We are now in the close season for the NHL but like the NFL it can be in some cases even more interesting than the season itself, with that thought in mind we thought we would take a quick look at some of the storylines that are set to develop over the summer and maybe even offer some NHL betting tips for the punters .
It looks as though the face of the Nashville Predators – Shea Weber – has played his last game for them. The Predators have seven days to decide if they are to match the 14-year, $110 million offer that the Philadelphia Flyers have made for their captain, one of their more expensive NHL picks this close season. Aside from the financial situation it may well be that Weber doesn’t want to play for the Predators again and that makes up the minds of the Nashville hierarchy – it’s never a good situation when one of the best players on any team doesn’t want to be there, he becomes less popular with the fans and locker room morale can also be affected.
Alexander Semin is still without a contract for the 2012-13 NHL season, and teams would be foolish to give him a multi-year deal at over $5 million per season. But that factor won’t stop or mean that teams won’t be interested in signing him on a one year deal and it could be that the Carolina Hurricanes are one team willing to give him a shot. It would be a solid decision all-round if Semin did sign in Carolina as he would get to play alongside elite centers Eric and Jordan Staal.
A new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has yet to be agreed between the NHL and NHLPA, and that is probably the most important factor over the summer months and they could be unsettled summer months. The players should be wise to remember many of the current owners are the same ones who were willing to lose a full season in 2004-05, the last time a new CBA had to be made. The CBA negotiations will no doubt be the most important unsettled story in the NHL for the rest of the summer, and for fans, hopefully it doesn’t become the story of the fall and winter, too.
And finally, unsettled probably sums up the Coyotes Future in Phoenix, although relocation should not be seen as the only option for the team. If the league can find a good owner who is capable and willing to spend money to help the franchise grow, then staying in Arizona could be a good option for the Coyotes. It’s hard to imagine the team’s future being decided before the end of the summer, but it’s still an interesting one to keep an eye on amongst the narrative of the NHL over the close-season.