The New NHL

So things are moving along with the NHL aren’t they?
They’ve gone from lockout to full-on trade fury in just a week or so.
Although the fury is pretty much all potential fury. No one is really moving yet. Everyone wants to see what everyone else is doing.
It’s a whole new world. No one understands the new hockey landscape yet.
Kevin Paul Dupont reports some agents were shocked to learn their clients were unrestricted free agents.
Conversely, I’m sure some fans and players will be shocked to learn they’re being bought out. I was utterly flabbergasted to read the Wings are thinking of buying out Darren McCarty, who’s been with Detroit since they drafted him over 10 years ago. That’s just messed up.
Not only that, his band’s site is down.
It’s just not a great week for him.
Over in Philadelphia, Tim Panaccio wonders if the NHL is obligated to take the highest bid they get for a TV deal (login info.). The question is if the NHL can opt to take whatever ESPN offers, even if it’s a smaller offer than other cable outlets, just to maintain the prestige and relevance of the league. I still really wonder if ESPN is interested in hockey. Other than just so they can a hand in every sport. But it’s not like anyone doesn’t know ESPN by now.
The New York Post’s Mark Everson has a a great column wondering if the NHL kept defenses stifling so they wouldn’t have to pay superstars (login info.). It’s a pretty interesting thought — that the NHL would destroy itself to save a few bucks.
Of course, if it’s true, they could have saved even more money by not letting the players use sticks or skates.
But I don’t want to give anyone any ideas for the next CBA negotiations.
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SHAMELESS SALES PLUG: If anyone is/was a Sega Genesis fan, I’m selling 19 of my old games on eBay in one cheap lot. Among those games? NHL 96, NHL Hockey, and WAYNE GRETZKY AND THE NHLPA ALL STARS, Not only that, but when you buy all 19 games, you get my Sega Genesis (16-bit) for free (it may or may not work). It’s cool stuff.