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Report: Clarkson, Enstrom leave Austrian team (Updated)

Nov 6, 2012, 10:49 AM EDT

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Clarkson Salzburg

For the second consecutive day, NHL players have left their European clubs and returned to North America.

This time, it’s New Jersey forward David Clarkson and Winnipeg defenseman Tobias Enstrom, both of whom bolted Austrian club EC Red Bull Salzburg.

This development comes 24 hours after Buffalo sniper Thomas Vanek announced he’d be leaving another Austrian club, the Graz 99ers, and returning to North America.

Vanek’s contract with Graz had expired, though he noted part of his reason for not re-upping with the 99ers was the latest round of CBA talks, which he classified as “going forward a bit.”

It seems Enstrom and Clarkson were of a similar mindset, leaving Red Bull on the same day the NHL and NHLPA were set to resume collective bargaining negotiations.

This meeting is seemingly of particular interest to Clarkson, an participant in previous NHL-NHLPA sessions.

As for the departures, here’s a statement released by Salzburg via Facebook (WARNING: Rough translation ahead.)

The NHL player David Clarkson and Tobias Enstrom are departed from Salzburg. That has different personal reasons, has mainly but that do that in the NHL again movement in the talks between NHL and players has come and both of which assume that the game company soon resumes in North America.

David Clarkson is also one of the National Hockey League players’ Association (NHLPA) indicates who is involved in these discussions. The sudden departure is also for the Red Bulls very disappointing.

Enstrom inked with Red Bull on Oct. 22 — Clarkson Oct. 24 — and the pair skated in five games each before pulling the chute. Clarkson finished with 2G-1A-3PTS and 18 penalty minutes; Enstrom posted one goal and a minus-three rating.

UPDATE: Tom Gulitti spoke with David Clarkson via telephone and relays the following information via Twitter.

“He said he is still in Austria and hasn’t officially left the team yet. Clarkson said the report that he and Enstrom had a dispute with [Red Bull head coach Pierre] Page is false and he’s’ enjoyed playing for Page and Red Bull.

“Austrian Hockey League is on a break right now. Clarkson said he has a meeting with EC Red Bull tomorrow.”

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