Jesse wrote:I think we can all agree that we'd prefer they be preseason games.
I for one disagree. For players visiting these European cities, for the first time in many cases, there are enough distractions as it is. If these were preseason games, the players would be totally unfocused, and the games would be very sloppy. Make them count, and the quality of the product will be better. Also, if they were
preseason games, we'd then get the argument that we shouldn't be sending teams all the way to Europe just to play a couple of lousy preseason games. (And that's an argument I'd have to agree with.)
I agree that the NHL needs to sell itself in the states more, but I also understand the benefits of having Europeans see firsthand the league that many of their athletes dream of playing in - and perhaps this will make even more European players wish to come to the NHL, which can only be good for the league.
My only real objection to the trip is the possible effect of jet lag later, and I have two thoughts on this:
1. If the players are going to have to go through that experience, both coming and going, why don't they get a few more
games in while they're over there? It's a lot to go through just for two stinkin' games. I would have loved to have seen a round-robin tournament were the Pens play the Senators, Rangers and Lightning in four different cities.
2. With a week to recover, and a long stretch of home games ahead, it seems that the effects of jet lag on game performance should be minimal.