Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Players Off to Europe

As expected, free agent goalie, Johan Holmqvist, has signed a new deal in Europe. Holmqvist, 30, couldn't quite nail down the number one job in Tampa Bay before being dealt to Dallas at the trade deadline. His style of play was not overly flashy, but it also wasn't as regimented as others may be considered. That was likely his downfall, because his numbers were not too bad, despite playing on the worst team in the NHL for the majority of last season. He still managed to win 21 games and earn 2 shutouts between Tampa and Dallas.

Holmqvist is the second highest pool point getter to head over to Europe this summer.

Also making the jump over the Atlantic this summer is Martin Rucinsky. The unrestricted free agent forward signed in the Czech Republic on Wednesday and he'll take his aging legs and his diminishing production with him. Rucinsky only finished with 16 points last season in a mere 40 games. His health has also been an issue, as he's only played one 82-game season in the last ten years.

I don't know about you, but I haven't really been sold on the threat from Europe or the new Kontinental Hockey League in Russia, especially since the ruling about Alexander Radulov hasn't come down the pipe quite yet. Once he's poached from the NHL, officially, then I might bat an eyelid to the idea, but until that's true, the European leagues haven't really taken players away that are special to the North American game. Sure, you can contend that Jaromir Jagr still has lots of flair to his game left, but he and his large salary expectations do garner way more attention in the news than he's really worth. For his salary, you can sign on four or five other future superstars for one future hall-of-famer.

Of course, that's an overstatement, but I do enjoy the idea of changing the old guard with some of the new youth.

No comments: