Which Top NHL Players Will Head Overseas as the NHL Lockout Begins?

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Which Top NHL Players Will Head Overseas as the NHL Lockout Begins?
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With the NHL set to lock out its players this September, lots of league stars are prepared to head overseas in search of work on the ice.

From the NHL's top young guns to the current league MVP, the overwhelming mindset is: If we can't play here, we will just play somewhere else. 

TSN's report confirms that these players, and others, may have to look elsewhere this season:

Let's take a look at some top NHL players who are likely to ship off overseas as the lockout begins. 

 

Erik Karlsson

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The NHL's highest-scoring defenseman last season, Ottawa's Erik Karlsson is considering taking his talents to Sweden this season.

Karlsson discussed the prospects of heading overseas to the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch:

We’re looking at options. We’re not trying to make a deal with anyone. What we’re trying to do is just figure out if worst comes to worst what would be the best place. You need to be prepared for whatever is going to happen. You just want to go somewhere and it could be good.

The 22-year-old Sweden native tallied an impressive 78 points for Ottawa in 2011-12 and is arguably the best young defenseman in the league today.

 

Evgeni Malkin

Reports are surfacing that the reigning Hart Memorial Trophy winner, Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, is already practicing in the KHL. 

Malkin, along with fellow NHLer, Ottawa Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar, are keeping their skills in check by practicing with the KHL's Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

This according to communications chief for the International Ice Hockey Federation, Szymon Szemberg via Twitter:

 

Malkin scored 50 goals for the Pens last season, and added another 59 assists. It's not difficult to see why the NHL superstar would make an early trip to Russia. He was born there, grew up there and has ties to the Magnitogorsk system. 

 

John Tavares

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One of the NHL's rising young talents, New York Islanders center John Tavares, who led the team with 81 points last season, has said that he would consider making a move across the pond to play hockey in Europe in case of an NHL lockout.

Here is Metro sportswriter Denis Gorman relaying his conversation with Tavares via Twitter:

 

Tavares is from Ontario and would seemingly prefer to remain in North America, but since he says he is ineligible to play in the AHL this coming season, Europe looks like the most likely of destinations for the NHL star.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter For More NHL Take, Discussion and Reaction. 

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