NHL Premiere Series - Helsinki

Next season may not start in Europe

The NHL has made it an annual event to start the season in Europe the past five years as part of the NHL Premiere Series, but next season may see things change.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that the Premiere Series may be put on hold next season thanks to, you guessed it, the oncoming labor battle this summer.

The uncertainty over whether the 2012-13 season will begin on time given the Sept. 15 expiration date of the CBA has at least for the time being prevented scheduling of the games, with the parties as yet unable to agree on the parameters regarding revenue allocations and risk should the matches be canceled.

Unfortunately this is all part of the business and if the labor negotiations get in the way sacrifices have to be made. The NHL likes doing the games in Europe, but if things aren’t figured out in time something has to go. At least if the Premiere Series winds up on hold though, some teams will be without an excuse for why their season started out slowly.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.