Joe Thornton, Rick Nash to play in Switzerland during an NHL lockout; Selanne to Jokerit? (UPDATE))
Turns out Rick Nash and Joe Thornton might play together next season after all — in Switzerland.
Before Nash's sad saga with the Columbus Blue Jackets came to an end with a trade to the New York Rangers, there was speculation the San Jose Sharks might ante up to unite him with his buddy Thornton, as they share the same agent.
Alas, the conversation between Doug Wilson and Scott Howson went something like this:
(Ring Ring) "Rick Nash?" "Logan Couture." (Click/Dial Tone)
Besides NHL All-Star Games and their Canadian Olympic glory, Thornton (40 games) and Nash (44 games) played together for Davos of the Swiss-A League during the 2004-05 NHL lockout.
According to Davos club president Gaudenzi Domenig in Suedostschweiz, if the NHL has another lockout to start the 2012-13 season, Thornton and Nash are expected to return to his Swiss team.
"To join these two stars, we will talk with the Kristall-Club (note: a club that gives support about two million francs a season to HC Davos)," said Domenig.
"But we agreed with Thornton and Nash that in case of lockout, they would return in the Grisons. "
Thornton, Nash and Niklas Hagman led the Grisons to the League title in 2005 before returning to the NHL for the 2005-06 season.
That sound you just heard were fans in Manhattan and San Jose scrambling to find where the Swiss-A League Internet streams are located …
Matias Strozyk, who hipped us to the Nash/Thornton story, also reports that Anaheim Ducks star Teemu Selanne has told MTV3 in Finland that he hasn't ruled out playing for Jokerit Helsinki of SM-liiga during an NHL lockout, as he did in 1994-95.
UPDATE: Darren Dreger reports: "Contrary to reports, both Rick Nash and agent Joe Resnick say Rick has no plan to play in Davos if there is a lockout." In which "reports" is the chairman of the team saying there's an agreement in place with the player.
From Andy Strickland: "Thornton's agent and brother, John Thornton, tells me he has no plans of playing professionally in Europe and any report suggesting otherwise is untrue."
Again, this isn't a "report": It's a direct quote from the chairman of the team, and news that frankly isn't anything the NHLPA wants out there at this point in the negotiation.