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The Overseas exodus is in full swing

August 4, 2020, 4:42 PM ET [30 Comments]
Jeremy Laura
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Jake Virtanen could find himself on the trade block, and we took a look last time to see if he would fit into Detroit’s plans. The general consensus seems to be that it could work, but not with a hefty price tag. One reader rightly sights our need at the center position above bringing in another winger.

Moritz Seider is set to start his season in Germany. Much like the deals that Yzerman negotiated for Veleno and Zadina, there is an NHL out clause. This made me smile a bit, as we discussed the reality of players starting in European leagues back in June. Once in a while, I get something right.

The first group and thesecond group are players who are going to be on the fringe, need development, or are already in Europe and need to break up an 8 to 10 month layoff in competition. There was some debate as to whether it mattered, and it turns out the debate has been put to rest. That layoff is far too long. Even the “bubble” teams that will be eliminated this week have had a high intensity camp, on ice workouts and real competition to break up their summer. The players who are participating admitted to the rust and issues that built up during quarantine. Those players were only off the ice for 3 months. There are 7 teams worth of players that will be off for more than double that amount.

The third group we looked at, the Renaissance man, is already getting a nod. Joe Thornton, who spends his summers in Switzerland, is going to skate with a club during the layoff. Other pending UFAs will have to look at the option as well. At some point, clubs have to limit how many NHLers with out clauses can be part of the roster.

A half dozen or more other players have trickled over. GMs are being careful to make sure players are available when the new season starts up. There is still some uncertainty regarding the AHL, though they’re working toward a December 4th start. Without full state/provincial cooperation, the clubs won’t be able to get going. The “bubble” model won’t hold up in the AHL, as the revenue is mostly based on ticket sales/attendance.

It’s good to see Seider, Veleno and Zadina getting some competitive reps in. It still remains to be seen whether the established veterans will start heading out as well. The older players have more discipline in terms of out of season training, but some sort of structured play is going to be important there as well. Here’s hoping the extra time helps injuries to heal, muscle to be gained, and hunger to be peaked.
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