Gone like a lokomotiv

I loved talking to Sean Bergenheim during the lockout. He was a hawk, an unreconstructed hawk. “Salary cap” was anathema. Some guys parroted the NHLPA line; Bergenheim lived it, and wondered where it went when it was gone. Beyond that, Bergenheim was unhappy to get shipped to Bridgeport to start last year (and laid it plain). I’m sure it’s in the back of his mind that it could happen again.

Larry Brooks’s column today thus does not surprise me much:

Slap Shots has learned that Bergenheim … is threatening to sign with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv after having rejected the Islanders’ two-way qualifier of $718,200 (NHL) over $92,500 (AHL).

Sources have told Slap Shots that GM Garth Snow has offered Bergenheim a one-way deal for $500,000 but that the 22-year-old winger is holding out for a one-way deal at his NHL qualifier price that he is not going to get. And why should he?

Brooks isn’t wrong: “And why should he,” indeed? The whole purpose of the past two years was to make it easier to cut loose the Bergenheim type, or to cut his salary; the whole purpose of the past two years was to squeeze him over $200,000; the whole purpose of the past two years was to drive him, the expensive mid-range guy, to his knees, or at worst to Europe. Denis Grebeshkov might be ahead of the curve there, but Bergenheim fits the profile even better, if he doesn’t get his number. More power to him, and anyone upset about it can just take solace in their victory a year ago.

Now, where’d I put my broom?

Michael Fornabaio