Most of the NHL's top players seem poised to bolt to Europe in the event of an extended lockout. Evgeni Malkin will play in the KHL for Metallurg, his former club, and Malkin indicated that Sidney Crosby could join him in the KHL as well after the New Year. Alex Ovechkin said this morning that he's probably heading to Russia as well in the event of a lockout, going as far as saying that players might leave and never come back to the NHL if the owners get their way in this CBA fight.
Several Flyers have also reportedly made lockout plans overseas as well -- all depending on the severity and length of a potential work stoppage. Scott Hartnell will more than likely play for Kalpa, the Finnish team he partially owns with former Flyer Sami Kapanen. It seems to make sense that Jakub Voracek could go back to the Czech Republic to play with childhood hero and former teammate Jaromir Jagr in their hometown of Kladno. Ilya Bryzgalov will go to the KHL.
There are plenty of other Flyers that would be great additions to other club rosters, but none more than Claude Giroux.
He's one of the best players in the world and certainly he will be offered lucrative lockout deals from clubs all over Europe in the event of extended NHL labor strife. The KHL will almost certainly come calling despite the fact that Giroux reportedly said he's afraid of playing in Russia. Sweden likely isn't an option, but SM-liiga in Finland, Extraliga in the Czech Republic and leagues in Switzerland or Austria could be very realistic options for Giroux.
That poses a simple question to us in Philadelphia: Not that we have any control over it, but would you like to see Giroux play overseas in the event of a prolonged lockout? The pros are pretty obvious: We get to watch -- in some way -- one of the best players in hockey play the game even despite an NHL lockout. The cons are probably even more obvious: Giroux will be risking injury every time he steps onto the ice in league's that may or may not have the same safety standards as the NHL. That's something that could impact the Flyers directly.
So, what do you think? Would you be fine with Giroux heading overseas during a lockout, or would you prefer he stay in North America, awaiting the next time he can pull an orange jersey over his head?