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The Neutral Zone

On Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Eastern, Brock Richardson and his panel of sports experts engage in a lively roundtable discussion about Parasports and professional sports news and newsmakers.

The Neutral Zone

On Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Eastern, Brock Richardson and his panel of sports experts engage in a lively roundtable discussion about Parasports and professional sports news and newsmakers.

September 20, 2022

Intro:
Are you ready? Let's go.
From AMI central. Now start playing in the Neutrals Zone. Here's the pitch on the way 36 yards for the win.
This.
Here comes the big chance the shot is-
Is this the tiger?
The Neutral Zone.
Homerun.
Score.
This is as good as it gets
Now. Here's your host. Two-time Paralympian, Brock Richardson.

Brock Richardson:
What's going on? It's time for another edition of The Neutral Zone. I am indeed your host Brock Richardson and lights, camera, action. We're on week two of our video podcast and of course, we're on AMI-audio as always. I'm alongside Josh Watson. Josh, how are you?

Joshua Watson:
I'm doing well, Brock. It's been a busy weekend of sports and all kinds of wonderful stuff. I added a little bit of background interest for everybody watching, thanks to your lovely wife for her help on that. And we're off to a good start this week. So we're looking forward to a good week here.

Brock Richardson:
And also just to give you a little bit of background on those things in the back there for Josh, my wife, who doesn't like sports, but she watched our first episode and she said, "Josh needs something in the background." So that's partially how that took place and it looks good. And they stayed on the wall and didn't scare the bejesus out of Josh in the middle of the night.

Joshua Watson:
In the middle of the night. Exactly.

Brock Richardson:
Good news.

Joshua Watson:
I'm very happy about that.

Brock Richardson:
Yes. Also joining us is Cam Jenkins. Cameron, how are you?

Cam Jenkins:
I'm doing good. It was a good week. Spent the day at Easter Seals camp on Saturday. I work at Easter Seals, and yeah, it was a great time. 100 of Easter Seals is what they're celebrating this year. So I was able to see the camp and what it all provides for kids with disabilities. So yeah, it was really good time. Good to see the camp, everything that it entails. And yeah, I'm just looking forward to, as always talking some sports with you, boys.

Brock Richardson:
Absolutely love it. And we talked a little bit off the air about camp and the importance. And you had made mention that they had at one time five camps, I have only ever been familiar with three. They've gone down to two, but it's just such a great organization and gives kids such a good opportunity to get out and explore the world through camp. It is some of the years that I will never, ever forget, and I love it. So it's hard to believe that it's 100 years, but time does fly when you're having fun, as they say. Well, speaking of time, it's time to get into our headlines for this week. Let's do it.

Joshua Watson:
The vice chairman of the Phoenix Suns, John Najafi, says it's time for the owner of the team, Robert Sarver to go.

Todd Ant:
Suns vice chairman and minority owner John Najafi says the owner of the franchise Robert Sarver should resign after the NBA slapped him with a one year suspension and $10 million fine following a 10-month investigation that showed the Sun's owner had used racist language, made crude and sexually suggestive comments to employees and had bullying tendencies. The Najafi says there should be zero tolerance for lewd, misogynistic, and racist conduct in any workplace. NBA commissioner, Adam Silver said the punishment was the appropriate penalty. Lakers star, LeBron James and Suns guard Chris Paul said on social media that the NBA sanctions on Sarver didn't go far enough. Todd Ant, ABC news.

Joshua Watson:
Here's the thing about this. Sarver was quoted as saying, "I take full responsibility for what I have done. I'm sorry for causing this pain. And these errors in judgment are not consistent with my personal philosophy or my values. This moment is an opportunity for me to demonstrate a capacity to learn and grow. As we continue to build a working culture where every employee feels comfortable and valued." Those are some mighty nice words. Unfortunately, when the words you're accused of using come out of your mouth, that is a pretty good indication that you actually do kind of, sort of believe them. So I'm sorry, Mr. Sarver. I don't buy it.

Brock Richardson:
I don't buy it either. The Toronto Blue Jays have been on a nice roll recently. They have become the first team to record five players with 20 home runs. They are George Springer, TeOscar Hernandez, Matt Chapman, Bo Bachette, and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. The Blue Jays have put themselves in a decent position where they should make the playoffs. We just need to see more consistent baseball over a long period of time. I believe this team has the talent to do what it needs to do. We just need to see it all put together.

Cam Jenkins:
Tennis star Roger Federer is retiring. Derek Dennis has the details.

