from Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet,
What the Blackhawks do after Hughes/Kakko affects everyone else. But, there is another variable, and that is who takes Russian winger Vasily Podkolzin.
I’ve seen more of Thanos the past two years than Podkolzin, but certainly know his reputation. He’s a talented, talented player — as skilled as anyone available in June. But he’s locked into an overseas contract for at least another two years, which limits the number of NHL teams willing to consider it at this time.
“If you need help next season or the year after, you can’t take him,” one exec said this week. “But if you can afford to wait…it could be like a delayed powerball victory.”
No GM is more secure than Steve Yzerman, returning to the scene of his greatest triumphs. Even before his announcement, there was a belief the Red Wings liked Podkolzin’s game. The organization has a great history with Russian players, and Yzerman had success with drafting them in Tampa Bay. They won’t be afraid, if he’s the No. 1 guy on their list.
more on this from Friedman's 31 Thoughts...