You know there we were pondering one of life's greatest mysteries (Is Tweety Pie male or female?) when we got that IIHF press release that we posted Thursday afternoon where the NHL and members of the IIHF have promised not to go after each players who are under contract.
At first glance it looks like it is some sort of peace treaty between the 2 but the reality is that it is just words that really are empty.
They are empty words because even before everyone sat down sat down the NHL was already not allowed to go after the players under contract anyway. Just a couple of tiny details that nobody wanted to mention but we will since we like those tiny details. The first detail is called the CBA and the second being the lack of a signed Player Transfer Agreement with the entire membership of the IIHF.
Without the PTA then the NHL had to wait until a player was a free agent anyway but this makes for one of those good feeling meetings where everyone likes each other.
There is also one more catch that was not said which is that there remains nothing to stop the NHL from signing a Russian who uses the "30 day opt out" clause in their Russian league contracts. Ah but who worries about the fine print of an agreement right?
But they all promised to work together in the spirit of togetherness and cooperation which makes for a feel good story even if one wonders if the 5 crime families of New York would get along better than those in the hockey world.
If you do not play our way then stay we will not let you play in our sandbox
You know we got to agree with the Puck Daddy over at Yahoo because when we got the word about the Russian Federation's "threats" to punish those players who come over to North America with suspensions from the Russian National Team, it was the equal of cutting their own arms off because their fingernails grew too long.
Seriously just when the Russians are on the verge of returning to the very top of the hockey world again they will screw themselves up by punishing those who want to play in North America.
Think the Russians would be that stupid to keep Overhkin or Malkin off their Olympic teams in 2010? Think that if Filatov is as good as advertised you think they will not use either.
What makes this as the PD says "idle threat" an even bigger joke as the Russian Hockey Federation still has not healed all the wounds from their last hockey civil war when many a Russian refused to play for the National team.
However not said is will we see a return to the kinds of tactics that Evgeni Malkin claimed was used when he jumped from the then Russian Super League to the Pens? Malkin claimed that he was coerced into signing a contract by being locked in a room for as much as 12 hours at a time before he was worn down and signed the contract that eventually led to changes in Russian contract law.
We also have a concern that we will see tactics where someone like a Cherepanov who knows hardly any English would be shown "translated" documents showing how Ranger fans already hate him and will mistreat him.
After watching the way a certain Russian GM behaved recently that he would not use anything questionable to keep Cherepanov?
Wolfpack add Vladimir Denisov
It was clear that the Wolfpack needed to bolster what was becoming a very depleted blueline but Denisov? The idea should have been to replace the lost enforcers not bring in another guy who in 9 fights has been very consistent on the wrong end of the decision.
The Pack having lost basically all their tough guys to other teams now have brought in 2 players ( Andreas Jamtin being the other) now who try hard but are more punching bags than enforcers.
The Wolfpack are trying their best to become the softest team in the AHL it seems.
In a way it is a shame to see Jason Strudwick decide to sign with the Oilers as Struds was always the perfect role player for the Rangers. You never had a problem with Strudwick complaining about his role on the team nor did he throw a temper tantrum in the locker room (not that we are pointing a finger at anyone with the initials MM) over his playing time.
Anyone who knows Strudwick will tell you that his future is as a coach and the Oilers are getting a bargain no matter what price they paid for him. His presence in the locker room will help a young Oiler team grow up but his willingness to do whatever his coaches ask and to put the team first will rub off in a positive way.
It also is a chance for Strudwick to finish his NHL career in front of family and friends as Struds is from Edmonton so the opportunity to play there had to be grabbed by him.
We for one will wish him the best and as we said we expect that in a few years to see him as an NHL coach.
(Tweety Pie picture courtesy of Warner Bros)
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