NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 18, 2021

by | Aug 18, 2021 | News, NHL | 30 comments

Team owners approved jersey ads starting in 2022-23, Predators hope to re-sign Mattias Ekholm and Filip Forsberg, Steven Stamkos sells his Tampa mansion, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

SPORTICO: The NHL Board of Governors unanimously approved adding advertisements to team jerseys effective 2022-23. Clubs can now begin negotiating with potential ad partners. The ads must fit a 3 by 3.5-inch rectangle. Last season, the league began selling ad space on the side of players’ helmets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Critics of these ads believe it is yet another step in a slippery slope toward turning players into billboards on skates akin to some European leagues. No NHL fans want to see that but I doubt it’ll ever go that far. European clubs have little choice because they lack the lucrative revenues streams enjoyed by the NHL.

Manufacturer logos have appeared on NHL player equipment for decades with no quibble from hockey fans. The small patch to appear on the front of jerseys will be as unobtrusive as those on the helmets.

The NHL is a business and that business took a big hit during the pandemic. They’re looking for whatever measures they can find to generate more hockey-related revenue. Anything that increases HRR will eventually translate into a higher salary cap, providing teams with more cap space to invest in building and maintaining their rosters.

Nashville Predators winger Filip Forsberg (NHL Images).

Fans got used to ads painted on the boards and the ice. They weren’t put off by arenas being named after corporations or ads on the players’ helmets. They won’t be distracted by a small jersey patch as long as they don’t spread like measles all over the jersey.

NHL.COM: Nashville Predators general manager David Poile said his club is focused on signing Mattias Ekholm and Filip Forsberg to long-term contract extensions. Both players are slated to become unrestricted free agents next summer.

Poile said discussions have started with Ekholm’s agent and should continue later this week or next week. He intends to reach out to Forsberg’s representatives before training camp opens next month.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Predators with over $46.4 million invested in 10 players for 2022-23 with Ekholm and Forsberg as their two core players becoming free agents. They have plenty of cap space to re-sign both players.

The question is how much Ekholm and Forsberg want on their new contracts and if they see their long-term futures in Nashville. It might be easier to re-sign them if the Preds were a Cup contender as they were three years ago. Their recent decline, however, could become a factor in those contract talks.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning captain Steven Stamkos recently sold his Davis Islands home for a whopping $16 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No, this doesn’t mean Stamkos is going to be traded. He still has a full no-movement clause and reportedly has no intention of waiving it.

As the story goes, the house was never listed and he and his family were happy living there. Stamkos had no intention of selling until someone met his “move-out number.” He and his family are preparing to move to another unlisted home in the area.

OTTAWA SUN: The Senators signed rugged forward Scott Sabourin to a one-year, two-way contract.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Former Bruins Chris Kelly and Adam McQuaid have returned to the club in off-ice roles. Kelly is now an assistant coach while McQuaid is their new player development coordinator.

WGR 550.COM: Buffalo Sabres alumni Tim Kennedy and Nathan Paetsch have returned to the club as player development coaches.

TSN: Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment announced attendees to their sports teams (including the Toronto Maple Leafs) will be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test effectively mid-September to gain access to its arenas, stadium and restaurants.


  1. Just hope they keep the ads off the jersey’s sold to fans.

    • I predict they will add one on the pants by 2025-26

      • I got inside by 2028!

  2. sitting here sipping on my BRC going thru some articles concerning the Bruins D this coming season……more than a few mention #1 pairing McAvoy/Forbort…#2 paring Carlo/Reilly..#3 pairing Gzelcyk/Clifton & Moore/Zboril as depth Dmen…The Bruins stated at their season presser that they needed more size plus depth on the D & a LD, from here it looks like they swapped Lauzon & his $850,000 for Forbort & his 3 million…. what I can see is that Forbort bounced between 2nd & 3rd pairing with the Jets last season ( now #1 pairing ?) , how much of a upgrade is he really for the Bruins……As far as the added D depth for the Bruins they didn’t add any…..Looking at this D without anymore moves made its a average regular season D. One more ..watching Grzelcyk trying to play D in the D-Zone during the playoffs was tough to see I thought I was watching Krug

    • I don’t see Grzelcyk dropping to 3rd pairing. He and McAvoy were outstanding together at 5 on 5. If there were a situation that needed more offense/stay at home balance, Grzelcyk would drop to 2nd pairing with Carlo.

