A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Elias signs a one year deal

Patrik Elias signed the qualifying sheet from the New Jersey Devils. He will make $4.18M this season and will become an UFA next summer.

The three-time All-Star is a perennial 30 goal scorer, and has played his entire NHL career with the Devils.

This will cause a lot of head scratching.

You're probably thinking the same thing I was. Weren't they already right at the upper limit of the cap? Indeed they were. Here's where it gets tricky. Or stupid. Elias is recovering from a severe bout of Hepatitis A, which he contracted at some point during the lockout while playing in Russia. As long as he is on the IR, his salary does not count towards the cap. Once he is ready to play, though, they will have to make a move. Expect a major move by the Devils. Sooner rather than later.

Hepatitis A, by the way, is the strain of the virus that is most likely foodbourne. It originates in fecal matter and is usually spread orally. Improper personal hygiene techniques will cause the spread of the non-deadly strain. It can also be spread through sexual contact, but I am not at all suggesting that Elias had sexual contact with an infected man. Here is the fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control.

Now I vaguely remember hearing about this. He had a super-high fever and sat out a few games with what Russian doctors were calling a "mystery illness". As his condition got worse, the doctors were completely dumbfounded by his flu-like symptoms. It wasn't until weeks later that blood test results identified it as Hepatitis A.

Now... Think about how many times you've not washed your hands thoroughly after using the toilet. This simple technique, not employed by some food preparation worker in Russia, can very effectively prevent the spread of Hep A and many other viral diseases.

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