With the state of the upcoming NHL season currently unknown, just a couple of weeks before the current collective-bargaining agreement is set to expire, we are beginning to hear about several players that could sign deals to play for clubs around the world.
One of the players ready to jump over to Europe appears to be Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell.
Hartnell has apparently considered jumping over to Finland for the season if the current CBA negotiations melt down, and the league is stuck in another lockout. Hartnell has reached out to the general manager of Kalpa, in SM-liiga, about potentially playing there this season.
As random as that might seem for a guy like Hartnell, it isn’t actually out of the blue at all. Hartnell is a part owner of the team, so coming over to play would probably be something that is quite simple. And he wouldn’t be the only one likely going over to Finland, for that matter.
Kimmo Timonen also owns a small part of the team, so he could join his Flyers teammate if the situation calls for it. SM-liiga is one of the top leagues in Europe and likely wouldn’t see as much of a competitive drop off as some might think.
It would be very unfortunate for Hartnell to have to go over to Finland to play for a year, especially since he just signed a new six-year deal to remain in Philadelphia for most, if not all, of the rest of his career. Hopefully it doesn’t come to it, but this isn’t the last we’ll hear of Flyers, or any NHLers, crossing the pond to play this year.