Sep 19, 2012, 4:35 PM EST
A German League general manager has been contacted by “more than 30″ NHL agents looking to place their clients in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
Peter Lee, GM of Berlin Eisbaeren (the Polar Bears!), claims he’s been inundated with offers since the lockout began, suggesting the push to fill import spots is already on.
While Sweden has blocked teams from signing locked-out NHLers, Russia, Switzerland and the Czech league are welcoming them with open arms. Christian Ehrhoff of the Buffalo Sabres is the only NHL player in the German league, having agreed to sign with Krefeld.
Lee is taking a wait and see approach.
“I have mixed feelings: It’s nice to get these players but you don’t know how long they’re going to be around,” he said. “Short-term it may not be bad as long as you don’t fill up your team with these players. That could end up being bad.”
With nine import spots — and two more available in case of injury — the league has plenty of room for NHLers. Teams have to be careful, though, because the import cards are not transferable.
That last bit is important, because German League teams risk “burning” import cards on short-term NHL rentals.
Doesn’t appear to be much of an issue for Lee, though, as he’s had success coaxing players to Berlin. During the last lockout, Canadiens forward Erik Cole made the move early and went on to score 27 points in 39 games.
Cole was later joined by Caps goalie Olaf Kolzig, who played nine games for the Polar Bears.
- Roberto Luongo records the shutout in first game back with Panthers 13
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack 42
- Canucks’ Kassian gets three games for boarding Dillon 26
- TGIF: Why Lightning fans can be upset with St. Louis 31
- Goalie nods: Luongo’s first game back with Panthers, Neuvirth makes Sabres debut 12
- Report: Kuznetsov terminated KHL deal, headed to Washington 20
- Canucks’ Bieksa: ‘If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is’ 34
- Luongo has Twitter fun at Canucks’ expense 36
- Sabres spoil Callahan’s Lightning debut, Stamkos’ return 7
- Dealing with the Devils: NHL reverses Kovalchuk punishment 49
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Report: Canucks want center, top prospect and first-rounder for Kesler (68)
- Sabres announce Pat LaFontaine resigns as president of hockey operations (66)