Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Draft Wrench for European Prospects

Under the terms of the new CBA, NHL teams will no longer own rights to European prospects indefinitely. While GM Ken Holland used to "tuck them away and watch them" in Europe, the new rule only gives teams rights to Europeans for two years. This was already the rule for North American players in the juniors. Says Holland:
"I think it's the same old 'take the best player available.' We've got probably four or five players that can slip through to us. All different positions. We feel we're going to walk away with two very good prospects. We're going into a new world."
All this is true, but it means the Wings will have to rush overseas talent into the system, or lose them altogether. Guys like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg would have to cut their European development down by a year, and you can forget about ever bringing an Igor Grigorenko over. We drafted Grigorenko in 2001, but a summer of 2003 car accident kept him from joining the team that Fall. Under the new CBA, the Wings' four (coming onto five) years of waiting for Grigorenko to develop/rehabilitate would be gone. We likely would have given up on him the summer of his car crash, since that two-year mark would mean the loss of his rights. And with liberalized free agency, why would you stick with a 23 year old prospect anyways? The main question though is, will we see any of the Wings' 2005 draft picks in action? And under the terms of the new CBA, the answer is that it's less likely we will. As for college players, maybe more start leaving early as teams lose rights to their European prospects. Oh, by the way, here's the University of Michigan draft picks: Round 1, 3rd overall - Jack Johnson, Carolina Round 1, 25th overall - Andrew Cogliano, Edmonton Round 3, 63rd overall - Jason Bailey, Anahiem Round 3, 88th overall - TJ Hensick, Colorado Jack Johnson will probably bolt after a season in the maize and blue, and there's a risk the others might follow his lead (though not leaving quite as soon). Notes I feel so bad for Barry Smith. He's been waiting for his chance to become an NHL head coach, but now that the Wings have chosen Babcock and cut Smith lose, it looks like it's too late for this year. Smith is talking with the Panthers about an assistant coaching spot, but the need for head coaches has run dry:
"I would like to hook up with another team. The problem is, it's a bit late. I bypassed a couple of jobs that were available."
If Smith is unable to find a coaching position, he says he will stay in the Detroit area and continue running clinics (how pathetic is that!). It is also possible that he joins the Wings as a scout. No word yet whether Dave Lewis or Joey Kocur have accepted their reduced roles on the team. Welcome back to Jason Kirk of Predators' Den! I've been checking back periodically for the past month, so I'm glad you're back in the Den. I guess we'll be seeing a lot of your team this season, much to our chagrin. I hope you're right about the Predators being good this season, but it's still a great potential for boring games when there are 32 against Chicago, Columbus, St Louis, and Nashville. I like how the Bleacher Guy put it on his latest podcast: it's kind of like Russian Roulette getting home after work, turning on the TV, and finding out that "damn, it's another game against the Predators." No offense, but Wings fans want to play teams like Colorado, Dallas, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Boston, and Philly. Not the darn Preds.


At 8/01/2005 01:25:00 AM, Blogger JasonSpaceman said...

Wings fans will want to play anyone but the Predators for different reasons as time goes by - "Damn, we're going to lose to the Preds AGAIN tonight." :-)

I absolutely understand why TV audiences in bigger markets want to see the bigger teams. I tend to see almost as many games live as I do on TV, though, so for me the opposition doesn't always matter so much (though games against Dallas tend to be horribly boring). Live, the game is just so much different than on TV.

Thanks for the "welcome back" - I'm glad I've got hockey to write about again. :-)

At 9/30/2005 03:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree,

I love NHL Hockey. and recently I have bought stock in it. Not like real stock on Wall street, but a stock market that is strictly for sports.

You have seen it? Its pretty cool. You buy issues for your favorite teams and you make real money. Not like a fake stock simulator. I cash out Dividends each time the team wins. Also I can sell my team stock when the price goes up.

check it out if something like this interests you.
heres a link
you can log in and check it out for free..

They just released IPO'S for NHL Hockey this week, so there are alot of good deals there.

Keep up the good work on your blog!


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