How about that international lifestyle.
Let’s dance in France. Because afterward, the NHL‘s got a chance. Just.. maybe.
Slovenian threads don the back of Anze Kopitar these days, as he and brother Gasper Kopitar represent the country’s red, white, and blue in Lyon, France for this December’s Euro Ice Hockey Challenger. The season continues to be quite the adventure for the two brothers.
It also means the Kopitars take a break from playing in Sweden with Mora IK, also mandated by the EIHC and IIHF. Has Anze seen the last of Sweden? It could be a permanent break for the Kings’ headliner, with a possible return to Los Angeles looming in the near future.
Just don’t bet on Anze Kopitar‘s early-January return to LA quite yet. You may have better luck over at PartyCasino.com.
Reports surfaced Wednesday that a number of European clubs icing NHL players during the lockout are apparently preparing to send them back to North America in the imminent future. Gareth Chalmers, owner of British sports agency 9 Hockey Management, had some insight:
“I have been talking to a number of teams on the continent today who have NHL guys on their rosters. It seems that quite a few of them have been told by their NHL agents today, to get ready to return within the next week. One GM told me today that a contact of his in the NHL had advised that they are now looking at 2nd January restart.”
Interesting. This points to a NHL return just as 2013 rolls in. Chalmers followed with an observation of intriguing activity seen from many European clubs recently:
“It seems to be circulating around Europe as I’ve noticed a sudden increase of teams today looking for new imports. A number of European teams have some big holes to fill if the NHL does restart, some have invested heavily. Once the NHL lockout finishes, then we’ll see the true effects. Teams may struggle to find the calibre of player they want.”
This is rather conflicting information since these airwaves are coming from Europe. Meanwhile, the NHL remains in utter dysfunction sitting at a stalemate in labor negotiations on home soil. Does any of it add up? It’s tough to gauge.
You’d only feel like a fool to give in to another news-fed glimmer of hope coming from the NHL. But this could be different. It’s stemming from an odd location, and at an odd time.
Sometimes, the best things come out of nowhere. A la Kopitar.
Right side, Best side
At a loss: The Kopitars, along with the Slovenian National Hockey Club, suffered a horrid loss Thursday in their opening contest in this weekend’s tournament – falling 6-1 to the host country France. Anze Kopitar assisted Slovenia‘s only goal, coming off the stick of Ziga Pavlin. Anze and Gasper did not play on the same line.
Slovenia will skate with Denmark on Friday, and follow up with Latvia on Saturday. Ted Nolan, the father of the Kings’ Jordan Nolan, is Latvia‘s head coach.
Mora IK will resume regular season play on December 18 against Djurgårdens IF, and both Kopitars should be back in Sweden for the affair. Anze leads the club with 25 points in 22 games played. Gasper is 6th on the club in points, with eight to his name.
The talks in Europe shouldn’t be brushed off of your radar. There’s life to them. Why? Because it’s not coming from NHL Executives, and from a voice that makes a career handling professional hockey players lives’ in Europe.
But realize, Gareth Chalmers is also just another spectator at this point.
“Mind you I am in agreement with the people, I’ll believe it when we actually see NHL teams take to the ice for 2012/13.”
We’ve got about three weeks left until the season is entirely cancelled, folks.