With the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its player's association on Saturday night, all 30 owners gave commissioner Gary Bettman the ability to lockout the players, which he immediately did. With negotiations at a standstill, several players are preparing for the worst by finding alternative employment options in professional leagues overseas.
For those asking, the contracts players are signing overseas are temporary deals. If the NHL season resumes, they'll return.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) September 17, 2012
Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeni Malkin and former teammate Sergei Gonchar of the Ottawa Senators quickly signed with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), and were promptly joined by Nikolai Kulemin of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils will also be playing in the KHL but as a member of SKA St. Petersburg.
Dallas Stars forward Jaromir Jagr announced that he will be playing for HC Kladno of the Czech Extraliga – he is the owner of the team – and will be joined by friend Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens. Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers will also be playing in the Czech Extraliga as a member of the HC Pardubice.
In addition, Ruslan Fedotenko of the Philadelphia Flyers (Donbass Donetsk), Alexei Ponikarovsky of the Winnipeg Jets (Donbass), Pavel Kubina (HC Vitkovice), Jiri Tlusty of the Carolina Hurricanes (HC Kladno) and Mark Streit of the New York Islanders (Bern), have come to terms on contracts with foreign teams.
For a full list of confirmed and rumored transfers, click here. For more on the NHL lockout, continue to check out this Storystream and SB Nation's NHL hub, which will have all the latest news and updates.