Are the Players Sellouts? Players who Sign With European Clubs

As is reporting,

the list of NHL players running off to Europe is now at 178.

Question: Do you think that it is unfair to have players sign contracts with European clubs while the NHL is under lockout? Do you think that it kind of compromises the players position and enforces the greed aspect of professional sports, or do you think that it is a clever bargaining tool to try to force the owners into a resolution?In my opinion, the players who sign overseas are selling out themselves and their fellow hockey players. What gives a player the right to play somewhere else and collect a paycheck during a work stoppage? I know that some of you will argue that they are free agents because their contractual obligations are expired in the NHL, but I see the players who bolt to the European leagues as traitors in the sense that they are ensuring themselves a paycheck rather than fighting for the almighty players association cause and taking the easy road. (For the record I personally side with the owners in this current work stoppage). Let me know what you think, in this my first HTR article!

29 Responses to Are the Players Sellouts? Players who Sign With European Clubs

  1. leafstopgun says:

    I belive the guys that are going elsewere to play realy just love the sport. I mean they arent getting the big nhl dollars they just want to play. like any labor talks they are told by there reps what they want.

  2. BADBANNER says:

    I don’t think we should blame any of the players who go to Europe to play, sure you could argue they are still in it for the paycheck, but its nothing near nhl dollars. I think they are just doing it for thier love of the game, or to merly stay in game shape. Got to play somewhere right?

    I think what this does do is make the players union look like a bunch of idiots and look almost fragile, because thier own players are abandoning them, which they are supposedly fighting so hard for. Makes you wonder………..

  3. titans says:

    Who cares if they go play for the Uganda National Hockey Team? What else are they supposed to do, they’re hockey players! Its not like thay can do anything else…although that would be funny, seeing players trying newcareers…

    Tie Domi…agression management counselor.

    Eric Lindros…gay nightclub bouncer

    Mathew Barnaby…the guy who changes the urinal cakes

    Just think of the possibilities!!

  4. mikster says:

    Sellouts? Absolutely not. It’s actually being smart at gaining another sort of experience, they get to live in another part of the world and learn and appreciate different clutures, and of course different cultures of hockey. They may get to learn some language of whatever country they play in and they get to communicate better. Plus, they play hockey, keep in shape, and still get paid.

    I see nothing wrong with that. In fact, it would be the first thing i would do if i were to be a player from the NHL.

  5. ThunderBall says:

    You see, a player like Peter Forsberg has to pay nearly a million dollar in a fortune tax. In Sweden we have sick taxes, on of them is that you have to pay 1,5% in tax on a fortune over ca $200.000 (Peter has a very big fortune, XXX million dollars). So Peter will earn like $150-250.000 but pay nearly a million, so sellout? I wouldn’t say so! Of course Peter has a big fortune already and can easily afford this but this is just an example that many players play here just because they LOVE hockey. Peter will loose like $500-800.000). The big Money they will earn when the NHL open their doors again, if they ever do?!

  6. hockeyhead says:

    sellouts? no way. they are LOCKED out.

    however, i think it is wrong for those guys, federov, who won’t come back when something is resolved, if it is .

    if they are free agents, which federov might be (i don’t follow the ducks), then i guess they can do what ever they want….someone like joe thornton who is signed better come back if the nhl hits the ice again.

    the owners are the sellouts to the fans. FANS MAKE THE ATHLETES. IT IS ABOUT TIME WE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. sorry about that. boycott your local team. i have for over a year. watch on tv but don’t go. see how they like it.

  7. TBLfan says:

    Absolutely they are selling out. If they are just playing for “the love of the game” as other people are commenting, they why wouldn’t they give in a little on the whole CBA thing. MOST players nowadays are playing for the love of the paycheck. It’s sad but true

  8. Heinzee57 says:

    For the record I side with Management. (my season tickets went from $5100.00 to $6700.00USD in 4 years.

    A better question would be:

    If all European hockey teams played under a salary cap, would the locked out NHL players go there??

    I think most players are going there to remain active and in game shape. A year of inactivity could kill a career. Many North American players see this as a field trip.

    In other news…. What is going on with Bell Canada’s “Making the cut”? I was in Ontario (beautiful place) last week and caught the first episode.