Derek Dennis:
His announcement on Instagram, a surprise tennis champ, Roger Federer saying-

Roger Federer:
And I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.

Derek Dennis:
The 20-time Grand Slam winner retiring after a storied career and a number of injuries, including three knee surgeries, just since 2020. The 41-year-old Federer saying he's worked hard to get back in shape.

Roger Federer:
But I also know my body's capacities and limits and its message to me lately has been clear.

Derek Dennis:
He'll play his last match at the Labor Cup in London next week.

Roger Federer:
I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Derek Dennis:
Derek Dennis, ABC sports.

Cam Jenkins:
That's two athletes that are specifically tennis athletes, being Serena Williams and now Federer that is retiring both are the GOATs in their respective sports. And it's just unbelievable. And I really wonder who is going to take the mantle moving forward in professional tennis.

Joshua Watson:
The Las Vegas ACEs win their first NBA, excuse me. The Las Vegas Aces have won their first WNB title in franchise history with a 78-71 win over the Connecticut Sun. Honestly, the WNBA is not something I follow as much as I would like to. There's just not enough time in the day, but this is a huge accomplishment and a very close game. So congratulations to the Las Vegas Aces.

Brock Richardson:
With that, those are your headlines for this week. Let's check in on our Twitter poll questions. Last week's question was, do you believe Serena Williams is the greatest of all time? 50% of you said yes, only in the sport of tennis, 36% of you said no. And 14% of you said yes, signifying in all sports. This week's question. I know, I know it's not a sports question, but I am just curious how many of you watched Queen Elizabeth II's funeral and how important was it to you? So the question is how important was it to you to watch Queen Elizabeth II of funeral? Very important, kind of important, or I don't care or I didn't watch. So let me run through that again, very important, kind of important didn't care. Didn't watch those are your options and you can cast your votes at our Twitter handle coming at you right now.

Speaker 7:
And welcome back to the Neutral Zone, AMI broadcast booth.

Intro:
Play ball.

Speaker 7:
And we are set to get this ballgame underway. The first pitch brought to you by Brock Richardson's Twitter account @neutralzoneBR. First pitch, strike and hey gang, why not strike up a Twitter chat with Claire Buchanan for The Neutral Zone. find her at Neutral Zone CB. And there's a swinging of chopper out to second base, right at Claire. She picks up the ball, throws it over to first base for a routine out. And fans, there is nothing routine about connecting with Cam and Josh from the Neutral Zone @neutralzonecamJ and at J Watson 200. Now that's a winning combination. And this organ interlude is brought to you by AMI Audio on Twitter. Get in touch with the Neutral Zone type in at AMI Audio.

Brock Richardson:
I thought we would start this show off by discussing coaches week and coaches week takes place from the 17th to the 25th. And I thought it was important to kind of celebrate coaches week because we are all athletes in our own right. So let's start the conversation by talking about why we all feel it's important to celebrate coaches. Cameron, start with you.

Cam Jenkins:
Well, I think it's really important to have coaches in our lives because I think obviously our parents are the ones that bring us up and teach us a lot about the world. However, I think coaches really do a big part of that as well, whether it's being on time to show up, to practice on time or to show up to a game on time to how to do teamwork as another example, which are all very important aspects in the real world as well. So I think coaches they're also there to lean on a good coach, in my opinion, will be able to know the athlete and be able to go towards what they need because everyone has a different personality everyone's motivated in a certain way. And that coach needs to be able to pick up on that and be able to motivate them because yes, everyone does need a good kick in the A double dollar sign sometimes, but then sometimes they need somebody to put the armour on them as well.

Joshua Watson:
Well said, Cameron. Personally, my feeling is that coaches need celebration because very often they are really selfless individuals and they put their teams and the needs of their teams ahead of themselves. And so it's a good idea every once in a while for us to stop and reflect and really to appreciate all the time and the sacrifice and the hard work that they put into actually coaching us. It's a tough job sometimes.

Brock Richardson:
Yeah. I think the thing that I learned as an athlete was, as you guys said, how much time goes into being a coach and being a one that is successful at that. And I remember as my dad started becoming in the ranks of coaching and he would come and he'd help me get myself ready for the day and he'd come to me in the mornings at various locations and he'd say, "Man, I'm tired." And I'd say, "Well, why" and he'd say, "Because I didn't get to bed until 12, 1:00 in the morning." And I'm thinking, "Well, I was sleeping at like 9:30." "Yeah. Well, I had to do this and that all while you were sleeping." And I think that those are the things to me guys that kind of get missed by athletes and coaches. And we kind of take them for granted in that we just think, "Oh, they get up, they look good. They sit there, they coach, they analyze what I'm doing," but we forget, Cameron, the things that they do outside of all that as well.

Cam Jenkins:
Oh, absolutely. It's all the preparation before game time, they're in their homes, in their planning for this team or they're planning for that team or a strategy. Some coaches also might be helping with a meal plan or just might be talking to somebody about mental health or just strategies to be mentally tough. It's unbelievable what coaches do behind the scenes. And I would think that a lot of players don't understand either. And I'd really like to be able to see at the beginning of the year or sometime during the year to coach to be able to say, "Hey, just so your players know, these are some of the things that I'm responsible for. These are some of the things that I'm doing." Just so the players have a better appreciation of what coaches do, because I know when I was growing up, I didn't really think about that growing up. I'm just a kid and thinking about myself and that was it. But coaches, they do so much. And I had a very small taste of it when I was helping to coach a team as well. And there's a lot of preparation that goes into it.

Brock Richardson:
Yeah. I agree. It's tough to be a coach. Josh, I know that you've had lots of coaches in your career. Some have come with you to different sports. Why do you think it's important to have a coach versus saying, "I'm going to coach myself"?

Joshua Watson:
Well, to be honest, coaching yourself is incredibly difficult because you can't, no matter how mentally tough you are, you just can't be observing yourself while you're performing at your sport. You can sit there and you can say, "Oh, on that throw my arm should have been higher. Or my elbow should have been up more or I fell this way or I fell that way." But it takes someone outside of that with knowledge of the sport and of how you perform to really be able to help you break down what it is that is actually going on and how you can improve it, how you can fix it. Because sometimes especially if you're competing and you're frustrated by your performance, you're not doing what you want to do. You can't see what you're doing wrong. So you need that person there to just take you aside and say, "Hey, remember to keep your arm up. Remember to sit up tall when you're sliding across the crease, make sure you're pushing with this or pushing with that anticipate where this guy's going to go, what his tendencies are. You've played him before." So it's very important to have a coach.

Brock Richardson:
Cameron, thoughts.

Cam Jenkins:
Yeah, absolutely. I think especially in the amateur ranks or the house league ranks, you don't have the video to be able to see what you're doing. So you need that coach to be able to say, oh, okay, well Josh was alluding to some of the goal tender moves, but yeah, it is just a matter of, okay, a coach can kind of see the whole perspective, the big picture, because I'm only concerned about, do I need to get my glove up or do I need to get my blocker up or whatever the case happens to be. So it's just so important in the grassroots level to have a coach, to be able to get you to start with the basics and get good with the basics and kind of develop from there.

Brock Richardson:
I think the thing that you guys kind of touched on is, and it was Josh who began touching on it, but then Cameron alluded to it as well is the fact that an athlete has to be known all around. And I think part of that all around is that you got to know the disability as well. Speaking in terms, I think it's easy for people to say, oh, I can coach ice hockey or wheelchair basketball or bocce, but knowing the athlete from the top of their head to the bottom of their toes is really important because every disability reacts different and every person reacts differently to that as well. Cameron, comment on that?

Cam Jenkins:
Yeah, absolutely. If you're working, especially with para sports, if you're working with a person that has CP and it affects all of their left side, then maybe to put them in a certain place, if you're playing sledge hockey, or if you're throwing, maybe that's the better sport for them because maybe they can use the right side. So knowing about the disability and how it affects you is certainly very important for a coach to know, and to recognize, to be able to put that person in the best spot to succeed at their sport.

Joshua Watson:
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, in my case, I know there are times where I will look at a situation or a play that's just happened. And I'll think to myself, "If I had just stretched a little more, or did this, or did that," and my coach will take me aside and say, "You did the best you could, but let's be real here. You're only so tall or you're only able to move so much given your ability." So it's very helpful to have that sort of person that knows what you're capable of because they can remind you that that's not necessarily your fault. And on the opposite side, when maybe you are slacking off a little bit, they can also say, "Hey, I've seen you make that play before. Go do it again."

Brock Richardson:
What sort of challenges have we faced as athletes with in regards to coaches, Josh, I'll let you go first on this one and then we'll move over to Cam, and then I will comment.

Joshua Watson:
Challenges with coaches, from my perspective, I think more than anything, anything it's just finding good coaches, whether it's been hockey or track and field, have always had the luxury of having a very good director and a very good coach running the programs, but they're only one person and they need help and they need other people to come in and to assist them. And so I think that is the biggest challenge is getting people to get involved in coaching. I mean, there's always going to be times where you and your coach are going to clash over something. You feel like you gave your best effort and maybe they don't think so, or you think, "If I just had this piece of equipment, it would be easier for me to do my job on this team."
Well, yeah, but are you really putting in enough effort to warrant spending for that piece of equipment? Maybe you are, maybe you're not. So you're always going to have those sorts of trivial clashes, but I just think overall the biggest challenges, having enough coaches and finding people who are good at it, because you can be great at a sport, but it doesn't mean you can coach it.

Cam Jenkins:
And that's so true. Gretzky, I think he was a great player as an example, but as a coach, not so much. So just because you're a great player, it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be a great coach. So that's a great point, Josh. I also think some of the challenges we faced with some of the coaches that I've had, whether it's been in T-ball when I was really young, the coach was fairly good. But once again, I was the only one that had a disability. So putting me in the best position to succeed, maybe they could have had me at different positions. Back in the 1800s, when I used to play T-ball, I was a catcher. So a lot of the times, if a disabled person, they put you a catcher and I could walk and run a bit and stuff. So maybe it was best to put me somewhere else.
And then one of the coaches that I had, and I wish I could remember his name, but I used to play T-ball as a teenager, as a young man for Forest Glen baseball, I think was called. And that coach, he ended up putting me in right field because I had a rocket of an arm and he knew I wanted to pitch. So he got me to pitch an inning too, where I struck out a batter, I walked a batter, and then I hit a batter and then I was pulled from pitching. So that was my pitching experience in T-ball. So a couple experiences right there. It was the coach that let me pitch an inning and played right fields and so on and so forth. That was in my opinion, a good coach, because they got me to play. And one of the best coaches that I've had for the longest time, as everyone knows Ken Hall, he really knows how to push a person's buttons, but he also knows when to get hard with a person as well. So Ken Hall-

Brock Richardson:
Good and bad, I assume.

Cam Jenkins:
[inaudible 00:21:25] my best coach, but we've certainly butted heads before as well, Ken Hall and myself. But at the end of the day, he knew that I was a good tournament goalie. So before every tournament he'd send me an email or just before the first game he'd come out, because I'd be looking at the ace and trying to mentally think about the game. And he'd always say nice things to me. And I'm like, "Whoa, is this the Ken Hall that I know that's saying these wonderful things?" And so on and so forth. But he also knew when to kick me in the A double dollar signs too. So that's why I think he was the best coach because he did a bit of both worlds for me.

Joshua Watson:
I do think, Cam, you also bring up a great point in that sometimes coaches have to let you fail as well. And a good coach will sit there and say to you, maybe you've got an idea of how you can do something and the coach will say, "Okay, sure. Let's try it." And then you fall flat on your face and you go, "Oh, okay. Maybe the coach was right."

Cam Jenkins:
I'll never admit that on air.

Joshua Watson:
Oh, of course not. Neither will I. Never fallen on my face once.

Brock Richardson:
Nah, never, never. For me, I just think that my father and I, we had such a unique relationship and it was a challenge at times because my father always wanted to get the best out of me, but he was also my father, and so I always thought that my father was just being that dad, I have the visual of the father putting his hands on the baseball diamond rings and holding it and all that. But my dad always wanted to be there for me. And it wasn't until I went to the national program and we had a head coach and my father was my sport assistant and the coach sat me down once and he said to me, "Brock, your father is right. Your father is a good coach." And I have to tell you that was the hardest thing for me to hear was one of our one-on-one meetings was the head coach being like, "Your father is right." And so for me, recognizing that now is far easier than what it was back when I was in it.
I have a quick story for you. My father was my sport assistant at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic games along with my personal coach. And of course we had the national team coaches as well there and I had the crappiest training camp I could think of. Just awful, could not hit the broad side of a barn if I tried, nothing was going and I was so angry, so frustrated thought, "Oh this is my first Paralympic games. It's going to be so bad," all this. And then I went to my first game and the first throw I had was about as perfect as you could make it. And we finished the end and I scored two points and my father said, wow, you do listen to the things I say. And I kind of had a little bit of a sly laugh.
And then in the next end of the game, I did something where I moved in my box to get a better angle on the target. And I had never done that. My father had been preaching that forever. And in this particular instance I used it, but I never used it, decided to pull it out at the Paralympic Games and my father comes out and he says to me, "Oh my goodness, you really do expletive listen to what I'm saying."
And I said, "Yeah, yeah, I got to finish the game." And at the end of the game, even though he was making all his sly jokes and all this, he gave me a high five and he said "That a boy," because I ended up winning and I finished the Paralympic games at 10th, out of 20 at as an 18 year old. And it was so cool to have my dad alongside me and joining me for that. But man, it's taken a long time for me to realize how good of a coach my father is and he's still dedicated to the sport as we speak. So that's kind of my story on my dad and yeah, I appreciate everything that he's done. And the head coach of bocce, who we've had on this program in other iterations as well. But it's just been fun. Are there any [inaudible 00:26:06]

