Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman has signed a contract with Barys Astana of the KHL. The big Swede is the first Bolts player to decide to play in Europe during the lockout. The 21 year old blue liner had five goals and 18 assists in 61 games with Tampa Bay last season. (Hedman photograph/Linda Hamilton)
Teams in the KHL can sign up to three NHL players at a maximum of 65% of their NHL salary during the lockout. Barys has also signed Winnipeg Jets center Nik Antropov.
Should the lockout continue, expect Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis to take their talents overseas. Both have had preliminary talks with European teams.
The players union seems steadfastly united as 250-300 members are expected to meet in New York, today and tomorrow. Lightning players planning on attending are Adam Hall, Nate Thompson, Mathieu Garon, BJ Crombeen, Brian Lee, Matt Carle and Marc-Andre Bergeron.
The NHL and the NHLPA have plans to meet this morning at 10:00 a.m. despite still remaining far apart. If the two sides don’t reach an agreement, the lockout will officially start at midnight on Sunday.
The Lightning players are preparing for a work stoppage. In that case, they will not be able to enter the Tampa Bay Times Forum or any other team facility.
Preview: Islanders (1-1-0, 2 pts, 4th in Atlantic, 11th in East)
The Islanders are coming off of a pair of games in which they have failed to put together 60 good minutes of hockey. A disappointing performance against the Panthers on Saturday was followed up by one good period and two "hang on for dear life" periods in Monday's matinee against the Wild. As discussed in Rob McGowan's post here at The Checking Line on Tuesday, New York's young forward unit is having difficulty getting pucks to the net. Rob also keys in on the Isles' difficulty staying out of the box through 120 minutes of competition. Against the highly skilled a...