This offseason, the Tampa Bay Lightning made headlines when they placed defenseman Jake Dotchin on unconditional waivers and terminated his contract after a medical breach since the veteran blue liner was reportedly very out of shape. According to many reports, Dotchin showed up weighing significantly heavier than his 2017-18 playing weight.
"I know that there have been reports out there that suggested his body fat was as high as 25 per cent. I don't know if those numbers are accurate," Bob McKenzie told First Up on TSN 1050 Toronto. "What I can tell you, and what I do believe is accurate, is that he was a good 30 to 35 pounds above his playing weight. So I don't know what percentage body fat he was, but I can tell you that the relative expectations of what the Lightning expect him to play at versus what he showed up as, it was a good 30 pounds."
McKenzie noted that teams will often suspend players who show up over weight for camp and wait for them to get in shape. Dotchin is listed by NHL.com as 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds.
On Wednesday, Pierre LeBrun revealed that the Anaheim Ducks have signed Dotchin to a one-year, $800k deal. In order to formally join the Ducks roster, the blue liner had to clear waivers on Thursday, which he did, but the saga ain't over...
According to McKenzie who explained the situation on last night's Insider Trading on TSN, the NHL Players Association has filed a grievance on behalf of Dotchin against the Lightning over the terminating his contract, stating they were filing it not only to help Dotchin, but also to avoid setting a precedent moving forward.
"The rationale is two-fold. Now that Dotchin is signed with the Anaheim Ducks at $800,000 pro rated and he had a contract for $925,000 from the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dotchin is going to be out over the course of this season about $189,000. So first and foremost, they want to try and get that money back for him. But second and maybe broader issue, more important, the NHLPA does not want to set a precedent that teams can terminate a contract for material breach if a guy shows up to training camp vastly out of shape."
The 24-year-old appeared in 48 games for the Lightning last season, posting three goals and 11 points. Dotchin averaged 16:29 of ice time per game in the regular season and did not dress for the team in the postseason. He was selected in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL Draft by Tampa Bay.