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Saturday, February 2, 2008


Euro Curve takes a look at the latest international hockey news.

Hello ladies, gentlemen and hardcore puckheads from Flin Flon to Dubai.. It's your supreme european hockey source, Ezra Ginsburg, ready to educate and entertain the masses.

Just a few comments from the fascinating and riveting world of international hockey...

- The National Hockey League's decision to announce the scheduling of four regular season games in Europe next year- Sweden and Prague-, in addition to naming the New York Rangers as the choice for the inaugural Victoria Cup tournament was poorly organized. When the executive director of the NHLPA, Paul Kelly questions the decision the next day, you know there will be future problems. Kelly said that players may have problems committing to these events due to timing, travel and insurance concerns and said he was unhappy with the way Commissioner Gary Bettman handled the negotiations. Although everyone agrees promoting the game in Europe is a win-win endeavour, ensuring the players' union is content seems to be a no-brainer. Hopefully, these issues will be resolved by the summer as it would be in everyone's best interest. From all reports, the two regular season games held at the end of September between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings in London, England were entertaining and well-executed. Here's to seeing the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2012!

- So we found out earlier this week that super-sniper Peter Forsberg passed on joining his hometown MODO club and is interested in signing with an NHL team. This is bad news for Coach Kent Forsberg who would have preferred his son end his Hall of Fame career in Sweden but great news for whoever ends up signing him. And obviously for, Don Baizley, his Winnipeg-based agent. Yes, I know what you're thinking right now. Forsberg is injury-prone with tender ankles and shaky knees. But alas, my source in Sweden tells me Forsberg has been training in the United States with UFC 81 star and heavyweight mixed-martial artist Brock Lesnar and looks to be in his best shape since he won a gold medal at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics. I'm obviously kidding but he has been playing some competitive hockey in Europe and should be in better shape after his off-season surgery.

It is anybody's guess where Forsberg will end up with Colorado, Philadelphia, Detroit, Vancouver and Ottawa the accepted frontrunners. Reports from the Canadian Press had Forsberg and Baizley asking for a 2 year contract worth $5 million. If you ask me, and nobody is, I think any team would be warranted in pursuing this deal, whether it's Foppas former team, Colorado, or a team like Detroit, looking to bulk up to compete with the likes of the Anaheim Ducks. Regardless, Forsberg will be the center of attention leading up to an intriguing trade dealine, coming up at the end of February.

For Illegal Curve, I'm Ezra Ginsburg.

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