NHL Lockout 2012: Displaced Players Can Now Join Swedish Elite League Teams

An anti-trust ruling in Sweden will allow NHL stars to sign with Swedish Elite League clubs.

The decision by Sweden's top hockey league, Elitserien, not to allow short-term lockout contracts for NHL stars has been overturned in an anti-trust ruling. The move could lead to a flood of NHL signings throughout the league.

According to Szymon Szemberg, the communications director for the IIHF, Elitserien teams are now free to make decisions on their own regarding whether they should sign NHL players to short-term deals. The anti-trust ruling struck down a league-wide ban on those contracts. He also reports that a court of appeals could rule otherwise, but until that happens the decree from the anti-trust agency stands.

Early rumors have several Swedish stars jumping on the chance to play in their homeland's top country. New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Stars forward Loui Eriksson and Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson are all reportedly in negotiations with Frolunda. All three players came up with the Frolunda system before jumping to North America.

For more on the NHL lockout, check in with our StoryStream and our network of hockey blogs.

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