Now that the NHL lockout is in full effect, players are starting to sign overseas in droves. Yet, how many of them will stay there once a deal is reached? The answer might surprise you.
There are numerous reasons why NHL players agree to take their services across the Atlantic. For a lot of them, it's a chance to return home. It gets them closer to friends and family, and although the pay might not be as good, it's hardly like they're playing for peanuts.
Another draw is simple boredom. It gives these players an opportunity to stay on the ice full-time, which keeps them in shape while they wait for an update on the labor dispute.
Normally the competition in these leagues isn't NHL-caliber. But with so many players looking for a stopgap, that will change.
The NHL and NBA are unique in that they offer their players a lucrative alternative to just sitting at home. It means sometimes those leagues' teams end up battling the foreign teams over who has the rights to the player.
Let's take a look at four players who have already signed deals to play overseas and won't return once the lockout ends.