  3. Lyle quite the stretch using building names and manufacturers of their own product to compare an actual ad.

    First off rarely do we see the outside of a building.

    Never do we see it during live actions.

    The manufacturer name of their own product, this is good business for said company and the league selling the product as most fans want to have an authentic sweater, or wear the same gloves, helmet or use the same stick.

    If it’s keep simple and small I won’t care and if it turns into Europe style, I agree that would be to much also I don’t read them when I watching a game.

    I will not purchase a sweater with a bunch of advertisements on them, even if it’s refer to the new authentic sweater.

    • Not a stretch at all, Caper. If folks are worried about the obtrusiveness of ads, then why didn’t they have a problem with manufacturers’ names emblazoned in large letters on equipment? As for the arenas, you may not see the outside of them during the games, but they’re frequently mentioned in broadcasts. And of course, if you live in the cities where those arenas are located, you can’t help but see the outside of the building.

      It’s all part of the same racket, to make money. That’s the evolving business of hockey.

      That being said, like you, I certainly don’t want to see them get to the point with ads where the entire sweater is littered with them, or they shrink the team logo to make room for more ads.

      • It is not often that I consider suggesting you are naive, Lyle, so may I suggest you are “optimistic” regarding the use of ads on jerseys. Why do you think it will be any different from European jerseys? Didn’t we follow their lead with advertising on boards?

        The only thing that will stop the spread of them like measles on jerseys is if advertisers feel there are so many their ad gets lost.

        Yes, a proliferation of ads was inevitable given the financial problems, but think of signs along highways: there was a time when there weren’t that many …

        And your comment to habfan30 that we’ll get used to them is sophistry. Saying that people continue to watch games even with advertising on the boards, helmets, and jerseys is nowhere near the same not having a problem with them.

      • Perhaps I am optimistic, but as I noted earlier, European leagues have little choice but to turn their players into skating billboards because they lack the lucrative revenue streams the NHL enjoys. A tiny patch on the front of an NHL jersey is unobtrusive and hardly warrants complaint. Now, if the jerseys become filled with ad patches to the point where you can’t even make out the team logo or if team logos are shrunk to make more room for ads, yes, I would have a problem with that. However, I also believe the NHL doesn’t need to go to that extreme nor do they want to.

        Otherwise, most fans will get used to one small patch and not be bothered by it. Current rink boards ad and naming arenas after corporate sponsors haven’t stopped fans from ponying up to attend the games, buy the cable packages and the jerseys and memorabilia. It hasn’t adversely affected the league at the gate, which remains the main moneymaker.

      • Lj your money is as good if you have a problem or not.

        NASCAR is huge and lucrative in a large part of us and all it is is advertising.

        Unless the ads weigh the players down somehows it don’t change the product on the ice.

    • The risk of adding corporate brands/logos to the jerseys is that it detracts from or devalues the team’s own brand.
      An NHL team brand/logo is worth a heck of a lot more than that of a Swedish elite team. Not critiquing the Swedish league, but just reality.
      Last I checked NHL teams understand that and understand the risk of devaluing it and employ folks with a lot more experience in branding than I do.
      I would be very surprised if they went full billboard with the jerseys.

      And ya, most fans don’t want a McDonald’s logo on their expensive authentic McDavid jersey, so am curious if it impacts those as well.

      Who gives a crap about ads on the boards? Jersey’s sold to fans? Yep.

