“Bettman has only a marginal interest in the weaker teams. He only wants the NHL to make a bigger profit as a whole.” -- Dominik Hasek

June 1, 2007

Trade Bait Or Future Star?

The Avalanche today announced the signing of Czech league superstar Jaroslav Hlinka. Despite being 30, Hlinka is super-fast and super-strong on the puck, and is a prolific scorer. The only problem: the Avalanche club has about as many forwards as it can handle.

The only possible explanations for the signing are: 1) Hlinka, being older, would immediately fill an opening in the top two lines along with Paul Stastny or Joe Sakic, easing the pressure on young winger Wojtek Wolski; 2) Hlinka, being older, would be a great bargaining chip in a trade for a big-name defenseman and prevent the Avs from trading away a young player still in development in the team's system; 3) The Avs just figure you can never have too many scoring forwards---a la 2003-04 (even though that didn't work out too well).

At any rate, the addition of Hlinka can't be a bad thing for the Avalanche. Unless of course they're paying him $6 million to sit on the bench...

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