With three days and counting until Saturday’s September 15th NHL lockout drop dead date, to this point, there has not been much movement – at least in the sense that not too much information has leaked about particular players making alternative arrangements in the event of a work stoppage.
While these discussions may be going on behind closed doors, I suppose from a PR point of view, it does give some fleeting hope that the players don’t believe that a potential lockout will be a particularly long one.
We are starting to see a trickle effect in terms of the Senators players however. Sergei Gonchar, it has already been confirmed, will be playing with Evgeni Malkin in Magnitigorsk of the KHL. And now it appears as though Erik Karlsson has touched base with some SEL-2 teams.
Since Frölunda isn’t allowed (yet) to sign NHLers, Erik Karlsson’s agent have been in touch with SEL-2 teams, including Djurgården.
— Stefan G:son (@steffeG) September 12, 2012
The Swedish Elite League, and to a lesser extent, the KHL, have already put some restrictions in place to prevent a sweeping exodus of NHLers from their respective leagues once the lockout leaves. But, with it being leaked that Karlsson is negotiating with some SEL-2 teams, one has to wonder whether this was the design of Karlsson’s representation to put some pressure on the SEL teams to cave in to the pressure of missing out on one of the world’s best defencemen.
If, as most expect, there is a lockout annnounced Saturday. Expect Malkin and Gonchar to be ready to play in Magnitigorsk on Sunday.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 12, 2012
Holy shit, I take everything back. That’s a quick turnaround.
Yorkie Talks Lockout
If you have not read today’s article in the Ottawa Sun by Tim Baines, there’s one nails quote from former Sens defenceman Jason York that absolutely stands out.
“It comes down to how much faith the players have in Donald Fehr,” said York. “The NHL is not going to budge. I can say that (the lockouts) altered my career. (As a rookie in 1994-95) I was set to be Paul Coffey’s defence partner. That lockout screwed me. In the shortened season, rookies weren’t going to play as much. And I was traded after the lockout for Stu Grimson.”
Those words should ring out to players like Jakob Silfverberg, Peter Regin and Guillaume Latendresse. In the latter two cases, both players are on one-way deals vying to find their niche as wingers amongst the team’s top two lines. In Silfverberg’s case, it’s expected that he’ll be flanking Jason Spezza’s right wing. Should a lockout wipe out the season, all the aforementioned players would burn a year on their contracts – Regin and Latendresse will be UFAs and Ottawa will have lost a year on Silf’s deal.