A German League general manager has been contacted by “more than 30” NHL agents looking to place their clients in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
Peter Lee, GM of Berlin Eisbaeren (the Polar Bears!), claims he’s been inundated with offers since the lockout began, suggesting the push to fill import spots is already on.
More, from the Ottawa Sun:
While Sweden has blocked teams from signing locked-out NHLers, Russia, Switzerland and the Czech league are welcoming them with open arms. Christian Ehrhoff of the Buffalo Sabres is the only NHL player in the German league, having agreed to sign with Krefeld.
Lee is taking a wait and see approach.
“I have mixed feelings: It’s nice to get these players but you don’t know how long they’re going to be around,” he said. “Short-term it may not be bad as long as you don’t fill up your team with these players. That could end up being bad.”
With nine import spots — and two more available in case of injury — the league has plenty of room for NHLers. Teams have to be careful, though, because the import cards are not transferable.
That last bit is important, because German League teams risk “burning” import cards on short-term NHL rentals.
Doesn’t appear to be much of an issue for Lee, though, as he’s had success coaxing players to Berlin. During the last lockout, Canadiens forward Erik Cole made the move early and went on to score 27 points in 39 games.
Cole was later joined by Caps goalie Olaf Kolzig, who played nine games for the Polar Bears.
This has been a tough postseason for Phil Kessel haters.
The supposed “choker” is on a team that’s in the Eastern Conference Final, but Kessel obviously isn’t just in for the ride with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He scored his 18th point in 17 postseason games by scoring the 1-0 goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6.
(Watch that goal in the video above.)
It was a dramatic first period, with a Jonathan Drouin goal getting disallowed and Andrei Vasilevskiy making some huge saves on tough chances.
Can Pittsburgh protect this slim lead with 1-0 down one period? We’ll see, but either way, what a great postseason for Kessel.
To start the seemingly pivotal stretch, Andrei Vasilevskiy made an outstanding save on Evgeni Malkin on what sure looked like a scary chance.
The play swiftly shifted from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s end to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ side of the ice, and it seemed like Jonathan Drouin scored a big 1-0 goal in Game 6.
As it turns out, the goal was disallowed thanks to an offside goal review.
Here are a few viewpoints on that moment in GIF form … you can get a fuller view via the video above.
The general feeling among those who don’t have a horse in the race is that it was the right call. (Lightning fans were, uh, not happy.)
At some point, it will probably be kind of boring to hear members of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization praise Jonathan Drouin.
At least if Drouin re-signs with the Bolts after quite the affirming postseason and his ascension amid injuries.
These days? It’s still sort of entertaining.
In the latest case, Jon Cooper was asked to compare the development paths for Nikita Kucherov vs. Drouin. After empathizing with the pressure Drouin carries as a high-end pick (vs. Kucherov’s ability to come in under the radar), Cooper had some very positive things to say about No. 27.
” … So many people think, well, you’re just going to step in the league at 18 and be dominant,” Cooper said. “I truly believe Jonathan is going to be dominant in this league, but it’s hard to do at 18. He had to work through it, and that’s it.”
Drouin, now at 21, has 12 points in 15 playoff games.
In other Lightning news, it sounds like the team will roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, an alignment that has been working well lately and also came through at times during the 2015 postseason.
The Penguins, meanwhile, replace Beau Bennett with Conor Sheary.
Tonight could be the final game of the Eastern Conference Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning. You can catch Game 6 via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay (8:00 p.m. ET)
The television broadcast of Game 6 is on NBCSN. To stream the game using the NBC Sports Live Extra app, click here. The Bolts lead the series 3-2.
Here’s some relevant reading material to get you ready for tonight’s game:
—Malkin guaranteed a Penguins win in Game 6
—Lightning coach doesn’t seem flustered by Malkin’s guarantee
—Kucherov continues to be clutch for the Bolts this postseason
—Marc-Andre Fleury: ‘I should have been better’ in Game 5