October 15, 2012
NHL notes: Lafleur in Cherry's corner
By QMI Agency
Don Cherry, noted European-baiter, likely had a quiet chuckle last week when former star winger Guy Lafleur ripped NHLers who are threatening to stay and play overseas even if the lockout is settled.
Cherry regularly faces waves of criticism when he speaks negatively about European players.
"I see Guy Lafleur spoke out about the Europeans who might like to stay in the KHL," the long-time CBC commentator tweeted Monday. "He said 'let them stay there. It will make more room for the players from Quebec and North America. As a supporter and former player I do not care for players who want to stay in Europe. Let them.' "
Cherry then added: "Now imagine if I said that? Whoah."
AGENT EYEING EUROPEAN TOUR
Player agent Pat Brisson is exploring the possibility of amassing an all-star team for a European tour should the NHL lockout persist.
Brisson organized a similar tour during the 2004-05 lockout.
"We had a plane for 17 days," Brisson told SportsBusiness Journal. "(Now) the cost of the plane and the cost of the insurance may be more. But the revenues may be higher."
More than two dozen players took part in 10 games overseas in December 2004.
Brisson believes there is enough fan interest to do it again.
The agent has 62 locked-out clients including Sidney Crosby, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Daniel Alfredsson and Jonathan Toews.
Players from other agencies could be involved as well.
GOLF CHAMP REALLY MISSES HOCKEY
Jonas Blixt just won his first PGA Tour event Sunday but the 28-year-old Swede would just as soon talk hockey.
"I love ice hockey, it's the greatest sport ever," Blixt told reporters, fresh off winning the Frys.com Open in San Martin, Calif.
"The lockout just kills me right now. I hope they make a deal soon."
Blixt, a defenceman, played hockey until he was 18, when he decided he wasn't good enough to carve out a future in the game.
He said hockey is Sweden's second-favourite sport, next to soccer.
"If you're a guy, you want to play hockey. The tough guys play hockey, you know, the guys with no teeth.
"All the girls, they play hockey," he added with a grin.
As for his golf game, Blixt earned a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour, while moving up 40 spots to No. 75 in the world ranking.
EUROPE: WHO NEEDS IT?
Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand says that while he has been exploring options he isn't keen to play in Europe during the lockout.
"Guys like me and (fellow Bruin Gregory Campbell) are built like Greek gods, so we don't really need to go anywhere else to play," Marchand said jokingly to CSNNE.com.
Florida Panthers forward Tomas Kopecky will join HK Dukla Trencin, the Slovak team announced Monday. Kopecky, 30, played youth hockey with Trencin ... Edmonton Oilers forward Sam Gagner, 23, will play for Klagenfurt of the Austrian league during the lockout. Buffalo Sabres defenceman Tyler Myers, 22, also is with Klagenfurt ... Sabres prospect Corey Tropp, 23, will miss the rest of the season after injuring his right knee in the AHL season opener for the Rochester Americans. "Tough break but that's life," Tropp, who will need surgery, said via Twitter Monday ... New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, 40, still isn't ready for a move to a European team, his agent, Brisson, told the Bergen Record.