Cam Jenkins:
Brock wanted to ask you a question put you, I got, not on the hot seat, but question for you as far as, why do you think you're looking back now because you can be a bit more objective. Why do you think your dad was a good coach?

Brock Richardson:
I think the primary reason my father is a good coach is because my father understands cerebral palsy. My father understands it on a level that nobody else will understand it. My father understands it in the sense of he lived with it. He understood it. He's been through the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between. And so when you're able to understand CP first and foremost, and then dedicate the time into understanding the sport of bocce and understanding the strategies and putting all those two things together, it makes for a really, really good combination. And my father is very well respected on the provincial level and national team level for Bocce Canada. And I really think Cameron, that that's the basis of the reason is because he's able to put it all together, understanding the disability and understanding the sport all at the same time.
So I want to get a thought from both of you before we wrap this segment up. Do you guys have some stories like the one I had that will always stick with you in your career? Cameron, start with you and then we'll go to Josh.

Cam Jenkins:
Yeah, I had kind of mentioned before with Ken Hall for the [inaudible 00:27:42] sports for the physically disabled, it seemed like I always did okay with the regular league play, but there was just a different level when I went to tournaments and it was like, I don't know, super Cam came through, hashtag that or whatever the case is. And it was just, Ken always knew that that was a great, not a great, maybe that's the wrong choice of words, but Ken always knew that I was going to perform well at a tournament. So he always sent me an email or he ended up just letting me know that I was good to take it calm, to be able to breathe, to be able to just get my self-esteem, to be where it needs to be. And that's probably my story of being a sledge hockey goalie and kind of really appreciating the coach that I had in Ken Hall because he always did that for me. And yeah, it was just wonderful.

Joshua Watson:
Yeah. I've been lucky to have Ken as a coach as well. And he really has a way of understanding who you are as an athlete and what you need in a given moment. There will be times where I remember a tournament we played in and I had a really bad tournament. I just did not play well as a goal tender. And I went up to him after we were put out and I said, "Can I talk to you about something?" And I said, "I really feel like the sledge I'm in is preventing me from doing what I need to do as a goalie. I like being able to sit the way I sit, but it's so heavy that when I dive to make a save, I can't get back up again, fast enough to be relevant." And I said, "I know they're expensive, but I really think a different sled would help me."
And he sat me down and he said, "I appreciate what you think, but I want you to be really honest with yourself. How much work have you put in to be better? If you were here every week and you were putting in the work and you were doing your absolute best, then I would have no problem helping you out with whatever I can. But I have a whole team and a whole club full of athletes that I have to think about. You have another sled that you can try. You're going to have to play a different way in order to do it. You're going to have to play with your legs out instead of cross-legged. But I've seen you be able to get yourself up and down in that sled. So I want you to try that, see if that works and if it works, then that's what we're going to go with." And I said, "Okay, no problem."
Tried it. It works. That's how I've played. Ever since it wasn't the answer I wanted to hear, but it was the answer I needed to hear because it reminded me that I have to demonstrate that I'm going to put in the work for people to help me. If I'm not putting in the work then. And then I have only myself to blame really. And it was a good learning lesson.

Brock Richardson:
That's the struggle that I had with my father. My father was telling me the things that I needed to hear, but I wasn't willing to hear them. And it took the head coach most of the time to come over and tell me the exact same thing and then I'd go, "Oh yeah. Yeah, okay." Which would irritate my father to no end because my father would be like, "I just told you that. And yet, because he said it in a different way," or as he would joke, because the head coach had an accent, "Because he said it in an accent, you buy it. But because I said it, you don't buy it."
And so that was the thing that frustrates, and I think to your point, Josh, that's the thing is sometimes athletes, whether it's father or not, don't want to hear the things they need to hear until someone says, "Hey, take a look, take a serious look at X, Y, Z, and think about it from that perspective." And those are the hardest conversations to hear. If any of you are listening to our program that are not athletes, trust us when we say these conversations and these things are the hardest ones to hear and implement when they are the things you don't want to hear.

