The NHL employs over 600 players on their active rosters; plus additional players who are contracted, but not active on any team rosters.
The NHL lockout is causing more than just NHL employees to become unemployed. This week, another big NHL name took a job in Europe – Ottawa Senators Jason Spezza will be going to play in Switzerland. But at who’s expense? There are only so many spots on a roster, the addition of Spezza means that a former European player is now out of a job.
So is the case for Domenic Pettis who has been playing overseas for eight seasons. He now sits at home in Calgary without his Swiss deal being renewed.
European teams are now holding spots to fill with NHLers. Pettis is trying his best not to be bitter.
“Aw, if you have a talent, and somebody else wants to pay you for it…” Pettis said. “It’s kind of the system in which we’re brought up. I understand it.”
“We had won last year with Zurich. Imports play pretty important role, and having won, I thought it wouldn’t be too hard to get another gig for the next year. But teams are waiting for things to happen. They anticipate those guys coming over. I think it has definitely affected my job situation thus far.”
To some extent it makes you wonder why big names like Thornton, Nash and Spezza choose to play overseas. Their contracts within the NHL are worth millions of dollars, yet they still feel the need to have an income during the NHL lockout. Do they really need the money is the question? How many players are truly effected by big name players like Alexander Ovechkin taking over all the paying roles on European teams.
It surprises many fans to see that the players who make the most money are the ones who are not willing to sacrifice their income during the labour dispute.
It’s unfortunate that some players aren’t making the same ‘sacrifices’ as other players in the NHL and going without their NHL salaries until the lockout is over. Some players should think about taking a page out of Houston Rockets’ Jeremy Lin’s book and learn how to make sacrifices.
How do you feel about NHL players fleeing overseas to rake in money while many of their team mates are sacrificing their incomes? Tweet at us @EliteSportsBlog