The lockout is plaguing the NHL once again with sort of an agreement in sight.
A lockout affects everyone in the business: owners, stadium employees, fans and most of all the players. Hockey players may just play a sport for a living, but that’s the reason for their current dilemma. They play hockey for a living and right now they’re out of commission as long as it takes for them to find a common ground with the league.
Just like any other normal person, hockey players are having to find some source for income. Some players have already gone overseas, others are staying optimistic and still holding out on playing elsewhere and a few are taking this as an opportunity to spend quality time with their loved ones.
Here’s a mix of responses from Duck players since the lockout.
Who has gone overseas:
Luca Sbisa – The Anaheim Ducks’ defenseman has signed with the HC Lugano of the Swiss National League A, which is Switzerland’s top pro hockey league. His agent, Andrew Rufener, confirmed that Sbisa will be playing for that team until the lockout concludes. Last Friday, Sbisa joined fellow Ducks teammates in a workout at Anaheim Ice; the day the players were suppose to be at the Honda Center to get their physicals before training camp.
Who is still holding out:
Jonas Hiller – The Ducks’ goaltender was also on the fence about playing internationally. Hiller is still weighing his options, but hopes waiting things out won’t hinder his chances of being coveted by a team from his homeland of Switzerland or elsewhere. Hiller’s agent Allain Roy states that they are in talks with a few teams, but there are no dates set at this point of time.
Nick Bonino - Unfortunately, Bonino signed a one-way deal that he and his agent had negotiated. This means he won’t earn a penny outside of what he made last season unless he obtains a job during the lockout. If you are on a two-way deal you can earn a paycheck with the AHL such as players like Devante Smith-Pelly, Kyle Palmieri, Peter Holland and Emerson Etem. As of now, Bonino is staying with Cam Fowler to save money and says he’s not breaking his bank quite yet.
Who will ride things out:
Ryan Getzlaf – The Ducks’ captain intends on using his free time, provided by the lockout, to spend with his wife and young boy at home. With another baby due to arrive this December, Getzlaf recognizes that it’s more of a priority for him to stay at home and watch his young offspring grow up than to play internationally. Besides, with the money he has made the past few seasons (around the ballpark of $5 million/season), I’m pretty confident that money is not an issue in the Getzlaf household.
It is also rumored that winger Bobby Ryan will not play for any team during the lockout.