In response to the onset of the NHL lockout at midnight on Saturday, numerous NHLers are playing in Europe to collect a paycheck and
pass the time until a CBA is hammered out. Here are a few headliners that have made short-term career moves:
- Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovulchuk and numerous other Russian superstars are heading home to play in the KHL, where the pay is comparable to the NHL, and the quality of play is as close to the US as you can find.
- San Jose Shark Joe Thorton and New York Ranger Rick Nash are headed back to play in Davos, Switzerland. Both all-stars spent the entire 2004-2005 season their during the last lockout.
Below are some other high profile players that are yet to decide where and if they will play during the lockout, according to ESPN.com:
- Sidney Crosby will not be pursuing the option of playing overseas currently, as he continues to train and attempt to keep the momentum he gained after missing a majority of the season due to concussion symptoms. However, his agent maintains that if the lockout continues, Crosby may decide to test the waters and play in Europe.
- Brad Richards, Jonathan Toews, and Claude Giroux are all looking to remain in the States and train at least for the early stages of this lockout. All three maintain that their options remain open and have agents actively pursuing possible teams overseas.
- All-NHL defensemen and former teammates Shea Weber and Ryan Suter have decided to stay on this side of the Atlantic during the lockout and focus on training. Not a surprise, as both signed massive contracts with guaranteed signing bonuses already in the bank.