeg. Players know how hectic being forced to move to a new city is, so they help out if possible.

“Whether you hate the guy or not, you try and help people around the league,” Reaves said. “I have Winnipeg Jets staying in my house every year, and I don’t like the Winnipeg Jets at all. People need to live somewhere.”

Laine finally scores again

Winnipeg winger Patrik Laine became the fourth-youngest player to score 100 goals on Nov. 29 and then, not long after, went on a slump.

The 20-year-old didn’t score for 15 games, from Jan. 13 until Friday, when he had two power-play goals in a 6-3 victory over the Knights at T-Mobile Arena. The first one was an easy one-timer off a pass from winger Blake Wheeler.

“It’s been awhile, so I didn’t know how to react,” Laine said. “It was, again, a great pass from Wheels. Even I’m not going to miss that.”

Kucherov hits milestone

Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov scored his 100th point of the season Thursday with a goal against the Buffalo Sabres.

He became the fifth player to hit that mark in 62 or fewer games since 1993-94, after Wayne Gretzky, Ron Francis, Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux (twice).

More Golden Knights: Follow at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

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