    • In reference to helmet logos, it seemed that most were the same sponsor as the one who holds that rinks naming rights. Talk about unobtrusive placement. I do agree with Swamp Dragon, I can see another on the pants soon. I also wondered about low on the back of the jersey above whatever striping might be there. Would sponsors allow the occasional tucked jersey obscuring the ad?

  4. “Fans got used to ads painted on the boards and the ice”

    Got used to or didn’t have a choice? I still don’t like it and when ads went on the helmets many fans said next will be the uniforms.

    the response was nooooo, it’s just the helmets to raise revenue, yet here we are.

    The players will be skating billboards in the near future with the NHL possibly falling to 5th pro sport in North America behind MLS.

    Considering the politicization of everything including business in the USA ads for Home Depot, Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby send a message and ads for Lowes,Starbucks, and Ben & Jerry’s send a different one.

    Just wait for the protest about such and such sponsor for a perceived transgression, or a sponsor threatening to pull out for whatever reason.

    It’s just business not hockey

    • Did those ads stop you from watching the games? From following the NHL? No? Then you couldn’t have had much of a problem with them.

      • Lyle,
        That’s a facetious line of reasoning, I don’t need to go to the extreme of no longer following the NHL to prove how much they bothered me.

        If I extend your reasoning, the NHL will push the boundaries, oblivious to fans thoughts until they just stop caring and following.

        We have a difference of opinion on ads and I’m okay with that.
        We might like different flavours of ice cream 🙂

      • The nhl will push the boundaries until business is affected. That’s business.

        Same as I said to lj above. Your money is as good if you are upset or not

        Another point I’d love to see a poll on…. I’d be willing to wager there is a direct correlation between age and and caring about this. The younger you are the less you care. And the nhl needs to focus on young fans. The old ones are most likely not going anywhere

      • Actually, habfan30, it is not facetious at all. If someone can put an ad somewhere someone is willing to continue looking at regardless, they have achieved their goal.

    • I just hope they don’t eventually allow the sticker on helmets like we see at tournaments.

      In regards to sales to fans you should be able to purchase sweaters with or without adds.

      Every dollar of revenue helps raise the cap. I find it interesting that a couple teams had a payroll higher than the current cap before the cap was instituted. I still think that the NHL should have a soft cap where a team adds a dollar to equalization for every dollar they spend over the cap. Teams from all leagues have proven you can not buy a championship.

  5. I have no issues with the NHL having ads on jerseys. I think it would be silly to have them on jerseys that fans buy. I hope that doesn’t happen. I would hope that the owners’ would be smart enough to keep the ads to one or two at most. Also size matters so it keep the ads small. Anything that generates revenue is good for both owners and players. Let’s just hope it doesn’t end up European.

    • For people that have problems with ads just ask yourself what is the name of the arena that your team plays in. What about the skates or sticks the players use? Who makes the team outfits and jerseys?

      The MLB has ads on their jerseys, isn’t their history just as storied as hockeys?

      And yes I’ll bet those ad patches will be on the ones you buy so if you think no one will buy them if the ads stay on the ones they sell, then buy up a bunch of non ad sweaters to sell when all the people who won’t buy the ad ones can pay for the ones you knew to buy.

      The business of hockey 🏒 is just that.

      is it I don’t know the form or is it the Bell center is it the Garden or is it TD Garden is it Mapleleaf Gardens or is it Scotia bank or what are the Air Canada Center? And how many times do you hear that during the broadcast or in an ad or a news report or when they when you drive-by it’s advertising it works the best kind of Tyson is the most subtle we don’t even have a problem when the manufacture CCM for instance had their logo on the front of the jersey right where the letter would be or other brands with her logo prominently displayed. Having another ad either on the ice on the boards outside on a teams jersey helmet pants pads whatever look at the players do you see black marks or any kind of indistinguishable marks of what equipment they are using now so what are we care as long as the games are good they’re making money they can pay players what they need to get so they increase revenue

  6. I’m thinking there could be some big money if you could replace the Habs logo on the front of the sweater with a corporate logo. The CH could be a 2×2 patch on the arm. It’s just business folks.

