Board Topics: NHL player contracts dont account for irony
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. Detroit Red Wings Pro Shop . - Jason Brown was all revved up, ready to put on a show for his home crowd.It didnt quite work out.Brown fell early in his routine, and Japans Tatsuki Machida dominated in the Skate America mens short program on Friday.On a night when there were plenty of falls, Machida kept his footing and left the ice to loud cheers after wowing the crowd. With 93.39 points, he had a comfortable lead over American Jeremy Abbott (81.82) and Brown (79.75), the Chicago-area product.I couldnt have asked for a better crowd, really, Brown said. The support, the love, it was really just awesome. I could hear everyone that I knew from home, and then I could hear different people in the crowd. I was so excited to be out there and skate at home.But Machida skated away with a commanding lead after Americans Madison Chock and Evan Bates won the ice dance short competition.The mens long program and ice dance free skate are Saturday evening, with the pairs and womens short programs earlier in the day. Gracie Gold, the 2014 Olympian and U.S. champion, leads the womens field along with two-time junior champion Elena Radionova of Russia.Abbott stumbled on a triple axel early in his routine, and Brown went down performing the same move.It was an especially difficult development for Brown, who is from Highland Park and drew attention with a silver medal at the U.S. championships in January. That and his ponytail make him one of the most recognizable skaters.Once I fell, I had that choice: Will I let this affect me or can I make up and try to get every single last point I can out of my program? Brown said. Thats really the way I looked at it. Im going to get up, Im going to finish strong, Im going to hit every note after this and Im going to really focus on every detail so I can make up points along the way. I really feel like I was able to do that, so in that I feel successful.Browns homecoming also was the first time that music backed by vocals was allowed in a major singles or pairs event. Its a shift in a sport where instrumental pieces rule, but a desire to appeal to younger audiences sparked the move.That wall came crashing down when Russias Artur Gachinski performed to Michael Bubles rendition of Cry Me A River.When you skate you can bring about the song, you can feel what the song has inside, he said. I think its a good idea.Even so, switching to music with lyrics was not an easy decision. He said its easier to get distracted.You start dancing like youre in the club, Gachinski said.In the ice dance, Chock and Bates scored 68.96 points, outclassing the field in a competition that featured the Flamenco and Paso Doble.The brother-sister combo of Americans Maia and Alex Shibutani (64.14) were second, with Russians Alexandra Stepanova and Ivan Bukin (56.37) in third.North Americans have dominated ice dance in recent years, but reigning Olympic gold medallists Meryl Davis and Charlie White and 2010 champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are not competing this season.That leaves Chock and Bates to carry on the winning tradition, along with the Shibutanis, and the teams are holding the top two spots heading into Saturdays free skate.I think obviously the long goal is the 2018 Olympics, but this year is really important for us, said Bates, who placed eighth with Chock at the Sochi Games. I think what we saw and really learned from Meryl and Charlie was we got a first-hand experience of what it is like to be the elite team in the world. We had the opportunity to train alongside them but also compete alongside them. I think our experience with them in Sochi was more than anything inspiring. Detroit Red Wings Gear . - Maynor Figueroa headed in a late goal to give Honduras a 1-1 draw with the United States in an international friendly Tuesday. Wholesale Red Wings Jerseys . PETERSBURG, Fla.We are hearing the possibility that Martin St. Louis and Ryan Kesler have demanded to be traded. In the case of St. Louis, not much of an effort has been made to deny reports of a trade request. Now both players have no-trade clauses in their contracts - and the wisdom of granting a player a no-trade has long been debated. Ultimately, its a very risky move since the only certainty with athletes is uncertainty. They can go down at any time, see a significant drop in their production or relationships can sour. As well, player production aside, a team may see an opportunity to improve its team by way of trade, but cant close on the deal because a player has a no-trade. Some players, however, insist on the provision being included in their contracts on the basis that they dont want to leave. The player and his family are committed to the team and the city. In certain circumstances, teams will agree to it. With a no-trade clause, the team bears the risk. Its one-sided and may potentially cause long-term damage to a team. This is particularly the case in a salary cap world, where return on investment is critical and a failure to achieve may be fatal to a teams likelihood of success. The risk is amplified when a player with a no-trade demands a trade. As a result of having a no-trade, the player decides where he goes. Since his contract provides he cant be traded (despite ironically demanding a trade), the player is in complete control. As a result, the team foorfeits significant leverage in seeking a fair return on the player. Detroit Red Wings Shirts. By way of example, if its known that St. Louis will only go to the Rangers, then there is no good reason for the Rangers to offer up an equal return. General managers rely on multiple teams bidding on a player to drive up the return. However, if a player says that of the four teams interested, he wont go to three, the teams hands are tied and its potential return is instantly undermined. Can that risk be mitigated? Yes. Give the player the no-trade clause he so deeply desires. However, include a trigger in the contract that provides that in the event the player demands a trade, he agrees to be traded to any team on a previously negotiated list of teams. That could, for example, be a list of 10 teams. That list was negotiated while the deal was being worked out - and is part of the contract. Lets be clear: the no-trade wouldnt be null and void. Rather, the no-trade would now qualified by the mutually-accepted list of teams. The sides negotiated the deal and the terms of the contract govern the relationship. If a provision is no longer convenient for either side, thats life. NHL player contracts dont account for irony. By structuring the contract this way, the player gets the assurance he wont be moved, while the team is able to better manage its risk. Otherwise absolute no-trade clauses tie the hands of teams and make it a real challenge to get a proper return on a player. ' ' '