    Additionally, check out the CANADIAN $5 bill!!!!!!

    I applaud The Great White North’s dedication to the game.

    Good stuff guys.


  9. jacosta says:

    This in a sense is the dumbest move by some of the players.

    How can you fight for and demand no salary cap, which would essentially play for about 1.5 million per year, yet go play in Europe for that amount or less.

    They are holding the NHL hostage. The union is speaking for the players and maybe the players aren’t really on its side. Oh the guys that make 9 million a season are but not the rest.

    If they put a cap the league would go on but the European players who make a lot of cash would prefer to stay in Europe and basically make the same amount of cash.

    Why would you leave. The European league is getting better and better, and would get better if you had those guys stay. They would be able to make about 1.2 million in Europe and be superstars in the media. Not like here where Mats Sundin in Toronto would get mobbed. But in Raleigh they would wonder where that big blonde guy came from.

    It is hypocritical to have them fight to ask for 4 million dollar contracts and yet aren’t playing for that in Europe. Ridiculous

  10. wingedim says:

    I don’t think they are selling out. However I do think they are weakening their barganing position by doing so. The fact that they are willing to sign with a club for less money (whether for love of the game or necessity) yet not come to terms with their actual employer (the league) over what boils down to money (regardless of who’s to blame for it) is hypocritical.

  11. Heinzee57 says:

    Oh yeah and US born players are tax exempt by playing in Europe. So the pay is a little better than it appears.


  12. NjDEVSFN says:

    this is great…youre all saying theyre playing for the love of the game and are taking CHEAPER contracts

    youre just agreeing with the owners here! i cant believe you didnt realize that

    all the owners have to say is, “look at all those NHL players who are playing in Europe. Sure, they love the game, and we want them to play for us; however, why should we be paying through the roof when they’ll gladly accept $800K to play? Will we give em more to play for us, of course, but 10x as much then theyll accept because they ‘love the game’?” get outta here!

  13. 19Yzerman says:

    Theo Fluery –Substance abuse counselor

    Patrick Roy— Neck mobility therapist

    Brett Hull—- Annoying spokes person for those miller for president of beers commercials

    Donald Brashier–pianist at the night club where lindros and Barnaby work.

    Chris Chelios and Rob Blake are going to try out for Starsky and Hutch part 2.

    Fedorov still suffering from ANNA Deprivation Syndrome will be coaching high school girls tennis in L.A.

    Peter Worel–Has taken a job with the John Wayne toilet paper company because they are both Rough, Tough and don’t take no S H I T off of nobody.

    Mike Ricci—Ski instructor at VAIL for select female clientel

    Anson Carter– intends to open a shop on Rodeo Drive doing hair braides for Hollywood Stars.

  14. cgolding says:

    i believe these guys job is playing hockey and they can’t do that in the NHL because the owners locked them out… so they are finding work elsewhere in the meantime…

    in truth, players that are playing overseas are helping the NHLPA’s cause because they are going to be less reliant on the NHL as a source of income, thus able to ride the lockout longer and allow the NHLPA representation to play hardball longer.


  15. hockeyhead says:

    very nice!

    i think ricci should be the mold for cigar store indians. i mean native americans.

  16. wingedim says:

    I’ll agree with you that they are showing the NHL that they are being less reliant, but don’t you think that by doing so they (the players) are diminishing their stance not only in the owners’ eyes but also the eyes of us (the fans)? By that I mean the fact that they are signing for less money seems to indicate that the whole salary cap/luxury tax issue isn’t as important to them as they seem to make it.

  17. natesredwings says:

    i agree with many of the things you’ve said. my only real point is that hockey is all these guys know. other than my good friend (ha, ha) darren mccarty’s singing skills, the players don’t know anything other than hockey. not that they are mindless robots, but hockey is their lifeblood. i think if they want to play somewhere for a lot less money (for the most part) simply to be doing something they love, then by all means, do it. just figure out a way for me to watch the SEL and the Czech League, would you?

