“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

August 19, 2007

Players Diss NHL, Head For Europe

What's the hottest trend among some NHL players right now? Not playing in the NHL.

This offseason, several players of varying name recognition have decided to take their show on the road---the long road across the Atlantic to Europe, that is.

For the most part it's been players nobody seems to want, like Alexei Yashin and Ed Belfour, guys with no takers during the free agent signing period.

But also on the list of defectors is Alexander Svitov, the young Russian center who recently signed a new two-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Apparently the word "contract" has a slightly different meaning in his language, because Svitov has also just signed on to play for his hometown Russian Super League team Avangard Omsk. Either he's going to have the most intense travel itinerary known to man or the Blue Jackets are going to have to find themselves a new center.

New Jackets GM Scott Howson reacted by saying:

"While this news comes as a disappointment, it creates an opportunity for other players when we open training camp next month."

Yeah, the opportunity to play on a lousy team with no hope of making the playoffs EVER. Thanks, Alex!

Ballhype: hype it up!Digg!



1) The lack of a transfer agreement with Russia works both ways. Players under contract in Russia and those under contract here can forgo those deals and play in the others purview without repercussions
2) Also, the salary cap has reduced the salaries for the marginal/4th line players, so those Euros would naturally prefer to stay closer to home than possibly ride the pine, or worse yet, a bus all season

Dear Lord Stanley said...

Yeah, I can't say I blame them. Go where the money and the playing time are the most.

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