With the current CBA set to expire on Sept. 15, NHL players and especially veterans ones are weighing their options of playing elsewhere. Tampa Bay's 37-year-old wing Martin St. Louis made it clear that he would play in Europe if there is an extended lockout.
"With my age, you want to keep playing," he said Monday. "I don't want to take a year off. If the NHL wants to shut us down, we'll go play somewhere else."
The issue with the CBA is that commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners believe too much is being paid out from the owners' side. According to the Associated Press' reporting, owners want the salary cap reduced to $50.8 million from $70.2 million. The Players' Association proposal sets the cap at about $69 million.
St. Louis is a veteran that's seen this before, so younger players could follow his example. He played in Switzerland during the last lockout in 2004-05.
St. Louis also had great things to say about the union, stressing that it's more together than it was last time. But these are still going to be tough negotiations.
"If it gets to October, it usually means (a lockout) will go longer," St. Louis added. "You have to be patient before you go to Europe, but it's definitely an option guys will look into."