Cam Jenkins:
Yeah. I think though, as well, like you were saying, Brock, it's your dad and that's such a unique relationship to have your dad as basically a head coach or so at the best of times we don't want to listen to our parents and we want to kind of do our own thing and you're not right. And so on and so forth. But when you're the actual athlete and he's the actual coach, I can see that happening where you're like, "... and no way." Yeah, exactly. And then you go to the head coach, the head coach does it and you're like, "Oh, okay. Yeah, that makes sense." So that's such a unique relationship that you have with your dad in my opinion, him being your coach.

Brock Richardson:
Yeah, my father recently came to me and basically was able to acknowledge the mental struggles that I was going through. And that he sort of recognized to me that now other athletes are going through similar things that I was, and he was picking my brain as to what goes on in the mind of you when these things happen, because he wanted to take it back to his athletes to try something or to think of a keyword that I was saying that might work for someone else. So tons of conversations always happen. My sisters would joke and say 90% bocce and 10% of the Leafs winning something, or whatever. But that was just our life.
And even now when I see him and we're still waiting, still waiting. But yeah, even now when I see him, I'm just like we have these conversations. It's built into us as athletes. We want to talk sports all the time and have conversations. And it's interesting now that my father's picking my brain on things to try to help athletes that are going through similar things now. And so very cool. And that's why I wanted to take the opportunity to have this conversation about coaches and the importance of them and the good, the bad and the ugly as it's written on my script, because sometimes there is ugly in the things that we do. And we want to know. If you want to get ahold of us for any comments, please feel free. Here's how you can do it.

Speaker 7:
Hey, if you want to leave a message for the Neutral Zone call now. +1 866-509-4545. And don't forget to give us permission to use your message on the air. Let's get ready to leave a voicemail.

Brock Richardson:
For those of you that have followed us through different iterations of our program, you'll know that the running joke is that I never ever stay on time and it holds through with such great conversation that we just had. We went quite a bit of time over on that conversation, but fascinating one and would be interested to know your feedback on what you think and coaches you've had.
Let's move on to the mainstream sports world. I want to talk about a few things. This one, we don't have to go as in depth on, but Evander Kane who's now of the Edmonton Oilers filed a lawsuit against the San Jose Sharks for termination of his contract. It has been said that they have come to a settlement. That settlement is not made public, but the San Jose Sharks have come out and said that this will not affect their team on the ice. Now, for those of you that may not know Evander Kane was involved in fraudulently sending vaccination cards and proving that he was vaccinated and all this sort of thing. And so he's been involved in lots of stuff. I want both of your thoughts on this Evander Kane as a whole, what do you guys think? Cameron, start with you.

Cam Jenkins:
It's really going to be interesting to see how he's going to be over the next. What did he sign with Edmonton, the three to five years, I forget, four years. So from my understanding of what I've researched and read, he's going to get the difference of what he got from Edmonton to what his contract was going to be with San Jose. That's approximately $2.5 million per year. And I don't know if that's per year or if that's just in total. I think it's in total for 2.5 million, because I read earlier today that his contract with Edmonton is worth the first three years, 16 point something million and his contract for three years with San Jose, it was 19 point something million.
So I think San Jose, from what I understand, is going to give him about $2.5 million, a check free and clear, and it's going to be retroactive. So it's going to count towards their cap from last year. And they had about 5 million in cap space. So as of this year, they're free and clear from Kane and they're going to be able to move forward with no other penalties or nothing on the books for Kane. It's just, it's over and done with now.
So both Edmonton and San Jose can move on, which is great. And Kane himself, as far as what he allegedly did, he's just had a bad attitude in my opinion, and problems have seemed to follow him no matter where he's gone in Winnipeg, he showed up late, showed up in a track suit. You hear the allegations of the track suit was thrown in the shower because he wasn't dressed properly in Winnipeg came, San Jose, he had a bad attitude. So he was a good boy last year, but he was only with Edmonton for a certain amount of time. So is he going to be able to get his image in good standing in Edmonton for the next four years and stay out of trouble and not have any problems? So it's going to be really interesting to see. And I don't know if you can do it, because a spade is a spade.

