After Nik Antropov became the first Winnipeg Jet to leave North America, Tobias Enstrom will take a similar path. Enstrom along with Alex Steen of the St. Louis Blues will play for Modo of the Swedish Elite League.
According to The Fourth Period, both players will make their debuts on Tuesday. Modo has a rich history of producing quality NHL players, the most recent being Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Other notable Modo alum include Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Markus Naslund and Peter Forsberg. Forsberg has been Modo’s assistant general manager since April 2011.
With such a strong pedigree, it’s no surprise that NHLers, especially Swedish players will look to Modo as an option to stay in game shape during the lockout. During the 2004-05 lockout, Forsberg, Naslund, the Sedins, Frantisek Kaberle, Adrian Aucoin, Dan Hinote and Tommy Salo all played for Modo.
With Enstrom and Steen now on board, it would not be surprising to see at least a handful of other NHL players join Modo. However, with the situation looking not as dire as 2004-05, players seem to be biding their time in North America, hoping the lockout will be a short one.
Is this a good indication that we will probably have a season? It is certainly possible, but the more players that start to pack their bags as the days peel off the calendar, the worse things start to look. Hopefully, all these players are going overseas to get themselves what could turn out to be a European preseason.
While players slowly continue the exodus, all we can do is wait and hope that somehow a deal between the NHLPA and the NHL is struck soon.