Saturday's notes: How about the cloak & dagger?

Oh, for the old days, when you could whisk a star hockey player out of Eastern Europe with a bit of subterfuge and daring, rather than get hung up on the bureaucratic intricacies of a rival league and their pesky contract buyout rules. Maybe it's time to resort to such tactics in order to obtain Alexander Radulov's release from the KHL?

David Poile has been down this road before. This, from the archives of the L.A. Times, dated August 3, 1986:

On a warm and overcast day in Rome last month, Czech hockey star Michal Pivonka and his fiance walked into the U.S. Embassy on the Via Veneto to declare their intention to seek refuge in the United States.

Pivonka's appearance did not surprise embassy officials, who had been advised several days earlier that the 20-year-old hockey star was on his way to Rome from Trieste, an Italian seaport city just across the northwestern border of Yugoslavia.

...

Two days later, Pivonka, accompanied by Nekvindova and two Capitals officials, arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, ready to seek his fame and fortune. Pivonka was introduced at a press conference at Capital Centre Tuesday, but club officials offered no details on how the defections were planned and executed. Nor do they intend to.

"We're not trying to cover up anything," Washington General Manager David Poile said. "What we're trying to do is respect the wishes of the people in the countries who have helped us. They've asked us not to say anything."

...

When the Capitals last week unveiled the 17th such defector to North America, an official at the Czech Embassy here called the signing "rather deplorable" and charged that Czech laws had been broken.

"It could have been done officially," the diplomat said of Pivonka's signing. "I read that officials of the Washington Capitals didn't try to approach the Czech (ice hockey) federation. It's rather strange."

For Poile, however, there were no reservations.

"If we had tried to negotiate Pivonka's release, he never would have gotten out," he said.

Times sure have changed, eh?

I just thought you might enjoy that bit of hockey history while reading through your morning hockey notes...

Only 5 more home games left... take the OTF Discount and save on tickets!

Nashville Predators News

Good news on Gaustad - Predators Insider
*whew* For a minute I thought we'd been Grebeshkoved.

Nashville Predators may start Anders Lindback in goal | The Tennessean
Which games today and tomorrow, Anders should get in there. But will the team finally give him some decent support?

Strong Finish Leads To Huge 5-4 Win Over Monsters | Admirals Roundtable
Down 4-2 in the third period, the Admirals successfully mounted a desperate comeback.

Around the Wide Wide World of Hockey

St. Louis Blues are back in the high life again - The Globe and Mail
I wonder if the Globe & Mail editors intended a subtle dig at St. Louis by using the name of a Milwaukee beer in the title here.

The Dark Blue Jacket: "Because it's the Cup" - Blue Jackets style
Because sometimes, humor is the best way to cope with misery.

Down Goes Brown: A look inside the NHL's 50-goal club
1975 - Boston Bruins legend Phil Esposito's fifth 50-goal season turns out to be the final one of his career, thanks to his annoying new coach who spends the entire game repeatedly asking all the players to remind him which province they were born in.

Hurricanes Jeff Skinner Suspended Two Games for Kicking Blues Forward Scott Nichol - Canes Country
Hey, that kid kicked Scooter!

Announced crowd of 19,099 is Stars' biggest ever - The Dallas Morning News
They're rebuilding the fan base from scratch in Dallas, so this was a nice accomplishment.

Deeez Nuuuts - Hawks 4, Stars 1 - Second City Hockey
They're getting a little more appreciative of Johnny Oduya in Chicago.

Game 72 Recap: Oilers vs Flames - Revenge of the Nuge - Matchsticks and Gasoline
After a big win over Phoenix, the Flames stubbed their toes against lowly Edmonton.

Ducks Can't Overcome Kings Early Lead - Anaheim Calling
The Kings earned a win at Anaheim, but face that brutal travel back home for tonight's game with the Preds.

Senators beat Canadiens 2-1; take over Northeast Division lead - Silver Seven
Ottawa has now passed the struggling Bruins.

The Afterburners: Byfuglien Caps Off Scoring In 3-2 Win Over Washington - Arctic Ice Hockey
The Jets are now just two points behind Washington for the 8th and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

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