  18. rojoke says:

    If Jaromir Jagr signed an identical contract to the one that he has with the Rangers, then I would consider that selling out. But the fact of the matter is that the European leagues don’t offer the same money that the NHL does. In most cases, the money they do get is enough to cover the insurance policy they have to take out on themselves in the event they get hurt while playing. Why they would bother to do this, I don’t know.

    The best analogy I can come up with for the real world would be the recent Aliant strike in Atlantic Canada. They were out on strike for about five months or so. If some of those workers were working for Telus or Bell in other provinces, doing the exact same work for the same or better pay, then that would be selling out, in my mind.

  19. Aetherial says:

    The fact is, no matter which side you are on, the owners locked out the players. The players were willing to play while this was resolved (oh, how *****cing convenient!)…

    So, they can go play wherever they choose. I have no issue with it. The players who can’t go play elsewhere SHOULD be the ones saying something about it… and hopefully we can break the union.

    The owners knew damn well this was going to happen. They simply don’t care.

    We will see how long this lasts anyway. There is room for a lot less players in Europe and the salaries are nowhere near the NHL level (despite what A-Holes like Al Strachan speculate about).

    Sooner or later, the owners will have their way.

    My guess is that it will be scab labor and eventually the players will cave. In fact, I think a lot of the players would settle for a salary cap NOW.

  20. Freeze says:

    I have no problem with the players going to Europe. Why not? The owners locked the players out, not the other way around.

    I say start televising the games over in Europe (pay per view?) until the CBA is settled. We’ll get to know a lot of new players and it might even be entertaining. It’s worth a try.

  21. 19Yzerman says:

    You don’t think Ricci could be the Doorman at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC or do billboard ads for President Tuxedo???

  22. hockeyhead says:

    i’m sticking with the indian. do you get the hockeynews? great picture of him eating spagetti in the back when he was just a pup.

  23. bpanther83 says:

    I don’t think it is AS important as the media makes it. But its a Union, and most of these players don’t have a say in it.

  24. cgolding says:

    you’re discussing apples and oranges. the NHL and these European leagues operate in completely different fiscal markets. the leagues in europe are tiny in terms of the cities they operate in, and the # of fans that they are going to have due to the surrounding population… there is simply less money in the league economy, and thus less money for the players.

    so since the NHL isn’t allowing them to play they are playing in other leagues that are going to have lower salaries due to the economic factors surrounding the team. that isn’t diminishing their value within the NA hockey market, because that is a different market completely. the NHL is the NHL, and they are arguing over that financial make-up, not whatever the fiscal realities somewhere else in the world are.

    not to mention i have no idea if those league operate under a tax/cap anyway… market value could simply be less over there, not capped, thus they aren’t buying into a “cap” but perpetuating the concept that free markets work if owners aren’t morons.

  25. Malurous says:

    Sellouts? No way, I can say at least for Riku Hahl of the Avs and Jani Rita of the Oilers/Roadrunners. Because I know for a fact that they are playing for my hometown team WITHOUT PAY. Hahl is from here anyway. I don’t know if this happens that much though…

  26. Malurous says:

    So, what would you watch? The Swedish Elitserien, where the style of play makes Minnesota Wild look like Oilers of the 80’s? Perhaps the Russian League where there are about three teams that can compete? The Finnish League where, it seems, you are not allowed to bodycheck but you can hook, clutch and grab all you want without penalties, thus leading to almost as little flow in the game as Sweden. I’d watch AHL or juniors or whatever…

  27. Freeze says:

    Well, there are 178 NHL players over there now so it can’t be all that bad. There are 600 players in the NHL (30 teams * 20 players), so we’re taking about almost one third of the NHL playing in Europe.

    The World Cup was entertaining – it showcased teams from around the world competing. It could be an option for the hockey starved folks in the northern tier of the USA and all of Canada.

    Hey, if they can televise truck pulls, high stakes poker, professional fishing, bowling, billiards, NASCAR and bicycle racing, why not European hockey with an NHL flavor? I’ve seen worse.

  28. Phillyfanatic says:

    But they are going just to collect a paycheck, rather than not get one at all. If they really loved the sport that much, we would be watching NHL hockey right now

  29. Phillyfanatic says:

    Well stated, I think that for the players to at least get respect in this standoff the least that they could do is stick together for an NHL solution

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