Monday, June 9, 2008

Like Artemus Gordon and James West...

Branko Radivojevic has decided to join Chris Simon and go in a different direction in his professional hockey career.

East. Way, way, way-y-y East.

How about all the way to 'The Wild, Wild East' ??

Radivojevic has signed a contract for 2008-09 with Moscow Spartak of the Russian Premiere League. The checking forward suffered an ACL injury during Game 2 of the Minnesota Wild's six-game first-round playoff loss to the Colorado Avalanche. The 28-year-old Slovakian was signed to a 2 year free agent deal in the summer of 2006. Last season, he had 7 goals, 10 assists and was a minus -14. He was primarily used alongside Stephane Veilleux on penalty-killing situations last season as well. The former 3rd round selection of the Avs in 1999, he also played with Phoenix and Philadelphia as well.

Radivojevic joins Simon and Petteri Nummelin as 2007-08 Wild players who have signed with European teams for next season.

My View: Will Branko be missed? In the long run, not much. He was at best a 3rd-4th line forward, which is where he actually wound up. He was signed to hopefully provide that third forward for a Gaborik-Demitra-Radivojevic line; however, Demitra did not want to play center, Gaborik thought anyone other than Demitra was too slow, and so on. 'Radio', as head coach Jacques Lemaire would say, kind of accepted the penalty killer role in order to stay up on the big roster. After the ACL injury in Game 2 of the Avs series, the Wild realized that only one penalty killer would not do, but with Branko in line for a new contract, they had to get more offense out of that roster spot, given that Demitra would (probably) be gone and the roster was due for an off-season overhaul.

7 comments:

maggie said...

Wow, lets watch as all of our FAs venture off to play in Russia.

I finally started liking Radio mainly because IMO, he really did play with heart. Which is what we needed to see when our team started to not care about how the season went.

Wake me up in October, thanks.

WRT - Wild Road Tripper said...

What band had the song line, 'Wake me up, when September ends.."

Maggie, I know. Branko was good at what he did. Unfortunately, that didn't include goal scoring.

Minnesota, the new 'borscht belt'...

Mr Bandgeek said...

That would be Green Day, WRT.

WRT - Wild Road Tripper said...

Thanks, Mr. Bandgeek. Hope your wife is better after what happened.

Green Day - 'September Song'...

maggie said...

I mentioned this in a comment on Jeremy's blog, but now with all of the Slovaks gone what is DR gonna do to make Gabby sign an extension (since that's pretty much why Demo came here)? Is he gonna sign the whole country of Slovakia?

WRT - Wild Road Tripper said...

Demitra would have to take a significant pay cut to stay here. I think he's going to Vancouver.

Maggie: If the rest of the Slovaks are anything like Demitra -- i.e., 'play when I want to' -- I don't want any of them on this Wild team. I'm of the opinion that Demo was a prima donna extraordinaire last season and that the Wild would be much better off without him.

Nick in New York said...

I'm with you, WRT, on the Slovaks. Almost makes you wonder if, in getting JL to come back, Risebrough was choosing Lemaire over Gaby this summer.