Chicago Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews Thinking About European Option

James Maahs@Jmaz90Contributor IIINovember 15, 2012

Toews may head overseas in the next three weeks.
Toews may head overseas in the next three weeks.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is close to making a decision on whether or not to play in Europe during the NHL lockout.

Frustrated by the lack of progress, Toews said that he must now consider his options if the NHL lockout continues to drag on (via Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune):

It’s always on my mind. We’ll see what happens the next couple of weeks. We’re really getting to that point where enough is enough and if nothing happens, then decisions have to be made. We’ve hung tight long enough so we’ll see.

Toews has waited out the lockout as many other NHL stars, including six Blackhawks, decided to pack it up and play overseas.

It is unclear where he would play, but he may join up with one of his teammates in Switzerland, Italy, Sweden or the Czech Republic.

Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith have also expressed a willingness to go overseas. If that happens, a majority of the Blackhawks' core will be split onto different European clubs while the NHL and NHLPA hash things out.

As Day 60 of the lockout comes about, both the NHL and NHLPA are stalling on negotiations. Neither have set a future date for talks, and the likelihood that this lockout will end soon is becoming bleak.

After a few hours into last Friday's session, talks broke down over key economic issues that separate the two sides. 

Special counsel to the NHLPA Steve Fehr remains optimistic and has said that the lockout can end pretty fast (via the Washington Post):

One thing (deputy commissioner) Bill Daly and I agree upon is that when the moment is right the deal could be done very quickly. One day, three days or whatever.

It’s almost as if in the capped sports it’s become a rewriting of the Hippocratic Oath. Instead of ‘first, do no harm,’ it’s first lockout and then we’ll see what happens. I guess they’ve decided they can live with how the fans feel about it and they’re not going to be shy about doing it.

With no end in sight, the number of NHL players that head overseas will likely increase.


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