Monday, August 20, 2007

Off to Europe

Europe is becoming a very healthy place for a lot of NHL'ers, both past and present, to go when their careers have hit somewhat of a speed bump in North America. The money is very good over there now and having NHL-calibre talent join a team in Europe would more than likely boost that team's performance in the coming season.

Reports are surfacing that Ed Belfour is nearing an agreement with Leksand in Sweden for the coming season. Belfour was not welcomed back by Panthers brass, after they traded for Tomas Vokoun, and hasn't been a popular name amongst other GMs, so off to Europe would be the next best bet if he still wanted to work.

Also mentioned in the story previous, you look at Alexander Svitov, who will probably make more than the $1 million he'd make this year in Columbus. Svitov would also more than likely see more ice-time than he would with the Blue Jackets and a couple years in Europe would see that current deal with Columbus finish and he'd be an Unrestricted Free Agent at the age of 26. Now whether or not it all comes to pass or not is still to be seen, but Svitov could very well be money-grubbing right now.

Since the players who sign in Europe are less likely to come back to the NHL, they should all be struck off your pool list for the coming year. That isn't to say there are many that will be, but there are a few and maybe you weren't aware of.

Alexei Yashin, Randy Robitaille, Oleg Saprykin, Juraj Kolnik, Dimitri Afanasenkov, Nils Ekman, Alex Perezhogin, Petr Tenkrat, J.P. Vigier, Petr Nedved, Patrik Stefan and Josh Green are some of the notable forwards who are gone.

On defense; Jamie Heward, Anton Babchuk, Ric Jackman, Ritchie Regehr, Tomas Mojzis and Nathan Dempsey all highlight the list.

And in goal; Jussi Markkanen and Jamie McLennan may have made some pool lists, but should be struck off to make room for two new names.

A lot of these names are generally thought to be taken in deep pools, but if you had yourself enrolled in a salary cap pool and decided to blow your wad on a lot of the top guys, you may find yourself looking for really cheap talent to fill out your roster... do beware of the contingent who won't be skating around the NHL rinks this season.

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