The KHL isn't the only league that NHL players could play in if there is a lockout this season, but there have been a number of star players linked to a possible move overseas.
Slight correction: Russia-based KHL clubs can sign 1 non-Russian NHLer. Non-Russian KHL clubs can sign as many as they want.— Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) September 4, 2012
Let's look at five NHL players coveted by KHL teams in the event of a lockout.
As arguably the best Russian player on the planet, Evgeni Malkin would take the KHL to another level if he played overseas during a possible NHL lockout.
According to Pavel Lysenkov of Sovietsky Sport, the star forward could join his boyhood club during a work stoppage.
Before coming to North America and the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2006-07 season, Malkin played in 132 games over three seasons for Magnitogorsk Metallurg.
Ottawa Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar is one of the best Russian defenseman in the NHL, and could possibly join a few other NHLers, including Malkin, at Magnitogorsk if there is a lockout.
Gonchar played on Magnitogorsk during the last lockout, and also played on the Penguins with Malkin in the five years following the lockout before signing a three-year deal with Ottawa in the summer of 2010.
Lysenkov tweeted the news in late August.
I'm sure Malkin, Gonchar, Kulemin in "Metallurg" Magnitogorsk during lockout. Well see 9/16.— Pavel Lysenkov (@plysenkov) August 27, 2012
It would be very surprising if Gonchar does not play in the KHL if there's an NHL lockout. At age 38, don't expect Gonchar to take a year off from playing competitive hockey.
Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin were teammates on the Washington Capitals since the 2006-07 season before Semin signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes this summer.
Could these two Russian forwards reunite in the KHL during a potential lockout?
Lysenkov shares his thoughts.
My guess - Ovechkin will play for CSKA there Fedorov is GM. Together with Semin.— Pavel Lysenkov (@plysenkov) August 26, 2012
Ovechkin is arguably the most marketable Russian player in the world, so it's no secret that he will be a coveted player if there is a lengthy NHL lockout.
It also wouldn't be surprising to see both of these players sign for the same team since they have strong chemistry from playing on the same line in Washington for many years.
Lubomir Visnovsky may make a move to the KHL if there's an NHL lockout. When healthy, Visnovsky is one of the better offensive defenseman in the NHL.
However, Visnovsky's NHL future is uncertain at the moment. He was traded from the Anaheim Ducks to the New York Islanders in a deal he is trying to void. According to the New York Post, the situation is currently being resolved in arbitration.
Regardless of which NHL team Visnovsky plays for next season, expect him to play overseas if there's a lockout.
Chesnokov tweeted some KHL news regarding Visnovsky on Wednesday.