While the standoff between the NHL and its players association drags on, many big-name players are tearing it up in Europe.
If we had to pick all-Euro teams from among the refugees from Gary Bettman’s garage league, here is what the first team might look like:
W – Tyler Seguin, EHC Biel, Switzerland: This young Boston Bruins star has done it all for his team, including penalty killing. He has scored 25 goals and added 15 assists in 29 games.
W – Alexander Ovechkin, Dynamo Moskva, Russia: He has had a blast back in the KHL this season. In his first 27 games he scored 16 goals and added 19 assists. But, yes, he is still eager to return to the Washington Capitals if the NHL ever resumes play. He promises.
C – Evgeni Malkin, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Russia: Earlier this season the Pittsburgh Penguins star raved to a Russian newspaper about his KHL experience. “We have a great team,” he said. “We win a lot. I’m in good shape and get plenty of ice time.” He got big results with that ice time: 17 goals and 32 assists on his first 32 games.
D – Christian Ehrhoff, Krefeld Pinguine, Germany: He hoped to bounce back with a big season for the Buffalo Sabres this season. Instead he went back overseas and scored eight goals and added 17 assists in his first 28 games.
D – Erik Karlsson, Jokerit, Finland: Aside from one memorable tantrum over the quality of officiating, his return to Scandinavia has been quite pleasant. In his first 28 games the budding Ottawa Senators star scored seven goals and added 20 assists.
GT – Anders Lindback, Ilves Tampere, Finland: The would-be Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender had three shutouts in his first 13 games, earning a 2.33 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in the process.