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Notable Holdouts

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Old
07-02-2009, 05:05 PM
  #1
Spezza
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Notable Holdouts

One thing we've not really seen under this CBA is holdouts. Since Bob MacKenzie mentioned the holdout word when discussing Heatley last night on tsn, I thought it'd be interesting to find out about notable holdouts from the past. In particular, players who missed a long chunk of time and returned either as ghosts of their former selves or propelled themselves or their team to further success. Conventional wisdom says that holdouts ended badly. Has a holdout situation ever ended well?

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Old
07-02-2009, 05:38 PM
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Hockey Outsider
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Mike Peca (Buffalo) sat out the entire 2000-01 season as a restricted free agent. He asked to be traded early in the season, but wasn't moved until the offseason (to the Islanders, for Tim Connolly and I think two more players). He looked great in 2002, winning the Selke trophy, scoring a career-high 60 points, and helping the Islanders earn their first playoff spot since 1994. He's been decent (though obviously declining) since then.

Still, you'd have to think that the Sabres would have at least made it to the conference finals in 2001 with Peca in the line-up. (It depends on whether you mean good for the player, or good for the team).

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07-02-2009, 06:20 PM
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Spezza
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I was thinking either good for the player or the team.

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Old
07-02-2009, 06:20 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Ken Dryden

Ken Dryden sat out the 1973-74 season in a contract dispute with Sam Pollock and the Montreal Canadiens.

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Old
07-02-2009, 06:36 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Scott Niedermayer held out for a good portion of the season following NJ's 2000 Cup win (so did Jason Arnott). He went on to be incredibly important in the 2003 Cup run.

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Old
07-02-2009, 06:40 PM
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ForsbergForever
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Keith Primeau held out from Carolina for the first half of the 1999-00 season until he was traded to the Flyers.

Then of course there's Alexei Yashin who held out all of the same season as Primeau only to be contractually forced to play for Ottawa the next season.

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07-02-2009, 07:01 PM
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sunb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forsberg4ever View Post
Keith Primeau held out from Carolina for the first half of the 1999-00 season until he was traded to the Flyers.

Then of course there's Alexei Yashin who held out all of the same season as Primeau only to be contractually forced to play for Ottawa the next season.
Perhaps the most famous is Eric Lindros, who held out two times.

Nikolai Khabibulin was another instance though he did it prior to him being a marquee player.

Peter Schaefer held out with Vancouver for awhile. Speaking of Vancouver, Pavel Bure also held out.

If we're not strictly focusing on holdouts, it was also a mess when players like RJ Umberger, Matt Van Ryn, and Blake Wheeler refused to sign with their respective teams.

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Old
07-02-2009, 07:09 PM
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reckoning
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There's three distinct situations that all seem to be often called "holdouts":

a) players in the middle of a valid contract who refuse to play unless it's renegotiated (Yashin).

b) free agents who haven't been able to come to terms with their team on a new contract (I believe this was what happened with Niedermayer and Arnott).

c) players in the middle of a valid contract who ask to be traded.

Personally I think only the first one should be considered a "holdout".

The second category of players doing nothing wrong; they have as much right as anybody else in the world to earn as much money as they feel they're worth. If they've fulfilled their previous contract, then it's their right to do so.

The third category are just asking for a trade. That's it. I'm no fan of Heatley, but the bashing he's getting on the main board here is ridiculous. This has happened dozens of times before. Dale Hawerchuk asked to be traded from Winnipeg because he didn't get along with Mike Smith. Gretzky asked to be traded from L.A. because the team was going nowhere.

Now on the other hand, if Heatley doesn't get traded then refuses to play for Ottawa next year then he'll be in the first category and I won't be able to defend him.


The biggest name I can ever recall holding out in the middle of a contract was Guy Lafleur in 1978. I believe he missed one or two games before Grundman gave him what he wanted. I remember my uncle telling me that "he wouldn't be trying this if Pollock was still the GM".

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Old
07-02-2009, 09:41 PM
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Brendan Witt considered himself too good for junior hockey in 1994-95, so he didn't play a single game of hockey.

