It's official: adidas has signed a seven-year deal with the NHL to supply on-ice uniforms and licensed apparel, effective beginning with the 2017-18 season. The company will take over for Reebok, a brand owned by the adidas Group.
Chris Peters of CBS Sports has singled out three things to know about the new deal – one of which is that Gary Bettman says it's "absolutely not true" that this means there will "inevitably" be ads on jerseys.
By contrast, there have been "some discussions" about putting ads on jerseys during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey:
With respect to the World Cup, Commissioner Bettman said there have been some discussions about advertising on jerseys, but nothing is imminent. NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr said if it happens it would be for experimentation purposes.
"It goes to the respect we have for the history and tradition of our game, the reverence that fans have for our sweaters and our game," Commissioner Bettman said. "Our sweaters, I think among all the sports, are iconic, which is why previously I've been quoted as saying we certainly won't be the first [to put advertising on jerseys], you'd probably have to drag me kicking and screaming, which would take a lot, a lot, a lot of money, and it's something we're not considering now. Whether or not we choose to, as Don said, experiment with the World Cup may be something else, but the view I just articulated is consistent overwhelmingly with how most owners feel."
But is the NHL commissioner blowing smoke? Ken Campbell of The Hockey News doesn't sound that worried about it:
Bettman could not have been more forceful, more unequivocal in his disdain for sullying NHL sweaters with advertising. All signs are pointing toward some form of advertising for the World Cup, which confirms the status of the tournament as nothing more than a cash grab for the players and league, one which will have no enduring effect on the world of international hockey and will serve as an entertainment spectacle for North American fans.
So advertising in that tournament will mean nothing. But in the NHL, for the time being at least, it will not happen on Bettman's watch.
We all have at least one opinion. What's yours?
While we're on the subject of things that are apparently not "inevitable" no matter how much money is on the table, what would an NHL expansion draft look like if it were held today? Joshua Kloke singles out a few Stars past and present for particular peril. [Sports Illustrated]
If you need any more reasons to leg it down to Austin to catch the Texas Stars this season, consider this: Back to the Future Night. Also: Star Wars Night. You're welcome. [Texas Stars]
And the Stars make it into SportsDayDFW's list of 10 reasons why Dallas is better than Houston. (No shooting the messenger, please and thank you.)
NHL.com has posted its preseason rankings of the 100 top fantasy forwards, and there are plenty of Stars to spot, including Tyler Seguin at No. 4. [NHL]
Meanwhile, John Klingberg has cracked the top 15 in the site's preseason rankings for the top 60 defensemen, but the real story may be who came in ahead of Alex Goligoski (the Rodney Dangerfield of blueliners). [NHL]
In other Klingberg news, Joseph Aleong picks him to snap up one of the last spaces on Sweden's crowded potential 2016 World Cup blueline. [The Hockey Writers]
Okay, Dangle fans, your moment has come.
The deals Anze Kopitar and Steven Stamkos end up making with the Kings and the Lightning are going to affect the value of extensions for top-level UFAs for years to come, says Lyle Richardson. [The Hockey News]
Meanwhile, Sean McIndoe ponders NHL training camp, from who gets to be captain to how all those PTO contracts will work out. [Grantland]
Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner has a new mask, and it's bruuuuuuuuuuutal.
Drew Doughty has a lot of Toronto Blue Jays hats. A lot of them. [SportsNet]
And Atlanta has a professional hockey franchise again, as the ECHL's Gwinnett Gladiators make an official name change. [Puck Daddy]
Share a get-well wish with Dean Brown, the Ottawa Senators' play-by-play commentator, who had surgery for a ruptured appendix yesterday and was astonishingly chipper about it.
Woke up this morning and thought it might be a good day to rupture the old appendix. They are heating up the spoons. pic.twitter.com/3lBTHnNvzr— Dean Brown (@PxPOttawa) September 15, 2015
On a (somewhat) related note, the University at Buffalo is about to name its medical school after Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, and now you know why every penny matters when it comes to team meals. [ESPN]
This item isn't hockey-related – that we know of – but it's worth contemplating. Former pro baller Chris Kluwe writes for Sports Illustrated about how NFL teams save money at the expense of injured players. [SI]
In EA Rankings 2: The Pros Strike Back, it's the elite NHL players' turns to guess their ratings. Watch Tyler Seguin, John Tavares, Erik Karlsson and many other Big Hockey Deals lowball their own skills, except for Vladimir Tarasenko, who has Tweeter.
Will the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens play an outdoor game in the shade of Parliament Hill? The mayor of Ottawa thinks they can make it happen.
You have to really, really want to be a Boston Bruin. Which leaves out you, Dougie Hamilton. You too, Reilly Smith and Carl Soderberg. [CSNNE]
What can a hockey team learn about passing from the Red Army, who were famously brilliant at it? Ryan Stimson of the Passing Project uses animations to break it down for you. You should look. [Hockey-Graphs.com]
What are the odds Dallas will win the Central this season? These, according to Yahoo Sports:
Odds to win #NHL Central Div. Chi 11/5 StL 3/1 Min 4/1 Nsh 9/2 Dal 9/1 Wpg 19/2 Col 14/1— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) September 15, 2015
Meanwhile, the boys in Victory Green are goin' to the final this year, according to NHL 16. [The Hockey News]
You may be the biggest Stars fan on Twitter...but can you prove it? There's a gift card in it for you. Think about it.
Finally: You will never be as awesome as Matt Day. Never.