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This is in response to the previous blog about players not playing through their contracts and the fear that it will filter into the NHL because of the long term deals.

The true problem with this lies in football, and only football because the players contracts are not guaranteed and the team holds 100% leverage over the player. For example, Brian Westbrook signed a deal that was a mediocre deal with a pretty good signing bonus. After a few years of the deal Westbrook has matured into one of the elite backs in the NFL. Now I do not agree with Westbrook looking to get LT money, because #1 he is not LT and #2 LT got that contract when he was like 24 years old. With that said, if Westbrook had underperformed for these first few years of his deal and became a bust in the NFL the Eagles would have the option to release him and he would get none of his contract. So why when the player over performs his contract and the league allows renegotiation of contracts, do players need to hold out to get the contract they deserve? This is where the problem lies. The team has way too much leverage on the player which becomes a huge problem.

I do not see this becoming a big problem in the NHL at all. The main reason is that the NHL has a rule set in place that once a contract is signed it can not be re-negotiated and the contract is guaranteed. This puts the commitment on both the player and the organization for the length of the contract. If a player were to hold out in the NHL what would come of it? They would be holding out for no reason... would they hold out in hopes that the league would change the rules for them and allow them to re-negotiate their deal? No.

I do not see this becoming an issue in the NHL unless the league allows re-negotiations of contracts at some point or makes contracts not guaranteed, which I don't see happening.

Filed Under:   NHL  
July 30, 2008 11:16 AM ET | Delete
July 30, 2008 11:43 AM ET | Delete
through all my rants...my main point is should all contracts in all sports be guaranteed? IMO, I don't think so
July 30, 2008 11:57 AM ET | Delete
Pens871, was that necessary? If you didn't like the blog or thought it was boring, don't comment.
July 30, 2008 12:24 PM ET | Delete
Szandor - I would expect no less from Pens871. It's par!!! Have a good one!!!
July 30, 2008 1:44 PM ET | Delete
Pens871 is a dbag.
July 30, 2008 2:01 PM ET | Delete
thanks for posting your opinion in a new blog and for getting an alternate view out there to the masses. i respect your opinion. i also disagree. i think players are becoming more and more disloyal, it's a trend across north american sports and it may soon come to the NHL, and the rise of the KHL and international hockey is not going to help the NHL's case. so while you say you dont see changes coming in the NHL, and this potentially being a problem, i think i could see it happening. that's where the disagreement is. but thank you for posting this.
July 30, 2008 2:07 PM ET | Delete
I think if a player holds out for a better contract, the owners should show some balls and suspend the player without pay. Let them spend the season without a paycheck and see what it is like. I remember the line from the movie "The Replacements" which went "people just don't understand how hard it is to live on $7 million a year!". Let them live without a check and see how fast they stop all the antics
July 30, 2008 2:17 PM ET | Delete
I second that DD
July 30, 2008 2:24 PM ET | Delete
How will it possibly happen in the NHL with guaranteed contracts and renegotiation's of contracts not an option based on the rules? I am not understanding how that could even be possible. What is the player going to hold out for? The league to change the rules for him? I don't get it. As for the NFL teams suspending them without pay, the teams do fine them for every day they miss, and its very expensive. The NFL is at fault for the NFL hold outs, not the players or the teams. The rules in the NFL are very lopsided in terms of being in favor of the team and not evenly between the team and the players, which isn't that what a contract is? Both sides hold up their end? Doesn't happen in the NFL.
July 30, 2008 2:30 PM ET | Delete
yes, i think the rules could change. certainly, it's possible. but beyond that, i don't think you're considering my international hockey side of the argument... if players keep going over there, contract disputes are bound to be on the rise for the NHL in the future. i just think it's going to be a legel mess.
July 30, 2008 2:41 PM ET | Delete
I am pretty sure players under contract can not go play over sea's just as international players under contract can not come play here. So there is no way players could skip out on their contracts to go over sea's... I dont understand your argument there...
July 30, 2008 3:16 PM ET | Delete
I agree with that but I'm saying if the popularity of international hockey continues to grow at the rate it's currently growing, it's going to cause problems. I'm predicting the future, not talking about the current state of hockey. And I could be wrong; it's just an opinion. You have to understand, the NHL is a business first.
July 30, 2008 3:21 PM ET | Delete
So you think more and more players are going to go play over seas? Because the majority of players who have gone over there are either at the tail end of their career or were struggling to make NHL rosters in my opinion. I don't think that will become an issue at all, especially with the way the sport has continuously grown since the lockout. I don't see that being an issue at all really. The only issue I can see arising that would effect the sport would be if the league changed that you could re-negotiate deals, or that the contracts are not guaranteed to the player. Other then that I think the league is locked in and set to go for a while on this issue. Better then any of the other sports actually.
July 30, 2008 4:14 PM ET | Delete
for at least the next 20 years the clout of the NHL/the stanley cup will outweigh on a lot of players minds/yes money will be an issue but winning the cup will win out most of the time/the new league will truly have to hold its own for a little before more and more players head over there/IMOthe whole guranteed contract theory on my part was wishful thinking...i just don't like them
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