In the latest issue of The Hockey News, with Sidney Crosby on the cover, Ken Campbell writes about North American players and the expectation that they could just come into the European leagues and instantly become scoring leaders.
He says that expecting players to put forth the same kind of effort that they do in the NHL when when they are paid so little and run the risk of getting seriously injured.
Campbell also says that some players don’t understand that while the talent level in Europe may not be the same, the competition level is still very high.
He spoke with former NHLer and current GM of Jokerit (Finnish league) Jarmo Kekalainen who said, “this isn’t the the type of league where a guy can come and tear it up. It’s not NHL caliber but it’s very competitive. A big problem for guys is they come here and we’ve already played 25 games and they’re not in game shape. Psychologically, some of the guys think it’s going to be easy.”
Kekalainen also adds that the players love to play against the NHLers and prove they can play on the same level.
Of the three remaining Rangers playing in Europe:
- Rick Nash has 10 goals and six assists in 15 games.
- Derek Stepan has two goals and one assist in seven games
- Michael Del Zotto has 1 goal and 3 assists in six games