As of now, only one Coyote has packed his bags to take a turn on the ice in Europe. There are two more players rumored to head to overseas, and they all have one thing in common. All three men are European natives. Rostislav Klesla and Martin Hanzal both call the Czech Republic their home, and Mikkel Boedker is from Denmark. I’m not saying that this means anything: but it might. There are some major positives for these particular Yotes for heading to Europe, obviously they’ll be closer to home. And who wouldn’t want to be, especially at a time like this?
One particular point did raise my eyebrows though. Klesla is the only confirmed player from the Coyotes organization heading to Europe. Aside from that, there are only two other players even rumored to be making deals with European clubs. This seems off to me, and if not off it at least caught my attention.
Klesla is a defenseman who plays aggressively (my favorite way to play any sort of sport). He was suspended from Game 5 for this years’ Coyotes series against the Nashville Predators for boarding Matt Halischuck. It was a heck of a hit, but one of those hits where there’s an “ohhh!” of pain leaving your mouth. However, “Rusty” is prone to injury. Heading to Europe could be very good and very bad for him. On one side, he’ll be staying loose, so when (or if, I really don’t like this if) the season begins again he’ll be in shape and ready to play. However, there’s always a possibility of an injury; if Klesla becomes injured and the season begins, he might not play. This is no bueno.
Rumor has it Boedker and Hanzal are headed over to Europe as well. If the rumors are true, two teams will be gaining two outstanding players. Mikkel Boedker is by far a great forward for the Yotes. Martin Hanzal is also rumored to be heading overseas. An assistant captain, and a huge presence on the ice (literally though, he’s 6’6”). He was also subject of a suspension during this last season’s playoffs for a boarding call, another painful “ohh!” kind of hit.
The Coyotes have also reassigned a group of their younger players to the Portland Pirates. But I still think something is up. The number of reassigned players is not nearly as large as other teams and the amount of men heading overseas, or even thinking about jumping the pond, is almost next to none. My first thought was that this could be because the NHL still owns the club. My second thought was that like other players, they might just want to keep playing. My third was this lockout needs to end, because lockouts are so 2004.