Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
IdahoBert

Three Wings begin season in Europe

Recommended Posts

DETROIT — It’s not a European vacation, not by any stretch.

Instead of getting ready for the NHL with training camp in Traverse City this week, Red Wings forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg are getting the regular season started in Europe.

Datsyuk is in the Russian Elite League, and Holmstrom and Zetterberg are in the Swedish national league.

Defenseman Jiri Fischer is expected to play in the Czech league once his separated shoulder heals in about a month.

The four young Wings are hardly the exception during this NHL lockout.

Most European players in the NHL have chosen to play for their hometown teams.

It’s a rare opportunity for European players, many of whom were looking forward to the possibility last season.

Zetterberg, playing for his hometown team of Timra, said late last season he was intrigued by the possibility of playing again in Sweden.

“For sure you want to play in the NHL, and you hope things work out (in labor negotiations),” Zetterberg said. “But playing in Sweden, yes, that would be nice, of course. Family and friends are there. It would be nice.”

Holmstrom, too, was looking forward to the possibility of playing in Sweden (Lulea).

“You want to play, anywhere,” Holmstrom said. “To sit out would be tough.”

That’s a key reason that Datsyuk is skating in Russia with Moscow Dynamo. He is an unsigned restricted free agent, and some might view his playing hockey in a competitive Russian league as a risk.

But agent Gary Greenstin said Datsyuk, 26, needs to play.

“Pavel wants to play hockey somewhere,” Greenstin said. “Dynamo has good coaches, good trainers, it’s going to be a very good team.”

The arrangement with Dynamo is such that Datsyuk would be released from his Russian contract if the NHL lockout ends and he could work out a contract with the Wings.

While those few Wings are playing hockey, most of the others will see how the lockout runs its course before making any firm decisions.

Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom had an opportunity to play in Sweden but decided to return to the Detroit area. He will see how negotiations go before making a commitment to a Swedish team.

Goalies Curtis Joseph and Manny Legace are working out, but only Legace is thinking about joining a team in Europe, or one in the World Hockey Association if that start-up league eventually begins play.

Forwards Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Ray Whitney, Darren McCarty, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby have begun working out locally, or will do so soon. Draper and Maltby are fresh from a World Cup title with Canada.

“I’m still optimistic something can get done soon. At least I hope so,” Shanahan said at the Ryder Cup last week. “We’re in a unique position here in Detroit — the management and the players get along well and have respect for each other. And we also have a unique situation here because of how hockey does here. But we’re going to have to suffer along with the rest of the NHL (until the lockout is over).”

Europe, or any other league, isn’t an option for Shanahan at this point.

“No, as of right now, no,” he said. “Like I said, I am taking a wait-and-see attitude, and a lot of the other guys are, too. I really don’t want to move or go someplace else. We’ll see what happens.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom had an opportunity to play in Sweden but decided to return to the Detroit area. He will see how negotiations go before making a commitment to a Swedish team.

This looks like such a flip from the last few summers when it seemed that Lidstrom was contemplating heading back to Sweden to play and raise his family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by wingedwheel

This looks like such a flip from the last few summers when it seemed that Lidstrom was contemplating heading back to Sweden to play and raise his family.

Yeah, I found that odd, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      96,692
    • Total Posts
      2,988,971
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Upcoming Events

    No upcoming events found
×
×
  • Create New...