Yes, it’s true. The NHL is in the middle of yet another lockout. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t catch quality hockey games during this trying time. Many of the NHL’s best have taken their talents to other leagues around the world to keep their skills sharp and play the game they love. Find out how you can watch or keep track of your favorite NHL players.
American Hockey League
Several NHL players will be playing on their AHL counterpart teams, none more prominent than Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. These two snipers playing on the same team should be quite entertaining (Taylor Hall might be joining them as well). Keep a look out for games near you, since this will be the only way you can watch pro hockey live in the States during the lockout.
- Jordan Eberle – Oklahoma City
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Oklahoma City
Kontinental Hockey League (Russia)
The KHL is regarded as the second-best league in the world after the NHL, making it a popular destination for players who want to maintain their skills. Obviously, playing in the KHL is preferred among Russians; however, a player like Chara choosing the KHL highlights the talent level.
ESPN struck a deal to air at least seven KHL games on ESPN3, with commentary from Steve Levy and Barry Melrose or Paul Romanuk and Aaron Murphy. You can watch ESPN3 streaming games on your computer or Xbox 360.
- Alexander Ovechkin – Dynamo Moscow
- Zdeno Chara – Lev Praha
- Pavel Datsyuk – CSKA Moscow
- Ilya Kovalchuck – SKA St. Petersburg
- Nail Yakupov – Neftekhimik
- Evgeni Malkin - Mettalurg
Swiss National League (Nationalliga A)
Surprising many fans, several top NHL players chose to play in the Swiss Elite league. Because the league's talent level is among the best in Europe and teams play a less demanding schedule, NHLers can maintain their skills without getting burned out, if and when the lockout ends. Plus, living in Switzerland is not too shabby.
- Patrice Bergeron – HC Lugano
- Logan Couture – Geneva-Servette
- Rick Nash – Davos
- Tyler Seguin – EHC Biel
- John Tavares – Bern
- Joe Thorton – Davos
- Henrik Zetterberg – EV Zug
- Jason Spezza – Rapperswil-Jona
These three leagues aren’t the only destinations for hockey players during the lockout. As the lockout drags on, more players will start finding new teams across the Atlantic. Let’s hope the NHL and NHLPA can come to an agreement soon so we can get some much-needed NHL competition.
Source: TSN, ESPN