Here are two overseas hockey items via ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, from Switzerland and Russia.
- Honestly, I hadn’t really heard these rumors, but there were some whispers about former Phoenix Coyotes coach (and, oh yeah, possibly the greatest hockey player ever) Wayne Gretzky coaching in Russia for SKA St. Petersburg. Despite being friends with SKA chairman and KHL president Alexander Medvedev, LeBrun reports that Gretzky shot the rumors down.
- LeBrun also writes that jettisoned Chicago Blackhawks goalie Cristobal Huet is making the best of things in Switzerland, despite the fact that he would prefer to be in (and thinks he belongs in) the NHL.
“It was hard this summer,” said Huet, whose salary is still mostly paid by the Hawks. “But that’s something I dealt with then. I’m trying to make the most out of my situation now. I enjoy playing hockey here. We have some great guys and some great fans. I’m just trying to enjoy the game.”
LeBrun points out that Huet played four seasons in the Swiss league and actually is married to a Swiss woman, so there’s at least a certain comfort level personally. Of course, before you feel too bad for the exiled goalie, don’t forget about his considerable financial comfort: that $5.625 million salary. It might be off Chicago’s salary cap, but that doesn’t mean it’s off their payroll.