Lennart Petrell signs in Europe; Ladislav Smid rumoured to be on his way too

Jonathan Willis
September 20 2012 02:53PM

The exodus to Europe is well underway, and a pair of Edmonton Oilers joined the discussion today. Lennart Petrell has signed with Helsinki, his old team in the top Finnish league, while Ladislav Smid is rumoured to be en route to the Czech Republic.

It’s not really a surprise to see Petrell return to Helsinki; not only is it his hometown team, but prior to joining the Oilers Petrell spent more than a decade either with the club or in its system. His breakthrough 34-point campaign in 2010-11 (over 56 games) earned him an NHL shot in the first place.

The rumours surrounding Smid are of much the same variety. The Liberec White Tigers (Bílí Tygři Liberec) are the team that developed Smid and where he spent his pre-NHL career.

In both cases, these returns represent homecomings.

Tip of the hat to EliteProspects.com on both the transfer of Petrell and the rumoured transfer of Smid.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Pharmboy
September 20 2012, 05:18PM
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Can Petrell stay the whole season? Please? Pretty please with sugar on top?

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#2 knobert
September 20 2012, 02:56PM
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...

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#3 Erny Beckett
September 20 2012, 03:10PM
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Bring on WHA2. We need hockey.

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#4 vetinari
September 20 2012, 03:03PM
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Noooo! Not Ladi and Lenny! Say it isn't so!

On a serious note, couldn't we just cut out all the bullspit and drama, and just get down to some real negotiating already?

NHL-- what are your one or two "must haves"?

NHLPA-- what are your one or two "must haves"?

If these "must haves" are not consistent with the other party's, what are you prepared to give up in trade to go with the other side's position?

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#5 RexLibris
September 20 2012, 04:14PM
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Thanks for adding the "...in 56 games" on Petrell. I like him as a player because of his effort, but a "breakthrough campaign of 34 points" in an audience acclimatized to thinking in 82 game seasons is kind of frightening.

I'm hopeful that Smid signs soon. He needs to keep playing, given that he has just recently gained some traction, I'm very hopeful for him. Another one of my favourites to watch because of his attitude and work ethic.

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#6 toprightcorner
September 20 2012, 07:22PM
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I am not overly impressed with some of the players going over to Europe, especially those native to North America. You have guys like Spezza who makes $7 million a year going to Europe to play and takes a roster spot of a guy trying to earn a living for his family or start his career.

You can't tell me that Spezza needs the money, if he does, the NHLPA should be fighting for financial training for its players!!

Sure, there are guys making less than $1 million a year that may find it tough to make 2 mortgage payments and payments for their sportscars, that I can somewhat understand needing to supplement their income, but even then it is not a requirement.

This shows how greedy the players are.

People always talk about the $3.3 billion in hockey revenues but never say the players get 57% of it and that the owners probably pay over half of their share, on average, to run the hockey teams, mostly expenses spent on the players themselves.

Now you are looking at a split like this:

Players - 57% - $1.88 billion Owners - 21.5% (approx) - $710 million

Doesn't look so fair does it?

If the players want a big piece if the pie, pay for your own meals, the 100's of carbon sticks, flights and accommodations. If not, the owner of every business SHOULD make more than the employee's.

The players are greedy, especially the higher paid ones. Stealing jobs of fringe professional hockey players to make even more money.

Makes me sick!

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#7 GNikkles
September 20 2012, 09:18PM
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Do you mind explaining the rationale behind you being sick with the NHL players taking the jobs of fringe professional hockey players, instead of being sick with the fringe professional league team owners who are signing them and allowing it to happen?

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#8 RexLibris
September 20 2012, 10:38PM
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I think it depends on their league, but I recall Ralph Krueger saying that players going overseas to the Swiss Elite League aren't really taking all the jobs away from the locals. If I recall correctly, and I probably don't, each team is limited in the number of "imports" they can have on the roster, so in essence Joe Thornton or Jason Spezza may only be taking away a job from another North American.

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#9 Stuck in Calgary
September 21 2012, 08:36AM
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@RexLibris That's all fine then...as long as that disposed player can come back to NA and play in the spot that is left over from the NHL player. I cannot blame owners from European leagues for trying to make their team as competitive as possible, but for an NHL player to go to another league and take away another's job is somewhat unethical. Don't tell me how unreasonable owners are and then take off and play hockey elsewhere, essentially taking the food out of the mouths of those players that are already committed to those teams.

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#10 Romanus
September 21 2012, 12:19PM
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Stuck in Calgary wrote:

@RexLibris That's all fine then...as long as that disposed player can come back to NA and play in the spot that is left over from the NHL player. I cannot blame owners from European leagues for trying to make their team as competitive as possible, but for an NHL player to go to another league and take away another's job is somewhat unethical. Don't tell me how unreasonable owners are and then take off and play hockey elsewhere, essentially taking the food out of the mouths of those players that are already committed to those teams.

Not only unethical, but what kind of solidarity does it show to the NHLPA, when the top guys and Europeans go elsewhere to play, while the other 600 guys don't collect a paycheck. if you are one of the 600 guys without an income, how will the vote go?

I am on the side of the owners on this. All everyone ever talks about is revenue, how about profit which is the true measure of the health of a business. With discussions about revenue, the big losers are the fans. I also blame the agents. while I respect the right earn what they can, they are the ones that have been a big part of the cause for the crazy contracts.

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#11 Dave Lumley
September 21 2012, 12:36PM
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toprightcorner wrote:

I am not overly impressed with some of the players going over to Europe, especially those native to North America. You have guys like Spezza who makes $7 million a year going to Europe to play and takes a roster spot of a guy trying to earn a living for his family or start his career.

You can't tell me that Spezza needs the money, if he does, the NHLPA should be fighting for financial training for its players!!

Sure, there are guys making less than $1 million a year that may find it tough to make 2 mortgage payments and payments for their sportscars, that I can somewhat understand needing to supplement their income, but even then it is not a requirement.

This shows how greedy the players are.

People always talk about the $3.3 billion in hockey revenues but never say the players get 57% of it and that the owners probably pay over half of their share, on average, to run the hockey teams, mostly expenses spent on the players themselves.

Now you are looking at a split like this:

Players - 57% - $1.88 billion Owners - 21.5% (approx) - $710 million

Doesn't look so fair does it?

If the players want a big piece if the pie, pay for your own meals, the 100's of carbon sticks, flights and accommodations. If not, the owner of every business SHOULD make more than the employee's.

The players are greedy, especially the higher paid ones. Stealing jobs of fringe professional hockey players to make even more money.

Makes me sick!

You are absolutely right! The 57% the players get is all gravy, it goes right into their pockets. The 43% the owners get, goes toward paying expenses often with 0% going into their pockets or a loss coming out.

Ridiculous. Plus players get to build their income with endorsements. All courtesy of the owners providing a league for them to play in.

What we need is contraction. Lose a hundred jobs, stop watering down the talent, and having a few guys looking over their shoulders at the boys chompin at the bit.

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#12 Mike
September 21 2012, 09:11PM
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Are you guys forgetting that this is the deal the owners made back in 2005? Also about the players taking away jobs from other players. It's called competitive sports. Should we fire the top CEOs of company's and hire people on welfare to take over?

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#13 tan87
September 26 2012, 04:53PM
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I am on the side of the owners on this. All everyone ever talks about is revenue, how about profit which is the true measure of the health of a business. With discussions about revenue, the big losers are the fans. I also blame the agents. while I respect the right earn what they can, they are the ones that have been a big part of the cause for the crazy contracts.

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