Ronald Martinez - Getty Images
Claude Giroux has apparently narrowed his lockout contract decision to two clubs: HC Kladno in the Czech Extraliga and Avangard Omsk in the KHL. Jaromir Jagr has a relationship with both clubs.
Claude Giroux is apparently mulling a final decision on which European team to join during the NHL lockout. Giroux has been lured by several clubs, but the two under consideration are Avangard Omsk in the KHL and HC Kladno in the Czech Extraliga.
It appears that Jagr has had quite a bit of impact on Giroux in his search for a team. Avangard Omsk was the club Jagr played for during his three KHL seasons, leaving them to return to the NHL with the Flyers one summer ago. Jagr's currently playing for Kladno, his hometown club, during the lockout and could be reunited with G
One would have to think that Giroux would be leaving money on the table going to Kladno versus Omsk, but according to the loose Google translation of this Czech-language article, Giroux is uncomfortable with the idea of running off to Russia. The level of play is certainly higher and the money is better, but the Omsk roster features no NHL players and Giroux has expressed hesitation about playing in Russia before.
Meanwhile, in Kladno, the familiarity is obviously there with Jagr, and other NHLers Tomas Kaberle, Tomas Plekanec, Jiri Tlusty and Marek Zidlicky are on the roster. Giroux would be the lone non-Czech or non-Slovak on the roster, but it seems like a much more comfortable place for him to play while the NHL sorts out its labor issues.