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Some European veterans in tough position thanks to influx of locked out NHLers

Sep 19, 2012, 8:22 PM EDT

Karl Alzner #27 of the Washington Capitals skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 22, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers defetaed the Capitals 2-1 in the shootout.
(March 21, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

With the NHL in lockout mode, we’ve already seen plenty of players find temporary employment opportunities in a variety of European leagues, but the fact remains with the NHL shutdown, there are less professional hockey jobs to go around.

Every time an NHLer signs with a European club, someone else that might have played with that team during a non-lockout season is potential hurt.

For example, Domenic Pittis was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins back in 1993, but he wasn’t able to earn a permanent spot on an NHL roster. Instead he’s made a career out of playing in the Swiss-A league but, as the Calgary Herald points out, he’s a free agent as European squads weigh their options or pursue NHL talent in light of the lockout.

The reality of the situation led Ducks forward Bobby Ryan to say that he wouldn’t play in Europe because he’s “not going to take somebody else’s job overseas.” Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner has been hesitant to sign with a European squad for the same reason.

Still, Pittis isn’t bitter over the situation.

“I know some guys are upset about it, but it’s an open market, right?” Pittis told the Herald. “And it’s kind of what you’ve been facing your whole life as a hockey player — ‘If there’s somebody better . . .’ So I don’t really hold it against those guys at all. I’m trying to play somewhere, trying to get some ice — and they’re hockey players, too, trying to do the same thing.

“Not knowing how long it’s going to go on . . . I am a little bit anxious. Sitting around and waiting is the toughest part. Definitely more stress.”

  1. sportsfreak13 - Sep 19, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Good to see Pittis has a good attitude about this. To all the fans who say they will never go to a game when the lockout ends let me remind you the game itself has done nothing wrong just the people who run it. Don’t let your hate for them override your love for the game itself.

  2. blomfeld - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    THANKS A LOT LUONGO !

    Not only are these fleeing players a bunch of callous scabs , in addition they have to be one of the absolute dumbest groups of people ever assembled anywhere. Yes indeed you clowns, it’s far better to go to Europe and play in front of a bunch of schmucks making 50 cents on the dollar, as opposed to staying at home playing for your own loyal fans (ie: those who make you rich) and make 95 cents on the dollar. That sure makes sense to me, especially when you consider how profitable the NHL is these days ! Do as they may, but there will be a price to pay and there’ll be no one to blame but themselves.

    ps: just kidding about Luongo, as this lockout isn’t really his fault …

  3. hootowl7e - Sep 19, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Ryan and Alzner – Class Acts

  4. barkar942 - Sep 19, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Ryan, I guess you read my earlier post here and decided to write more about it.

    http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2012/09/19/detroits-filppula-signs-in-finland/#comments

    You want my overall opinion on this whole CBA deal?
    There is a big pile of money that gets generated by a bunch of grown men playing a kids game. The teams are owned by a bunch of rich, overgrown kids.
    FIGURE OUT HOW TO SHARE IT AND GET A DEAL DONE!
    Tell Ovechkin to stay home! He has a better chance of winning a KHL Cup than an NHL Cup, and if he stays and the NHL skips Sochi, maybe he can finally win an Olympic Medal!

  5. mydadyourmom - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    excellent posts everyone.

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