A possible lockout issue, potential pushback against analytics and much more in this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines. 

Bonus-laden contracts, such as the one recently signed by Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos, could lead to another NHL lockout.

Bonus-laden contracts, such as the one recently signed by Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos, could lead to another NHL lockout.

 TSN: Travis Yost suggests the issue of bonus-laden contract signed by players such as Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, Vancouver’s Loui Eriksson and the New York Islanders’ Andrew Ladd could lead to another NHL lockout. He notes that “the higher the signing bonus amount, the more difficult it is to buy contracts out.” They’re also “lockout-proof”, meaning the only impact to the players in the event of a work stoppage is to their base salaries. 


SPECTOR’S NOTE: I recommend reading the full piece. Yost isn’t the only pundit to cite bonus-heavy contracts as a potentially contentious issue in the next round of collective bargaining between the NHL and the NHLPA. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks has also sounded the warning several times in the past year. Of course, it’s the team owners and general managers that have themselves to blame for this situation by agreeing to hand out more of these contracts, just as they were to blame for the heavily front-loaded contracts that were a major issue during the last lockout. 


YAHOO SPORTS: Greg Wyshynski wonders if NHL teams are moving away from analytics, citing now-former Montreal Canadiens advanced-stats guru Matt Pfeffer’s speaking out against the P.K.Subban-for-Shea Weber trade, as well as Pfeffer’s claim there’s a pushback of late against analytics by some in the NHL. 


SPECTOR’S NOTE: As with Yost’s piece, I recommend giving Wyshynski’s column a read.  I believe there’s a place in hockey for analytics, but they’re not the end-all and be-all in evaluating player and team performance. I don’t think there’s so much a pushback against advanced stats in general, but against the opinion that they’re the definitive measure of player and team performance. 


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks has the details of how the Derick Brassard-for-Mike Zibanejad trade between the Rangers and Ottawa Senators went down.



THE NEWS & OBSERVER: The Carolina Hurricanes are seeing a surge in season-ticket sales this summer. “Compared with this time last year, new season-ticket package sales are up about 40 percent and overall ticket sales revenue is up about 60 percent”, said team president Don Waddell. Their season-ticket renewal rate is up from 87 percent last summer to just over 90 percent this year. 


WINNIPEG SUN: Jets center Mark Scheifele’s golf tournament helped raise $135,000 for KidSport Winnipeg. 


STARTRIBUNE:  The Minnesota Wild placed forward Jordan Schroeder on waivers. 


NBC SPORTS: Veteran NHL goaltender Jason LaBarbera has hung up his skates to become the goalie coach for the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. 


THE DETROIT NEWS: Veteran forward Dan Cleary isn’t ready for retirement yet, saying he’s willing to play another season in the minors. 


THE VANCOUVER SUN: The Canucks re-signed “defenceman Andrey Pedan and forward Alexandre Grenier to one-year, two-way contract extensions.”


STLTODAY.COM: Hockey photographer Lew Portnoy has passed away at the age of 75 from “complications of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive lung disease.” He covered the St. Louis Blues in a freelance capacity for over thirty years. 


SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Portnoy’s family and friends. You can see a collection of some of his work by following this link