Joshua Watson:
Well, it will certainly be interesting. I think there are a couple of factors with Edmonton that we're not necessarily thinking about and they would be Connor McDavid and Leon Drysidle. I think if you have the opportunity to play on a line with one of those two players, you're going to toe the line pretty carefully because you don't want to lose that opportunity.
As for the contract termination, I think it was probably inevitable. Things were not going well in San Jose for him. I do think that it's not surprising that they've come to a settlement. I didn't know the exact details. So I'm glad you were able to find those Cam, because I couldn't. I think that's probably fair considering the circumstance, but it will absolutely be interesting to see what happens now that he's in Edmonton. But I think we're going to see a different Evander Kane because when you're playing with the two, arguably the two best players in the world, your attitude tends to change.

Brock Richardson:
Yeah, I agree. Just before I comment on this, I'll say, I want to know what Cameron's research is because I looked and I looked and everything I saw was that everyone was fine. It was going to be just, everyone's happy. It's not going to affect the salary cap. So Cameron, good on you for finding that. I dug and dug and dug and could not find it. So I want your research department that you-

Joshua Watson:
He's got some sources, that guy.

Cam Jenkins:
I cannot divulge my sources.

Brock Richardson:
Says every insider. I think that the thing about Evander Kane is the following. Cameron, you said it. Part of it is the fact he was a good boy this year. I shudder, and I wonder if the reason he was a good boy is to get his contract. He's got that contract. It's four years in length. Edmonton has taken the shot at him. That's great. Now you have your money. Now you have to produce. And this is where I wonder if at all or when all, of these sideline stuff or off ice stuff is going to start creeping in. I hope I'm wrong. I hope to Josh's point when you got two of the best players in the world alongside you scoring goals, that should be your focus, but recent habits sometimes creep up. And that's what I'm worried about regarding Evander Kane. And I hope I'm wrong because I do like watching him in Edmonton. I think he fits really, really well. And I wish him nothing but the best. And I know I'll be watching lots of Edmonton Oilers hockey this year.

Cam Jenkins:
He had a great team with the Winnipeg boys and he just messed it up. And that was a really good in team in Winnipeg when he was there. I think Bufflin was still there. And a lot of the other boys that are still there that probably should go out now. But if he couldn't make it with the Winnipeg Jets and he ended up getting into trouble because of his attitude there, how do you think Connor McDavid and Leon Drysidle are going to smarten him up or are going to be able to toe the line? Just because it's arguably the two best players in the NHL, but still, let's talk about their defense. It still sucks for Edmonton and the goaltending it probably ... Well, they have Campbell, so I don't want to say he sucks because I enjoy him when he was with the Maple Leafs, but I don't care about him anymore. And who knows how good he's going to be.

Brock Richardson:
Cameron, can I literally say, and I don't often do this, but I am looking directly at you. As I'm saying this, I have one word and that is Ken Holland. If you're going to screw around with a Ken Holland team, you're in deep trouble. And I know that you shouldn't screw around with any team, but Ken Holland is a bear. And if you screw with him, you're going to screw with your contract. And he's not going to put up with anything related to that. And so no he's got to put up or shut up in order to do this because Ken Holland, ain't going to deal with it.

Cam Jenkins:
But Ken Holland, and that's actually two words, not one.

Brock Richardson:
It's one name.

Cam Jenkins:
But second of all, and second of all-

Joshua Watson:
Getting into semantics there.

Cam Jenkins:
They signed them for four years. So he's going to end up having to deal with them because he is up 5 million cap hits. So if he doesn't, they can't necessarily stick him in the minors and they're up against the cap anyway, because Ken Holland, as we all know, he's not good at cap management. So let's talk a little bit about that maybe next time.

Brock Richardson:
Shot that Ken Holland right here on the Neutral Zone. Josh, comment.

Joshua Watson:
I think it's all about perception. I think Kane will perceive that he's with better players and act accordingly, but maybe I'm wrong. We'll find out.

Brock Richardson:
All right. Well, it'd be interesting to see what happens moving forward in the Edmonton world of hockey that will commence very, very soon. I want to stick with hockey to close the show. And that is that we now know that Rick Bonus and the Winnipeg Jets announced that they would not run with a captain for the year and that thus means that Blake Wheeler would be stripped of his captaincy after six seasons. Guys, thoughts from you? Josh, start with you.

