September 15th is a few short days away without any formal negotiations for the NHL and NHLPA in sight. If no new CBA is in place, Gary Bettman has said the players will be locked out and the season will be delayed. It’s understandable that some NHLers are looking for contingency plans with both sides seemingly still miles apart.
Various European hockey leagues saw an influx of NHL talent during the 2004-2005 season lost during the last lockout. Vinny Lecavalier and Brad Ricards suited up for Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL. Dan Boyle headed to Djurgårdens IF, then a part of the Swedish Elitserien. Marty St. Louis played for HC Lausanne in Switzerland and Pavel Kubina for HC Vítkovice in the Czech Republic.
If you think it’s tough keeping up when your team is on a West Coast road trip, try when they’re on the other side of the world. Unfortunately it’s looking like many of us are going to have to renew our relationship with Google Translate.
Marty St. Louis has made his plan clear if the NHL season is delayed for a long period of time.
“With my age, you want to keep playing. I don’t want to take a year off. If the NHL wants to shut us down, we’ll go play somewhere else,” St. Louis said. (Quote Source: Tampa Bay Times)
It’s easy to see why the 37 year old wouldn’t want to miss any time, but he isn’t the only one. Steven Stamkos has also thought about headed abroad in the even of an extended lockout. Depending on how long things run, St. Louis has said he expects to be playing in Europe by mid October.
Things aren’t looking good for a full NHL season, that’s for sure. The Russian Lecavalier jersey is a nice addition to my collection, but I’d gladly have it gone if it meant we could get that season back. At this point all we can really do is hope.