I realize that this thread is pretty old...however I am new here and I have been trying to get a feel
for the place. I hope you don't mind me posting my opinion on this matter.
Concerning Hirsch calling NHL'ers in Europe "Scabs":
Corey Hirsch himself displaced a Swiss goaltender back down to Tier II when he arrived in Europe last year.
Hirsch was there the entire season last year and only got into 5 games. How many games does he think his limited-talent ass will see this year even without Gerber around?
In labor terms a "scab" is someone who either refuses to join a union or violates a union picket line to continue working. The NHL'ers currently in Europe aren't violating any picket lines.
Concerning the other players that have jetted off to Europe.....it appears to me that a majority of them are going back to their hometown teams/countries. In all honesty, the only league I follow is the SEL. So my view is slanted towards players in the SEL. Players like Forsberg, the Sedin borthers, Alfredsson (who will join after the European All-Stars Tour) and others left their hometown teams right as they were becoming stars. Now the fans are getting an opportunity to see these players while they are still in their prime. These players are giving a little something back to the fans and the teams that helped them reach the pinnacle of hockey....playing in the NHL. As for the rest of the NHL'ers....why not go to Europe?? The fans, the teams....everyone wants them (well, except for players like Hirsch I guess.) Hockey interest is at an all time high in Sweden and ticket sales/revenues are way up. This is definitely good for Swedish hockey and I would assume it is good for hockey all over Europe as well.
And for anyone that is worried about Hirsch, last I heard, his unemployment didn't last long, as he was recently signed by the Kassel Huskies of the German League.
Just my thoughts!