Toronto Maple Leafs: How Are Leafs Players Doing Overseas?
With the NHL lockout still in effect and with no end in sight, many NHL players have fled overseas, where professional hockey is still being played.
That group includes a few Toronto Maple Leafs.
Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin, Clarke MacArthur, Cody Franson and Joffrey Lupul have all seen action at some point in Europe this season.
While Grabovski, Lupul and Kulemin all headed to the KHL (widely regarded as the next most competitive professional hockey league), Franson chose to head to Sweden, and MacArthur elected to play for a second division German squad.
In nine games with Crimmitschau, MacArthur has tallied 11 points and 16 penalty minutes.
As for Franson, he's played 21 games for Brynas IF Gavle of the Swedish Elite League, where he's accumulated six points (three of them being goals), a minus-five player rating and eight penalty minutes.
Now, on to the KHL trio.
The most recent departure was Lupul (who has since returned to Toronto), who took the ice for nine games with one of the KHL's bottom dwellers in Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg.
He'd also play nine games for his international club, totalling one goal, four points and a minus-six player rating.
Not great, but he was playing for one of the worse teams in the league, so we'll cut him some slack.
Next up is the Leafs talented sniper, Kulemin.
Being from Russia, Kulemin was one of the first players to jump ship and head overseas, signing with Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
Since then, Kulemin has amassed 11 goals and 23 points in 28 games played.
Though it is the KHL, Leafs fans should be glad that Kulemin has been able to re-discover his scoring touch.
Kulemin has also showed his ability to play at both ends of the ice during his stay in the KHL, posting a player rating of plus-13.
Finally, we have Grabovski, who decided to sign with CSKA Moscow of the KHL back in September and has suited up 24 times for his Moscow club.
In those 24 contests, Grabovski has scored 10 goals and added nine assists for a total of 19 points.
He's been fairly disciplined as well, taking just three minor penalties all season, while earning a player rating of plus-six.
While the rest of the Toronto Maple Leafs are back in North America, trying to prepare for a season, despite the minute odds of one taking place, the players that have gone overseas give us an idea of how their game has been in 2012-13.
Unfortunately, with the lack of progress made in labor negotiations on this side of the pond, we may be checking on the Leafs players overseas a few more times this winter.
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