Joshua Watson:
I'm really not sure how to feel about this. I think every team needs a leadership group and maybe it's the case that Winnipeg is going to have a leadership group, but just not make any one person a captain. I think it's problematic. And I mean good for Blake Wheeler, he's saying all the right things and he's toeing the party lines so to speak. But I think deep down, he's got to be gutted. I really do. And I just don't know. I've seen a lot of teams that try to go without captains and I don't remember them being all that successful, to be honest with you. I think you need that one person who's kind of the captain for lack of a better term, the one who goes in front of the media and takes the hits for the team and celebrates everything when it's good and pulls people up by their skate laces when they're bad. I just don't know how you function without a captain, to be honest.

Cam Jenkins:
Yeah. I think that at the end of the day, it's been a cancerous locker room in Winnipeg for at least a few years. Maybe even longer than that in Wheeler and Shafely, I think this is just another step to trying to get them out of town. It wouldn't surprise me. I don't know, off the top of my head, but it wouldn't surprise me if both of them have some sort of a no trade clause. So they are able to write their own ticket as far as maybe where they want to go. But saying that, the easiest way to get people to want to leave is to do things like that. Strip the captaincy or put them down in the minors if they don't have a no move clause, things like that.
So I think it's just a way to let both Wheeler and Shafely know that, "Hey enough is enough. You're not ..." They had a horrible year last year. And when it was the Canadian division, it was a horrible year that year too. Although I do believe they made the playoffs, but I believe they were out in four games that year if my memory serves me correctly. But anyways, I digress. I just think that it's, they're trying to rebuild the Winnipeg Jets and a way to start doing that is to strip the captaincy, maybe ruffle some feathers and kind of go from there.

Brock Richardson:
Cameron, I understand your point. I just feel like if that is the case, I feel like that's a shady way of wanting someone out of town. I know that no trade clauses kind of put you behind the eight ball. I get all that. But to strip somebody of their captaincy after being six seasons, because you don't want them there as possibly being ... It's just icky to me and I don't like it, although I understand it.

Cam Jenkins:
It happened in San Jose too, I believe. I don't know if it was Joe Thornton or if it was-

Brock Richardson:
It was.

Cam Jenkins:
Yeah. And he got stripped to the C too and it went to somebody else. But is that-

Brock Richardson:
And Patrick Marlow, they both got stripped.

Cam Jenkins:
Yeah. So it's certainly happened out in San Jose as well. And they were a good regular season team for a lot of years. They never won the Stanley Cup, but they were a good regular season team for years. And you only have so many tools at the end of the day to try to shake up your players, to try to get them to play better, to move on. So this is just one tool in the toolbox, I think to try to shake things up. It really is horrible for a person that has played well, was able to negotiate that no-trade clause and then to be treated like that or to be put in the minors or benched, whatever the tools that the coaches and management has at the end of the day, it's horrible, but everyone thinks of themselves at the end of the day and the hockey team needs to think of themselves and they need to put the best team out there. And if that's trading players while they still have some value to get some value back, that's what they have to do. They have to think about the team.

Brock Richardson:
I think, I don't know. I understand it's got to be team first when you're coach and owner and all that. Josh, I'll give you a quick word on all this to wrap us up.

Joshua Watson:
It's going to be really interesting to see how things go in Edmonton. I think normally when you want to get rid of your captain, you trade him, but that obviously didn't happen. So let's see if everybody can play nice in the sandbox.

Brock Richardson:
You saw it in San Jose when they stripped their captaincies, it did not go well. And I don't think it's going to go well here at all. I think it's a shady way to, if you want your players out of town, I believe it's a real shady way to do that. I understand that coaches' hands are tied. I understand that new coaches like Rick Bonus are allowed to do the things they do, but man, don't you think service time has to mean something in the grand scheme of things? And just to purely strip your captaincy and say that it shouldn't be one person in front of the camera. That's the nice thing to say in today's world. But I think this goes way deeper than what we've talked about today. It will be very interesting times to see what happens in Winnipeg. And again, I think Wheeler's saying the right things, but I have to believe as being a captain on my own one time, it's not a good feeling when it gets removed.
That is the end of our show for this week. I'd like to thank Josh Watson, Cam Jenkins. I'd also like to thank our technical producer, Marco Follo. Tune in next week because you just never know what happens when you enter the Neutral Zone. Have a great weekend and we'll talk to you very, very soon. Be safe, be well.