Which Top NHL Players Will Head Overseas as the NHL Lockout Begins?

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 15:  Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 15, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

With the NHL set to lock out its players this September, lots of league stars are prepared to head overseas in search of work on the ice.

From the NHL's top young guns to the current league MVP, the overwhelming mindset is: If we can't play here, we will just play somewhere else. 

TSN's report confirms that these players, and others, may have to look elsewhere this season:

NHL lockout officially in effect as CBA expires: Go to TSN.ca for details. #TSN bit.ly/Pvdo7K

— TSN (@TSN_Sports) September 16, 2012

Let's take a look at some top NHL players who are likely to ship off overseas as the lockout begins. 


Erik Karlsson

The NHL's highest-scoring defenseman last season, Ottawa's Erik Karlsson is considering taking his talents to Sweden this season.

Karlsson discussed the prospects of heading overseas to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch:

We’re looking at options. We’re not trying to make a deal with anyone. What we’re trying to do is just figure out if worst comes to worst what would be the best place. You need to be prepared for whatever is going to happen. You just want to go somewhere and it could be good.

The 22-year-old Sweden native tallied an impressive 78 points for Ottawa in 2011-12 and is arguably the best young defenseman in the league today.


Evgeni Malkin

Reports are surfacing that the reigning Hart Memorial Trophy winner, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, is already practicing in the KHL. 

Malkin, along with fellow NHLer, Ottawa Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar, are keeping their skills in check by practicing with the KHL's Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

This according to communications chief for the International Ice Hockey Federation, Szymon Szemberg via Twitter:

RUS media reports: Malkin, Gonchar already practise with Metallurg Mag. Traktor Chelyabinsk are signing A. Kostitsin, Vyacheslav Voinov.

— Szymon Szemberg (@Sz1909_Szemberg) September 14, 2012


Malkin scored 50 goals for the Pens last season, and added another 59 assists. It's not difficult to see why the NHL superstar would make an early trip to Russia. He was born there, grew up there and has ties to the Magnitogorsk system. 


John Tavares

One of the NHL's rising young talents, New York Islanders center John Tavares, who led the team with 81 points last season, has said that he would consider making a move across the pond to play hockey in Europe in case of an NHL lockout.

Here is Metro sportswriter Denis Gorman relaying his conversation with Tavares via Twitter:

#NHL #NYI #Isles #NYIslanders #Islanders #NewYorkIslanders John Tavares on #NHLCBA #CBA: "The process the last couple weeks has been...

— Denis Gorman (@DenisGorman) September 13, 2012

...disappointing. ...We understand how important it is to fight for a fair deal. [#NHL has] made a lot of changes [to proposals]. It's...

— Denis Gorman (@DenisGorman) September 13, 2012

...about cutting our salaries." Tavares said he is ineligible to play in the #AHL, but Europe is "definitely something I would consider."

— Denis Gorman (@DenisGorman) September 13, 2012


Tavares is from Ontario and would seemingly prefer to remain in North America, but since he says he is ineligible to play in the AHL this coming season, Europe looks like the most likely of destinations for the NHL star.


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