It isn't an offseason without some team, somewhere announcing a large sponsorship deal with a new company. On Monday, the Dallas Stars took their turn on that roulette wheel, announcing they had signed a deal with UT Southwestern Medical Center to provide all the player's hockey-related health care as the team's new official medical care provider.
Normally the greater hockey world would take a look at that, give a big yawn and move on. But Justin Bourne over at Backhand Shelf has some concerns about this type of deal from a player's perspective.
As a player, I couldn’t care less about the business-side of the team I play for as long as my paycheck keeps coming and there aren’t any other major needs. What I would care about, is getting the best available care, given that my entire livelihood depends on my physical health.
It’s not the most evil, gasp-inducing concept in the world, but looking at it from a player’s view, I can’t help but feel like deals like this are a little shady.
Now to be clear, Bourne isn't condemning this deal or the Stars in particular, merely talking about his reservations with sponsored medical care as a whole. This is not a phenomenon that is limited to the Stars - nearly all professional sports teams have official sports medicine providers. And UT-Southwestern is a ridiculously good medical institution, one of several in the Dallas area, one that will give outstanding medical care.
But is it always the best available care? I'm sure UT-Southwestern would argue it was, but perhaps Baylor (or Parkland) has a slightly "post-check emergency spleen removal" surgeon. That's where I side with Bourne that exclusive medical care provider deals, whether it's from the Stars, the Texas Rangers, the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Los Angeles Lakers, make me a little antsy.
After the jump, can we please get past the fact that the Stars aren't moving, Richard Bachman's awesome new mask and memories of lockouts past.
- For the 967th time (and yes, I've counted), the Stars are not going to be moved or contracted. [DallasNews.com]
- Richard Bachman's new mask is both awesome and receiving a fair amount of attention from the greater hockey media. Also, notice the second comment on the InGoal story. And this was before we brought up the issue on Monday morning. [Puck Daddy/InGoal Magazine]
- We've touched on this just briefly, but it is fair to ask that if the season is (gulp) cancelled because of a lockout, would Jaromir Jagr just flat out retire? [SB Nation Dallas]
- One of the casualties of the impending lockout that doesn't get a lot of attention is the prospects who have lost a chance at playing in an NHL camp or prospect tournament. This is a pretty good piece on one of those players, Brock Montgomery, a right wing from the Kootenay Ice in the WHL. [Times Herald]
- Oh look, the Brenden Morrow rumors again. This particular group starts about halfway down the article, but I like it more than most because a.) it respects the reporting already done on the rumor and b.) it explains why the author feels teams would want him despite his struggles last season. [HockeyBuzz.com]
- Bill Gallacher didn't end up purchasing the Stars, but he might be next in line to own the New Jersey Devils. [The Fourth Period]
- The Philadelphia Flyers have developed an interesting habit of handing out six year deals with the NHL is asking for a five year cap on contracts. This time around, it was Scott Hartnell of #HartnellDown fame getting a six-year, $28.5 million extension. [CSNPhilly.com]
- There was an interesting case involving Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray and an incident with a chair in the press box that was finally resolved on Monday. Murray was found not guilty of assault in the case. [Detroit Free Press]
- Oh lockout history. Remember how you were supposed to bring us lower ticket prices? That might have happened in Dallas, which had everything to do with the Tom Hicks implosion and nothing to do with the CBA, but it certainly didn't happen everywhere. [Puck Daddy]
- For not having spoken English until he was 16, Alex Chiasson is wonderfully fluent now. And even without many on-ice highlights, you can tell he's a little more grown into himself than some of the younger prospects.