Entering Day 2 of the NHL lockout, here’s a look at the latest NHL headlines, including players heading overseas to play.
SPORTINGNEWS: Sean Gentille reports the NHL and NHLPA engaged in PR tactics yesterday to explain their respective rationales behind the lockout. The league and its 30 teams released messages to their fans, while the PA cut a video involving several notable NHL stars (including Sidney Crosby and Jonathan Toews) describing their passion for the game and desire for a fair deal with the lea.
A number of players,meanwhile, are headed overseas. Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Sergei Gonchar, and Alexi Ponikorovsky are among those headed to the KHL. Gentille also offers up a list of several AHL teams which have added players from their NHL parent clubs.
PUCK DADDY: Dmitry Chesnokov reports Sidney Crosby’s reps have contacted Metallurg Magnitogorsk, whose roster includes Crosby’s Penguins teammate Malkin. Toronto’s Nikolai Kulemin is also reportedly close to joining Metallurg.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Joe Yerdon cites reports claiming Dallas Stars forward Jaromir Jagr will play for Kladno in the Czech Republic, a club which he is part-owner. Joining him will be countryman and Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec. James O’Brien cites a report claiming Calgary Flames winger Jiri Hudler will join the Czech-based KHL team Lev Praha, while Swedish team Mora IK is courting LA Kings star Anze Kopitar, whose brother plays for that club.
VANCOUVER SUN: KHL VP Ilya Kochevrin considers the league in position to capitalize on the NHL lockout by adding players to its rosters it would normally not have access to, suggesting “as a marketing tool it’s a great opportunity”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like a number of NHL players aren’t wasting any time finding other leagues to play in. Yes, they’re taking away jobs from lesser players in those European leagues, and I truly sympathize with those players who’ll lose their jobs as a result. On the other hand, this is in the true spirit of free enterprise, as those leagues seek to profit from the NHL lockout. Can’t say I blame the owners of those teams for wanting to make more money by signing locked out NHL stars. For those slamming NHL players for doing this, remember, if the NHL owners hadn’t staged a lockout, those players wouldn’t be knocking on the doors of European teams looking for work, and the owners of those team wouldn’t be cutting players to create roster spots for those NHL players.
USA TODAY: A lengthy NHL lockout could hurt the fledgling NBC Sports Network, which relies heavily upon NHL broadcasts.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: No hockey could actually prove to be a windfall for networks which usually cover the NHL.
MIAMI HERALD: George Richards suggests a lockout could slow the surge in the Florida Panthers popularity following their first playoff appearance in twelve years.