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Saturday, February 16, 2008


Euro Curve appears every Saturday on Illegalcurve.com, and chronicles the latest international hockey news.

- The rumour hurricane continues to swirl around the hockey world, as should be expected with the NHL's trade deadline a mere 10 days away, as European players are front-and-centre.

- Columbus Blue Jackets forward-and Czech Republic national- David Vyborny's time has likely expired in the beautiful state of Ohio as he is set to become a free agent at season's end. The 33-year-old Jihlava native has underperfomed this season for the lowly Jackets, as 3 goals and 15 assists in 50 games is hardly what head coach Ken Hitchcock expected when he pencilled him in on the team's top line. It is believed that he will attract significant attention from playoff contenders like the Detroit Red Wings, New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators. A return to the Czech Extraliga next season is also in the cards.

- This week on The Sports Network, NHL insiders Bob McKenzie and Pierre Maguire indicated that Swedish superstar Peter Forsberg, and his agent Don Baizley, had narrowed down his possible signing options down to two teams, the Colorado Avalanche and the Philadelphia Flyers, with both announcers selecting a return to Philadelphia as the more plausible scenario. The 34-year-old Ornskoldsvik native hasn't played a single professional league game this year but has been practicing intensely in Sweden. Although he will be rusty when he returns to the NHL, Foppa is a special player and has produced at a point-a-game or better clip over his pro hockey career. It is believed that Forsberg and Baizley still want a two-year deal but have come down on their salary expectations.

A plethora of other european players have been mentioned ad nauseum in trade rumours, including: Mats Sundin, Toronto Maple Leafs, Olli Jokinen, Florida Panthers, Marian Hossa, Atlanta Thrashers, Ladislav Nagy, Los Angeles Kings, Michael Handzus, Los Angeles Kings, Robert Lang, Chicago Blackhawks, Joni Pitkanen, Edmonton Oilers, Viktor Kozlov, Washington Capitals, Pavol Demitra, Minnesota Wild, Jaroslav Spacek, Buffalo Sabres, Jozef Vasicek, New York Islanders and Patrik Elias of the New Jersey Devils. It promises to be a compelling deadline on Tuesday, February 26.

- Former NHL goalie and ex-Washington Capitals coach Glen Hanlon, who hails from Brandon, Manitoba, will coach Jokerit in the Finnish SM-liiga next season. Hanlon was part of Team Belarus' effort at the 2006 international world hockey championships.

For Illegal Curve, I'm Ezra Ginsburg.

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