    • Raging Romanian, it is all about money which is why I don’t think they will do what you suggest.
      What brand has more value in Quebec/Maritimes than the Habs logo?
      I don’t live there so don’t know, but I would bet a 20 that it is theirs.

      Devaluing that would be a bad long term business decision IMO.

    • RR, that is by far the worst idea I’ve heard on this site. I repeat: the worst idea.

      You misunderstand the aspect of a team’s identity as it pertains to the business aspect if you truly think any team’s logo can be substituted for a corporate logo. The NHL is zealous about protecting its copyrights because they get that the CH, or the Leaf, crest is a direct link to team loyalty, and from loyalty to revenues.

      One small example: several years ago the Montreal Gazette had to switch the name of their sports site from Habs Inside Out to Hockey Inside Out because the Canadiens franchise did not want to lose any cache by the commercial use of a mere nickname. It should not tax the imagination to follow the implications of brand value.

      • Doesn’t the EPL have branding on the entire front of their jerseys? They still seem to have fairly loyal fans in soccer. Mind you I haven’t watched soccer in 20 years so could be wrong.

    • RR,
      It appears that sarcasm needs to come with a disclaimer now.

      point taken 🙂

      • Glad to see someone got it.

  7. I strongly oppose jersey ads. There is no merit to the argument that fans must accept these because they accepted other forms of advertising.

    First, it is based on a false premise. Many fans object to some (or all) of the existing forms of advertising. Some fans may have stopped watching altogether, or decreased their levels of support. While hockey’s overall popularity has increased over the years, it’s entirely possible that it could have increased by a greater amount if advertising efforts were less tasteless.

    Second, it is inconsistent with Lyle’s apparent opposition to (or distaste for) European-style full ad coverage on jerseys. An “existing advertising justifies expanded advertising” argument inevitably leads to the risk of a slippery slope towards even further expanded advertising in future, which Lyle dismisses.

    Third, jersey ads offer fans no upside. We just get to be advertised to. Even if they positively impact league revenue sufficiently for salary caps to go up, it will have a league-wide effect which won’t give any team a long-term advantage over others.

    Overall, and most importantly, there is a wide spectrum of fans with differing tastes, advertising tolerance levels, and levels of engagement with the sport. Some are indifferent to jersey ads and even seem eager to embrace them. But others hate them and will buy fewer jerseys, watch fewer TV games, or attend fewer live games.

    For me, jersey ads are more intrusive and offensive than some of the other forms of advertising. The worst are those that distract from the game: jersey ads, on-ice ads, and the projected glass ads. Other types of advertising I don’t love but find less objectionable (board ads, TV ad segments, building sponsors). Other people have other sets of preferences, but these different types of advertising affect fans’ experiences with the sport differently and cannot all be treated the same.

    Fundamentally when I buy a jersey, I am choosing to advertise a product (the team and its brand, and the NHL and its brand). I rarely buy clothing with brand logos, but hockey jerseys are an exception because I choose to visibly support the team and be a fan (similarly with band/concert shirts). If the jersey includes third-party advertising, it’s a very different proposition. I won’t buy a jersey with a third-party ad. Not interested in using my body to advertise for some random company.

    • This is a sock puppet. Same exact phase used in his arguments defense. Dude nice try. Just say: I cheer for laundry.

  8. You know what would generate millions and millions of dollars? Better hockey, that’s what – and a twenty team league would provide it. Thirty-two teams, eighty two games each, and playoffs that go into the summer. That’s a formula for generating interest and excitement? I don’t think so.
    If the NHL could model itself on the EPL with twenty teams and relegation/promotion, man, I would love to watch it.
    Now it’s just another “meh” pro sport.
    Put logos wherever – they won’t make the game exciting.