With training camps about two weeks away, Jarome Iginla and Jose
Theodore aren't the only rising NHL stars without a contract.
Simon Gagne, Alex Tanguay, Martin Skoula, Scott Gomez and Brenden
Morrow also have not agreed to terms with their respective clubs and
might hold out of camp if deals can't be reached.
According to the rules spelled out in the collective bargaining
agreement, these players have few options. Because they have less
than five years of NHL experience, they are not entitled to
arbitration. Their teams are only required to offer up to a ten
percent raise, so the players have virtually no option but to accept
the offer of hold out for more.
The Dallas Stars have stepped up negotiations with Morrow in an
effort to get him signed before camp opens.
"We're in talks right now with the goal of having every player signed
and ready," Stars GM Doug Armstrong told the Dallas Morning
News. "That's certainly still a possibility."
Morrow isn't so sure.
"I don't really know why, but (Tuesday) was the first time they've
spoken in a month and a half; I don't think we've really gotten that
far (in negotiations)," Morrow told the Dallas Star-Telegram. "All
that is on the table is a qualifying offer, and that's a pretty big
pay cut. And I don't think that was really acceptable. I know I am
not in the same position as a Bill Guerin or guys like that, and I'm
not trying to take advantage of the team's free spending this summer,
but I do want what we think is fair."
Gomez, who usually shows up early for the New Jersey Devils training
camp, remains at home in Alaska waiting for a new deal. According to
the Bergen Record, the sides are far apart in negotiations.
The Devils are hopeful, but are concentrating on signing veteran
Jamie Langenbrunner instead, making a Gomez hold out a strong
Simon Gagne says his agent, Bob Sauve, and Philadelphia Flyers' GM
Bob Clarke speak frequently but there is still no agreement on a
contract for this season.
"I hope something happens before camp opens," Gagne told the
Philadelphia Inquirer, "but right now, I have no idea what is going
The Colorado Avalanche have a tough assignment. They have two young
stars seeking upgraded deals and could hold out if they don't get
what they want.
"I am optimistic a deal can be done, but there are still some
differences between us," Skoula's agent, Jiri Crha, told the Denver
But Don Meehan, the agent representing Tanguay, has doubts about his
client getting a deal any time soon.
"Everything has mostly been very preliminary and exploratory so far,"
he told the Post.
The lack of progress on that front has trade rumours swirling in
Colorado. The Avalanche are thin on the blue-line after losing Darius
Kasparaitis in free agency, and Tanguay has reportedly been dangled
in trade talks as Colorado looks for a veteran defender.
Meehan has clashed with Avalanche GM Pierre Lacroix before. In 1995,
acrimonious negotiations resulted in Wendel Clark getting traded
instead of getting a new deal. Meehan and Lacroix insist, however,
that the hatchet was buried long ago and won't affect current
Like the players, we'll have to wait and see.