The European Option

The NHL is inching closer and closer to a lockout and it appears virtually certain that one is going to happen for at least some length of time.

So, what happens to the former UND players who are under NHL contracts?

The guys who are on two-way deals — such as Chay Genoway, Ben Blood, Jason Gregoire and Brock Nelson — will likely play in the American Hockey League (this also means AHL and ECHL roster spots may be ultra-competitive this season).

During the last lockout, Zach Parise was one of the guys who played in the AHL on an entry-level deal.

But for the guys who are on one-way deals and cannot go to the AHL, it is either sit and wait or go to Europe.

According to several news reports recently, Jonathan Toews is among the NHL players considering going to Europe. His agent told a newspaper that he would under the right circumstances and timing (read more here).

During the last lockout, a handful of players did this as well, including UND’s Jason Blake. That lockout lasted an entire season.

It’s hard to believe that the NHL could possibly put its fans through another year of no hockey, but the players will have to keep their games up somehow. And that might mean superstars are headed to Europe.

9 Responses

      1. willythekid

        Am I the only one wondering if Mr. Nelson is reassessing his decision to leave early for his professional career?

        1. Josh

          I’ve been wondering as well. Parise left after two years and ended up playing in the AHL during the 2005 lockout. To this day, Parise says he wishes he would have stayed at UND.

          I hope things work out for Nelson but I don’t have much faith in the Islanders organization. When Nelson signed, several Islanders fans voiced their concern that the team would end up ruining his development by rushing him. I certainly hope that’s not the case.

  1. Boog

    It took a long time for the NHL to recover the last time they had a lockout. I’m betting on a shortened season, but no way they kill the season.

  2. northdasotan

    With the new CBA the owners are asking for… maybe it was better for Nelson and Dell to leave early? I am curious where Nelson wants to be playing this year. I really liked Dell but I am excited for the new goalies coming in. Either way I would rather be watching Sioux hockey.

  3. Jeff

    Bettman needs to be fired for pulling this crap again. Players took the salary hit last time. Suck it up.

    On another note: When do Sioux hockey tickets go on sale?

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