I was originally going to write something sarcastic about the Islanders giving 33-year-old defenseman Brendan Witt a two-year, $6 million contract extension when he still has another year left on his deal. Committing to a player of that age before you need to seems unnecessarily risky to me. Especially as the NHL puts more and more value on quick, puck-moving defensemen. But then, I read how touched Witt was by the extension and I decided not to write anything.
When I read about Pavol Demitra signing with the Canucks (two years, $8 million), my first instinct was to visit Jes Golbez’s site. I think he was touched by this signing even more than Witt was by the extension.
Finally, Kevin Allen had an interesting post about the Russian leagues representing opportunities for NHL goalies given that there are only 30 starting spots in the NHL. I think there are probably more than that, since many teams have more of a 1A/1B goalie deal, but being an NHL goalie is still a tough gig to land. I know the NHL is trying to pretend the Russian leagues don’t exist and aren’t a threat to the league (which they aren’t, until they lure Alexander Ovechkin or Evgeni Malkin back home) but why not embrace it? Why not set up some interleague games? And why not make them count in the standings? Wouldn’t hockey fans love to see Jaromir Jagr play with his new team? I can’t be the only person curious about Russian hockey. And the NHL Network needs programming. They can’t show 2007 playoff games forever.