Some holdups with holdouts
When NHL training camps begin this week, some rising stars will be absent because of continuing contract disputes.
Updated: September 8, 2003, 11:44 AM ETBy By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
When NHL training camps begin throughout this week, some rising stars will be absent because of continuing contract disputes. And while players, coaches and general managers will try to brush off any absences by saying one player doesn't make a difference, playoff spots or a better spot in the standings might be at stake if the contract impasses last into the start of the season. San Jose was a prime example last year. Before the season started, the Sharks were a sexy pick to win or reach the Stanley Cup Finals after improving in six consecutive seasons. But holdouts by goalie Evgeni Nabokov and defenseman Brad Stuart contributed to a poor start, neither player ever got untracked and San Jose finished with the second-worst record in the Western Conference.