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.