It has been a very busy last week and a half with many more NHLers flocking to Europe to find somewhere to play some hockey. In this past week alone Danny Briere, Claude Giroux, Joe Pavelski, Gabriel Landeskog, Andrei Markov, Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, Jamie Benn, and Matt Duchene have all packed their bags and headed to Europe. Now with news coming from sports outlets such as ESPN and recently Sportsnet that they will now be broadcasting some KHL games this season this may give a little hope for true hockey fans to see their favourite stars in action.
However, what this influx of players heading overseas still, even after more than 20 days since the lockout was announced, means is there's a sign that a resolution to the lockout is no closer than when the lockout began. Last weekend the NHLPA and the NHL were at the table trying to hammer out a deal that would bring an end to the lockout, but like the other meetings between the two sides, nothing was accomplished and it seems that a deal may be a lot further away than most NHL fans would hope.
During the negotiations the players have been meeting along with Don Fehr (NHLPA Executive Direcctor) to be more informed about the lockout situation, however many players have still continued to head to Europe. Does this mean that the players are aware there is no deal in sight? That's what it is starting to look like. Would players continue to sign contracts and commit to playing for other teams if they knew that an agreement to end the NHL lockout was just around the corner? That seems highly unlikely.
Both the NHL and NHLPA have continued to meet privately in Toronto this weekend, but until one side or the other brings something new to the table don't expect any significant news. Fans looking to catch some hockey action in the mean time can catch KHL games on ESPN. The next game will air on Sunday October 13th at 9 am when Dynamo Moscow (featuring Alex Ovechkin) takes on Sibir HD.
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