New Hockey Player to Watch

Andong Song’s story has the making of a Hollywood movie. It all started at age six at a Bejing shopping mall. Misha, as his friends call him went along with his friends one day to skate at the mall. And that’s all it took! He was taken with skating AND hockey! Soon Misha’s father, Yu Song, a real-estate executive, was coming home with hockey skates from a business trip to Russia. Friends from the U.S. were sending over sticks, helmets and other pieces of equipment. Misha started taking private skating lessons, then joined his friend’s team.

Now at age 18, Andong is a postgraduate student at Phillips Academy. He is only 6 ft tall and weighing 168 pounds. Not the size of a future NHL player. But, fast forward today and he is the first Chinese born player to be selected in the NHL draft. The New York Islanders picked him up in the sixth round of the draft. Charles Wang, the Islanders’ Shanghai-born owner, says the decision was strictly the call of his director of player development, Eric Cairns and the organizational scouting staff, not his birthplace.Andong had never heard of hockey but thought the Zamboni and equipment were cool. Strange that that is all it took to get him interested in the sport.

10 NHL Players to Watch as 2015-16 Contract Negotiations Begin

Several NHL players will be available at the end of the 2015-16 season. Superstars like Steven Stamkos and Anze Kopitar are being closely watched.  However, there are many other worthy hockey stars facing challenges in their upcoming contract years.

For instance, Eric Staal must decide if he’ll take less to remain with his current team.  And, he is not the only one in this situation.  Arizona Coyotes winger Mikkel Boedker is strongly considering joining a successful team.

Here are 10 NHL players that we are watching to see how their contract negotiations unfold:

David Backes
Milan Lucic
Tomas Plekanec
Alex Tanguay
Mikkel Boedker
Eric Staal
Loui Eriksson
Kyle Okposo
Keith Yandle
Ryan O’Reilly

Hockey Contracts… What Were They Thinking?

In the world of hockey.. or any other professional sport, contracts signed or not signed, start many conversations with sports enthusiasts.  In this post, we are going to highlight three of the worst contracts signed by hockey players.  Why doesn’t anyone of them ever consult a real attorney?  As one Houston contract law attorney put it, “Never ever sign a contract without having an attorney look at it”.  Well said!

Hockey contract #1: Nathan Horton, Columbus Blue Jackets: $5.3 million  (7 years)  He’s a forward with a Cup ring.  Well done!  However, he missed nearly half of 2011-2012 with a head injury and spent the first 40 games healing from an injury to his shoulder.  Is this guy REALLY worth the money?  Only time will tell… but fans do love him!

Hockey contract #2:  Ryane Clowe, New Jersey Devils: $4.85 million ( 5 years)  This guy’s large body is excellent at crashing and smashing his opponents with an occasional score. The Blue Devils loved that about him hence the nearly $25 million they gave him.  However, fans didn’t really care for this arrangement at the time since his health was an issue.  Fans were right since when he returned after injuries he didn’t do much for the team.

Hockey contract #3:  David Clarkson, Toronto Maple Leafs: $5.25 million (7 years)  Sometimes a contract seems good at the time, only later to be realized (insert hand slapping forehead) later it was a bad decision.  As Sports Illustrated put it “the money is unnerving, but the term is absolutely frightening.”

These are just a few of the many bad and insane contracts signed recently.  Fans are known for saying “What were they thinking!!!???”  What hockey players and GMs need to do is rethink the whole process and decision making that goes into hiring a professional hockey player. Duh?