Between the Pipes: Kings sign Ehrhoff, Russians fined


Hello and welcome to another edition of Between the Pipes where we highlight some of top stories in the world of hockey. Speaking of hockey, the Flyers open training camp on September 17, a mere 23 days from now. Without further ado, let's look at some headlines. 

Los Angeles Kings sign Christian Ehrhoff to one-year deal [

Hopkins Take: Ehrhoff is coming off of a disappointing year with the Pittsburgh Penguins in which he scored 14 points in only 49 games played due to various injuries. The Penguins signed him to help stabilize their blue line, but instead he became one of the many casualties. The signing in Los Angeles could very likely signify the end of Slava Voynov as a King. He currently remains in prison and has been suspended indefinitely. How the league and the Kings choose to handle the situation when he's released from jail will set the precedent for future discipline should the need arise. 

Russian Hockey Federation fined for unsportsmanlike behavior at 2015 WHC [Adam Gretz – CBS Sports

Hopkins Take: Immediately following Canada's 6-1 win over Russia at the 2015 World Hockey Championships, Russian captain Ilya Kovalchuk led most of his team off of the ice before the medal ceremony and the playing of the national anthem. The International Ice Hockey Federation promised to punish the act and finally handed out an $85,000 fine on Monday. The actions of Kovalchuk and most of his teammates are inexcusable; part of being a professional athlete is to be gracious with victory AND defeat. It's re-assuring that a handful of players including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Dmitry Kulikov remained on the ice for the duration of the ceremony. Kovalchuk certainly didn't do anything to help how he is perceived by hockey fans stateside. 

A host of NHL veterans remain free agents as training camps near [Kevin Allen – USA Today via Detroit Free Press]

Hopkins Take: With training camp just a few weeks away, some top NHL vets remain on the open market such as Cody Franson, Stephen Weiss, Jiri Tlusty and Curtis Glencross. Each of these players could fill a void on most rosters and may have to wait until an injury opens a spot once camps begin. With the salary cup dictating a generalized youth movement across the league, teams are not apt to sign aging veterans to deals that are not cap-friendly. In some cases, a player may have to settle for less than they are hoping for in order to prove that they are a valuable commodity. One example would be Michael Del Zotto, who sat on the market for most of last summer before signing a deal with the Flyers following the news that Kimmo Timonen would be sidelined with blood clots. Not only did he outperform his contract, he earned himself an extension worth more money this offseason. It will be interesting to see what movement occurs between now and the beginning of the NHL's regular season in early October.

Zach Hopkins is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @healedbyhockey. 

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