NHL notes: Lafleur says it's a bonus if Europeans stay home all season
|Former NHL great Guy Lafleur. (QMI AGENCY)
Some European players have mused that they might not return to the NHL when the lockout eventually ends.
Former NHL great Guy Lafleur doesn't have a problem with that. In fact, he sees a significant benefit for Canadians if the Europeans do stay home.
"Let them stay there, it will make more room for players from Quebec and North Americans," Lafleur said Wednesday during a press conference announcing the construction of Place Guy Lafleur in his hometown of Thurso, Que,.
"As a supporter and former player, I do not care for players who want to stay in Europe. It's their choice."
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov have been vocal about the possibility of European players staying in the KHL when the lockout ends. The big reason is potential pay cuts that could come with a new collective bargaining agreement.
Lafleur also speculated that the lockout would drag into the new year.
"We hope it will be settled before the holidays (but) I am very skeptical about it," he said. "The players are very fortunate to have the opportunity to play and make millions of dollars. I'm happy for them, but on the other hand, they must realize something else: As athletes, they can not earn more than the owners."
Talk about keeping it all in the family.
Washington Capitals president Dick Patrick will receive the Lester Patrick Award, named for his late grandfather, during the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony Monday in Dallas. Patrick, who has been with the Capitals for 30 years, will get the award for his service to hockey in the U.S.
"I'd like to think he'd be looking down and smiling," Patrick told NHL.com, referring to his grandfather, who died in 1960. "My grandfather had all this historical background. I didn't appreciate it all at the time, but I saw his interaction with my father, who was running the (New York) Rangers at the time, and my uncle Lynn, who was running the (Boston) Bruins. I saw the respect that they afforded him, seeking his advice, and it became apparent to me pretty early on that he was really knowledgeable about hockey in lots of ways, including the historical aspects."
He is the third Patrick to win the award. His uncle, Lynn, and cousin, Craig, previously have been honoured.
DIPIETRO GOES TO GERMANY
New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro will join St. Louis Blues forward Matt D'Agostini with SC Riessersee of the German second division.
Riessersee announced the signing of DiPietro, one of the NHL's most oft-injured players, on the team website Wednesday.
DiPietro has played just 47 games over the past four NHL seasons. He missed the final 58 games of the 2011-12 season because of a groin issue, and he also has had a concussion, facial injuries and a knee problem keeping him out of action.
If the Islanders can't convince DiPietro to stay in Germany after the lockout, he still has nine years left on the 15-year, $67.5-million contract he signed in 2006.
New York Rangers defenceman Ryan McDonagh signed with HC Barys Astana of the KHL, according to the New York Daily News. McDonagh joins locked-out NHLer Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning with the Kazakhstan-based team ... Forward Cory Emmerton of the Detroit Red Wings will play with Finnish team SaiPa, the second-division club announced on its website. Emmerton played 71 games in the NHL last season and was named the Wings rookie of the year ... Unrestricted free agent defenceman Milan Jurcina signed with HC Pirati Chomutov of the Czech Extraliga, according to his agent, Allan Walsh. He'll play his first game on Friday ... Tampa Bay Lightning forward Adam Hall has signed with EV Ravensburg, another second-division club in Germany. The 30-year-old recently signed a one-year deal with the Lightning.