does anyone know the percentage of players that signed overseas last lockout didnt return to the NHL? i heard SNETs hockey panel say the number of players that didnt return last time but ive forgotten the number. it was over 150. the majority were european though.
this wont help us out a lot with so much of our young talent being european.
If there is a salary cap, and a significant drop in salaries (a drop from $1.7m average to $1.3m as the NHL wants), it will affect decisions of European players to come to the NHL. It is already tricky to sign Euros to 2 way contracts to develop in the AHL because of the low salaries, but NHL caliber players with mixed interest from NHL teams will find more attractive deals from European clubs.
Anyways, calculating exact numbers of players who didn't return from European leagues is tricky. Jim Dowd, for example, may not gauge much interest from NHL teams when operations start up again. He's 35 and a role player, any team could have a younger guy that they would rather work with already in there system. European role players might get better money in Europe than in the NHL (like Andreas Dackell). I don't think the NHL will lose top shelf talent to Europe when the lockout is over. Rick Nash, Joe Thornton, Jaromir Jagr, and even Peter Forsberg will all find their way back to the NHL.
BTW, we have already had trouble bringing over European draft picks. Alexander Buturlin has built a successful career in the RSL and seems to show little interest in a NHL career that would possibly see him play in the AHL, at least to begin with. He's got too good of a thing going. Vadim Tarasov is a top RSL goalie who left our farm team in Quebec after only a handful of games.
Also, every year, the NHL loses free agents to European clubs. Oleg Tverdovsky, who by all accounts, could be a #3 d-man in the NHL on pretty much any team (possibly higher) was attracted to the RSL with better money after he had a bad year in the NHL with New Jersey.
I guess it's only a question of time before the NHL becomes the WHL including European teams.
I can see 3 divisions of North American teams: East, Central and Western and 1 division of European teams. Playoffs at the end of the season involving 4 teams in each division would firstly decide division winners which would help build local rivalries and then we would have intermingled semi finals and finals with some games being played in Europe. The series format would change from 2-2-1-1-1 to 2-3-2 to minimize travel expenses and jet lag.
There is a writing on the wall for the NHL as we have known it for years. I see 6 teams per division as follows:
Last edited by rocketlives: 10-12-2004 at 09:24 AM.