Leigh Steinberg slams lockout, NHL’s “disappearing act”


Leigh Steinberg – aka the agent who inspired “Jerry Maguire” – believes that the CBA negotiations should be more about “help me, help you” and less about “show me the money.”

His column for Forbes begins by mocking the league for squandering fantastic momentum from last season.

The National Hockey League and their players have performed a magic trick that would leave David Copperfield speechless. They have taken a profitable and exciting 2011-2012 season that brought them increased attendance, television ratings and exposure, topped by a captivating battle between teams in the nation’s two largest media markets and managed to disappear the following season into thin air. As NFL playoff races heat up, the battle for BCS supremacy and bowl game positioning in college football is at its peak. The NBA season has started to take shape, and we move towards Holiday Season–does anyone really care?

Harsh, but maybe true.

Ultimately, the experienced negotiator believes that the two sides should keep the bigger picture in mind rather than trying to be the victor in a confrontational situation.

… One of the important concepts was not to get so caught in the detail as to forget the ultimate goal of the negotiation—in this case maximizing NHL player and owner economics. What was needed here was a deadline, a willingness to commit to solution before the very length of the discussions led to economic self-destructiveness. PT Barnum’s maxim “The Show Must Go On” is relevant here.

Click here for more from the once-prominent sports agent.

Also, feel free to wedge a few more “Jerry Maguire” references into the comments if you’re bored.

Sharks name Pavelski captain; Thornton, Couture alternates

Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton
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Joe Pavelski is the new captain of the San Jose Sharks. The club made the announcement today via Twitter.

The former captain, Joe Thornton, will be an alternate captain, along with Logan Couture.

Pavelski, 31, was the Sharks’ leading scorer last season, finishing with 37 goals and 33 assists. He’s also signed through 2018-19, so giving him the ‘C’ makes sense from a long-term stability perspective.

Couture, 26, is also signed through 2018-19, while Thornton, 36, only has two years left on his contract.

The Sharks had four alternate captains (Thornton, Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic) in 2014-15, but no captain.

Related: DeBoer says Sharks will have a captain next season

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.