A good number of NHL players aren’t wasting any time in picking a European team to go play for, and find themselves getting settled into their new cities just days after the old CBA expired.
Over the course of the winter, we’ll be following the more interesting stories that our NHL boys are involved in (as well as doing a number of features to keep this from being a lockout blog – old goal analysis, rec league tips, a simulation season, player reviews and much more), so let’s establish a starting point: where are guys going to play?
The excellent hockey site “Elite Prospects” is great for tracking guys, and was largely the source for this. Some are still in the “rumour” stage (if you go to the site, you can see which are confirmed and which are still in the works), but this is likely where you’ll see guys going.
Kontinental Hockey League (Russia premier league)
Evgeni Malkin: Metallurg Magnitogorsk
Sergei Gonchar: Metallurg Magnitogorsk
Nikolai Kulemin: Metallurg Magnitogorsk
Andrei Kostitsyn: Traktor Chelyabinsk
Ruslan Fedetenko: Donbass Donetsk
Alexei Ponikarovsky: Donbass Donetsk
Anton Kudobin: Atlant Mytischi
Kaspars Daugavins: Dinamo Riga
Ilya Kovalchuk: SKA St. Petersberg (he’s already been named the captain!)
Niklas Backstrom: Dinamo Minsk
Prediction: Evgeni Malkin is leading the league in points by about 15 in November, when he re-injures his knee and pisses the Penguins off.
AL-Bank Ligaen (Danish premier league)
Frans Neilsen: Herning
Peter Regin: Herning
Jannik Hansen: Rødovre
Prediction: Frans Neilsen goes backhand shelf a preposterous number of times, leads the league in points.
Czech Extraliga (Czech premier league)
Jaromir Jagr: HC Kladno
Tomas Plekanec: HC Kladno
Jiri Tlusty: HC Kladno
Pavel Kubina: HC Vitkovice
Roman Cervenka: HC Slavia Praha
Vladamir Sobotka: HC Slavia Praha
Lubomir Visnovsky: HC Slovan Bratislava
Alex Hemsky: HC Pardubice
Jan Mursak: Olimpija-Ljubljana
Jakub Voracek: HC Lev Praha
Prediction: Jaromir Jagr owns HC Kladno, so he’ll heavily recruit some more of his NHL buddies to come over and stack the team.
Deutsche Eishockey Liga (German premier league)
Dennis Seidenberg: Adler Mannheim
Marcel Goc: Adler Mannheim
Alexander Sulzer: Düsseldorfer EG
Kristian Erhofff: Krefeld Pinguine
Prediction: A team with an awesome name will win it all. Sooo, Düsseldorfer is the favourite?
Elitserien (Swedish premier league)
Jonathan Ericsson: Skellefteå
Gabriel Landeskog: Rosenborg IHK Elite
Kristian Huselias: HV71
Viktor Stalberg: Frölunda
Prediction: Gabriel Landeskog is the captain of his team by Christmas.
HockeyAllsvenscan (Swedish second league)
Anze Kopitar: Mora (wait, what? Why Sweden, why a second league, I’m so confused. The headline’s Google translation: Anze Kopitar is close to being ready for Mora. All that remains is the insurance issue.)
Carl Hagelin: Södertälje
Niklas Grossman: Södertälje
Tom Wandell: Södertälje
Mikael Backlund: VIK Västerås HK
Patrick Berglund: VIK Västerås HK
Prediction: If I have to write much about this league, I go stark-raving mad at having to find all the “special characters” and mail it in, hope it doesn’t offend anyone.
Swiss National League A
Joe Thornton: Davos
Rick Nash: Davos
Mark Streit: Bern
Roman Josi: Bern
Logan Couture: Genève-Servette
Yannick Weber: Genève-Servette
David Backes: Langnau
Prediction: Someone lines up across from Joe Thornon and Rick Nash and thinks “Uh oh.”
SM-liiga (Finnish premier league)
Jussi Jokinen: Kärpät
Jason Demers: Kärpät
Jesse Joensuu: Ässät
Prediction: I’ll never not think “ass hat” when I read “ Ässät.”