Okay, folks, there have been some moves in the past by some GMs that have left me scratching my head(the Gerber signing sticks out; also the entire tennure of Mike Milbury with the Islanders), but the last week has left me stunned.
David Poile has gone out and signed SEVEN European players since the playoffs ended. SEVEN of them! I've already commented on the first six, but a new acquisition has been added to the list. It's not that I have a problem with this, I'm just wondering why he's choosing to do this at this point in time.
Former 3rd round selection Oliver Setzinger has been signed to a two-way contract by the Predators. The 6'0" 205 Austrian forward has put up stellar offensive numbers- most notably his 15 points in 5 contests at the WJCs in 03- though his defense seems to be a bit lacking. The 23 year-old bounced around Finland for five years, playing with three different teams: Ilves Tampere (2000-02), Pelicans Lahti (02-04), and Hämeenlinna (03-04). He's also spent time in Austria, where he spread mass pwnage for the Vienna Captials, posting back-to-back 70 point seasons. Like the four defensemen and Pihlstrom, Mr. Setzinger will be attending the Predators training camp this fall.
I'm going to reserve judgement on this one, but I seriously doubt he'll make it to the NHL.
So here's a breakdown of the Preds' prospects that have yet to sign:
1 in the WHL
2 in the Elitserien
2 in the SM-Liiga
3 in the Czech Extraliga
5 in the NCAA
7 in the RSL
With all due respect to Russian hockey players, I really wish Dave would stop drafting them because they'll probably never make it over, and the RIHF is not going to cooperate with the IIHF and the NHL.