While negotiations in the NHL lockout appear to have stalled, a few of the league's players will take the ice in Kontinental Hockey League play in Russia on Saturday.
Avangard Omsk will square off against Severstal in KHL play at 11 a.m. ET, and feature Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Nikita Nikitin, who signed a lockout contract with the club on Sept. 24. The 26-year-old spent seven years with Avangard, his hometown team, before moving to North America in 2010. In 61 games during the 2011-12 season with the Blue Jackets, the defenseman scored seven goals and had 25 assists.
Saturday's other matchup will pit Atlant against Dynamo Minsk at 11 a.m. ET. Dynamo Minsk's roster includes goaltender Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild. Backstrom, who has been plagued by an ankle injury this year, notched 1194 saves in 46 games for the Wild during the 2011-12 NHL season. The club also features goaltender Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators, who is 2-4-0 in six games so far with the Russian club, and Canadian Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets.