Predators Report: The Two-Way Contract Dilemma

By Brian Roe

Blake Sloan is a winger for the Calgary Flames. He was traded earlier this season from the Columbus Blue Jackets, mostly because of his contract status.

Sloan started his career as a member of the Dallas Stars. When the Stars originally signed Sloan to a contract, they signed him to what is called a two-way contract. A two-way contract gives the pro club, in this case the Dallas Stars, the option of freely moving the player back and forth between the pro and minor league levels. The main clause in the contract is that the player’s salary changes to a lower wage if he is returned to the minor league affiliate.

Players like Blake Sloan are not fond of signing these types of two-way contracts. Most players want to sign a one-way contract, meaning that if the player is sent down to the minor league affiliate, the numbers on their contract will not change.

Sloan signed with the Blue Jackets as a free agent last summer because the Dallas Stars were not willing to offer him a one-way contract. Pro clubs often times try to get “bubble” players like Blake Sloan to sign a two-way deal in order to reduce their overall salary structure.

This is the case with Nashville prospect Petr Sykora. Sykora is currently a member of the Pardubice team in the Czech Republic. Petr had an injury-filled season this year, but is still noted as one of the top players in the Czech Republic. Sykora is not on the Nashville or Milwaukee roster because of the two-way contract dilemma outlined above; Sykora wanted to sign a one-way contract, which basically guarantees a roster spot, but the Preds offered a two-way deal.

Petr Sykora and the Predators will be able to resume contract negotiations next summer when his contract with Pardubice is up. Sykora is known for his lightning speed and creativity with the puck, skills that are not in abundance on Nashville’s prospect list. The Preds would be wise in signing this prospect next summer.


Milwaukee Hires Coach

Nashville’s top affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, announced earlier this week that the club had hired Peter Horachek as the new coach of the Admirals. Horachek directed the Trenton Titans of the ECHL this season, and coached the Orlando Solar Bears to the IHL Championship in 2000-2001. Horachek, 42, began coaching in 1987.

Tenkrat, Cisar, Skrebek To Play Overseas

Petr Tenkrat, Marian Cisar, and Pavel Skrebek will not be in a Nashville uniform next season. All three will be playing overseas in the 2002-03 season, although Nashville still owns rights to the three players. The Preds could renegotiate their contracts next summer, but the fact that the team didn’t make an effort to keep them here for this season would indicate that they have other things in mind for the slots that have opened up as a result of the trio’s departure.

Nashville Taking Notes

The Predator organization will be keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings at the 2002 Entry Draft, which will take place in Toronto on June 22nd & 23rd. Nashville will host the 2003 NHL Draft, which will be an opportunity to showcase both the team and the city.