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Old
07-02-2009, 10:01 PM
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Canadiens1958
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Carl Brewer / Maple Leafs

Carl Brewer missed a few seasons in a dispute with the Punch Imlach and the Leafs in the mid 1960's

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07-02-2009, 10:16 PM
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Athtar
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What about Niedermayer during the 07-08 season?

I believe he was under contract but he "retired" only to come back half way through the season.

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Old
07-02-2009, 11:07 PM
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mouser
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What about Niedermayer during the 07-08 season?

I believe he was under contract but he "retired" only to come back half way through the season.
Also one of those weird CBA salary cap situations I've yet to see satisfactorially explained.

Anaheim suspended Neids for not reporting, but later said he was awol with permission and therefore shouldn't be fined as CBA rules required, the league office agreed no fines. If he was absent with permission from Anaheim then the team had no grounds to suspend him. Without the suspension Anaheim would have been in salary cap hell and well over the upper limit.

I can understand Neids may have genuinely been thinking retirement, but the rules of the CBA seem to have been ignored. Would not want to see something similiar happen to other cap-strapped teams where a veteran sits while "contemplating retirement".

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Old
07-02-2009, 11:12 PM
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MiamiScreamingEagles
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In 1976, Wayne Stephenson was a hold out following the first year of a signed three-year contract. He was the main goalie, in Bernie Parent's absence, for the 1975-76 season.

Stephenson claimed a renegotiated contract was promised; the Flyers maintained that told him they would look only into bonus clauses of the contract.

Unhappy, Stephenson held out in the 1976 preseason and relocated to Florida. He was fined a daily penalty and suspended. Stephenson eventually requested a meeting with Flyers' GM Keith Allen and the two set up a date with the provision that Stephenson rejoin the team, which he did (basically, he missed all but a couple of practices in the '76 camp).

As this was happening, in the last week of the preseason, Parent went down in an exhibition game with a broken toe that was initially thought to sideline him 4-6 weeks. But in the following couple of days, a specially constructed device helped Parent play with the injury. In the interim, Stephenson then met with Allen and demanded a new contract but eventually was suspended again after he was told the contract wouldn't be renegotiated but clauses would be discussed.

In mid-November, still a holdout, Stephenson claimed he "retired" from the NHL. The agent to Stephenson maintained that his client was now a free agent and not beholden to any one team because the Flyers refused to trade his client or renegotiate the contract.

Stephenson sat out until rejoining the team in early December. He said he "retired" because he didn't want to wait until he was 55 years old to do things with his family. He first played in mid-to-late December.

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Old
07-02-2009, 11:29 PM
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Yeah Eric Lindros made the worst decision of his career by holding out for a whole season. When he came back in 2001-02 he was a far cry from his old self - even at 28. Sad really, but it was his own fault.

Sergei Fedorov held out most of 97-'98. In fact Detroit didn't panick to sign him until Carolina threw that offer sheet at him. He of course signed with Detroit in March and was vital in their Cup win again, probably the 2nd most important Red Wing that playoff behind Yzerman

Jason Allison was never the same after holding out in Boston for 2001-02 early on. He then went to LA. But to tell you the truth, despite his skating problems, had he played in the 2001 Worlds and had a hot start to the '01-02 season he probably would have been on the Olympic team. He was stellar in '00-01, but like Lindros, it was his own fault. It's pretty bad when even John Ferguson Jr. lets you go on the Leafs and this is a guy that gave Pavel Kubina and Darcy Tucker a no trade clause.

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07-03-2009, 12:19 AM
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red devil
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Steve Larmer was a holdout in the 1993-1994 season which ended is iron man streak. At the time he was at 884 consecutive games played, while the record holder Doug Jarvis finished at 964.

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Old
07-03-2009, 05:44 AM
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Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr and Andy Moog in Edmonton

Coffey ended up getting traded to the pens, Moog to Boston and Fuhr came back after a few games(for those who forget--fuhr announced at one point in time he would rather retire then player for trhe oilers--Rich Winter was his agent)

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07-03-2009, 07:12 AM
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Paul Kariya held out for a few games in 1997-1998 I believe.

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Old
07-03-2009, 10:39 AM
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Keith Tkachuk held out a couple of times. I think once was when he already signed a contract. He was my favorite player for a few years after he broke into the league and I remember defending him for his first hold out saying he deserved what he was asking for. When he held out a second time, despite having two years left on his contract I gave up on being his fan. I still have a tonne of his hockey cards from that time.

