The Wings are pretty smart guys. In fact, I wonder if they can end the lockout.
I’m sure you’ve heard about Derian Hatcher and Chris Chelios from the Red Wings joining the UHL’s Motor City Mecahnics. Kris Draper is rumored to be right behind them.
So why are they doing it?
Presumably it’s a way to get some hockey in.
But it’s also a great way to undermine the NHL owners. The lucky people of Detroit are going to see NHL players playing hockey and not one dime will go into an NHL owner’s pocket. Now imagine if key players in all 30 NHL markets started doing the same thing (the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne reports some St. Louis Blues are rumored to be signing with the Missouri River Otters). Imagine if someone like Jaromir Jagr came back just to play for a non-NHL-owned franchise. Hockey fans would get hockey and stars, but the owners would get nothing. Plus, if the owners tried to establish a scab league, they’d have a heck of a time competing with genuine NHLers. Sure, the whole experiment would destroy the development of countless hockey players, but if you want to make an omelette, you’ve got to break some eggs.
NHLers are bored and looking to play in the U.S. But they also see an opportunity to force the league to negotiate with them.