Pure speculation

March 27, 2007

In the last week, I’ve watched all or most of the three Blue Jacket games.  All wins over Central Division opponents, these games starting at 7-8 PM have been more palatable both in start time and in result.

Vyborny and Modin

(Vyborny controls the puck behind the net while Modin follows closely behind.  Photo by Jamie Sabau)

In the Chicago (5-2 win), and St. Louis (4-1 win) games, left winger Fredrik Modin had a combined three goals on six shots, with a plus two rating.  Registering the first assist on all three of those goals?  None other than right winger David Vyborny.  Vyborny has never had trouble finding guys to set up for goals.  With 183 assists in 470 NHL games, he’s not exactly tearing up the league.  But considering the general talent level in Columbus during his tenure, I’d say that’s pretty good.

Vyborny currently has one year left on his contract, and it’s been suggested in the Dispatch that after his contract is up he will be moving his family back to the Czech Republic so his children can grow up there.  I think this is admirable, and hope that he sticks to his wishes for the sake of his family.

My question is this: Fredrik Modin recently signed a three-year extension to his current contract.  Given the chemistry that has developed between Modin and David Vyborny this season, will Doug MacLean (or whomever the GM may be) pressure Vyborny and issue him “an offer he can’t refuse” to sign for another year or two?

Taking family out of the equation, I would personally say go for it.  But my thinking is that David will turn down whatever comes across the table, and put his family above the desire to play in the NHL another couple years.  I’d love to see quiet #9 out there as long as he can go, but there’s something to be said for going with your heart.

Thanks for stopping by the End of the Bench.  Come back soon.



  1. I think that’s a good analysis. Of course, the big question mark that we don’t know is what his family wants. I’m not sure how old his kids are, but heck they may want to stay in the States, which would mean he might look at a good contract offer. But if they don’t (or they’re not old enough to know), then I would say he would probably go back to the Czech Repbulic.

  2. I believe his son is about five or six, so at the age to be starting school, which I imagine means that the longer he waits, the harder it is to move back.

    Lots of European players have faced this dilemma and wound up staying in North America longer. I know Lidstrom in Detroit has talked about wanting to go back to Sweden so his kids could grow up there, but in the end has always stuck around.

    And Vybes himself has wavered a little on the plan to return to the CR, and said that if the Jackets are making the playoffs by then, it might convince him to stay longer. I guess we’ll have to wait and see…

  3. My experience with Czech players is that the younger ones, those from the post 1968 era, want to return to the homeland. I knew Frank Kucera (played here in 2000) and he returned to the Czech Republic in 2003. Same with Robert Kron.

    They can live like kings over there on their NHL benefits and investments. They are also products of a highly specialized development program for hockey that does not exist in North America. That is what they want for their kids.

  4. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. If the CBJ are competitive through the first half of next year, I think we’ll see this become a hot topic.

    I could see Doug MacLean using this as another opportunity to try and make a player look bad for his own benefit. I hope not, but anything could happen.

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