NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 18, 2021
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.
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.