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07-03-2009, 11:00 AM
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Does the Pavel Bure scenario count? He refused to play for the Canucks but still had a year left on his contract. Eventually his holdout got him traded to Florida in a deal centered around Ed Jovanovski.

Tim Horton was notorious for holding out every season until the end of training camp. He told Imlach that he was thinking of retiring to focus on his donut franchise, but most people believed he either just hated training camp or was using it as a negotiating ploy to get more money.

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Old
07-04-2009, 04:00 AM
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I believe Datsyuk was threatening to hold out before he negotiated his current contract. I think that was during the lockout.

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Old
07-04-2009, 11:31 AM
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Athtar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalMilitia View Post
I believe Datsyuk was threatening to hold out before he negotiated his current contract. I think that was during the lockout.
I don't believe that is true. If I remember correctly, he was using the threat of playing in the RSL as leverage to get a better deal. Not sure that qualifies to be in this thread.

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Old
07-04-2009, 12:18 PM
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Ball1374
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockey Outsider View Post
Mike Peca (Buffalo) sat out the entire 2000-01 season as a restricted free agent. He asked to be traded early in the season, but wasn't moved until the offseason (to the Islanders, for Tim Connolly and I think two more players). He looked great in 2002, winning the Selke trophy, scoring a career-high 60 points, and helping the Islanders earn their first playoff spot since 1994. He's been decent (though obviously declining) since then.

Still, you'd have to think that the Sabres would have at least made it to the conference finals in 2001 with Peca in the line-up. (It depends on whether you mean good for the player, or good for the team).
Even though this is a homer post, if the Sabres would've had Peca in the '01 playoffs, we would've made it to the SCF and had a good chance of beating Colorado. We wouldn't have blown two late leads to Pittsburgh with his defense and we had NJ's number the entire year (swept the season series IIRC). With Hasek at the top of his game along with the depth we had, it would've been a great final had we made it that far. Peca also set the tone for the Sabres rebuilding for the next 4 years, all because he wouldn't accept a $2 million contract compared to Jere Lethinen's $2.7 million contract (I think the numbers are right). Gotta love contract disputes and holdouts

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Old
07-04-2009, 03:40 PM
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Big Phil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeb View Post

Tim Horton was notorious for holding out every season until the end of training camp. He told Imlach that he was thinking of retiring to focus on his donut franchise, but most people believed he either just hated training camp or was using it as a negotiating ploy to get more money.
The difference is, back then, Horton and other players were paid scraps compared to today. When you see a guy like Cryin' Ryan Smyth balling because he has to leave Edmonton over $100,000 difference in a $5mill contract it's laughable. Back in the O6 days they were actually in the right to hold out and ask for more money. Glenn Hall used to do the same thing

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Old
07-04-2009, 03:43 PM
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Big Phil
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Steve Larmer was a holdout in the 1993-1994 season which ended is iron man streak. At the time he was at 884 consecutive games played, while the record holder Doug Jarvis finished at 964.
I often wonder what Larmer's answer would be had we strapped him to a polygraph. He left Chicago, but was traded in November to NYR who won a Cup that spring. Now Larmer was a big part of that Cup win (his first) but he lost out on his ironman streak and what would have been the all-time record had he played a full season. I'm guessing he still would have taken the Cup, but to be honest why didn't Larmer just ask for a trade or sign with NYR or someone in the off season? That way he keeps his streak going, and still maybe wins a Cup. I can't remember why that didnt happen

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Old
07-04-2009, 06:18 PM
  #25
vadim sharifijanov
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Keith Tkachuk held out a couple of times. I think once was when he already signed a contract. He was my favorite player for a few years after he broke into the league and I remember defending him for his first hold out saying he deserved what he was asking for. When he held out a second time, despite having two years left on his contract I gave up on being his fan. I still have a tonne of his hockey cards from that time.
as i recall, there was a pretty mercenary culture in phoenix in the mid-to-late 90s. tkachuk, who was the team's captain, publicly supported tverdovsky's holdout.

http://web.archive.org/web/199902092.../hfb3how1.html

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