Having read several articles about the NHL and the players over the last few days, there seems to be a consensus among players that there will be a lockout this season. It wouldn’t really be a surprise given that talks between the NHL and the NHLPA were cancelled yesterday for undisclosed reason, suggesting that the two parties are still miles apart on reaching an agreement.
Many players who have been interviewed have said that they will see what the decision is and that they will make their decisions after it has been confirmed whether there is no NHL come October. Few players, including Henrik Zetterberg and the Sedin twins have said to Swedish Aftonbladet that they would remain in North America in case of a lockout and would carry on with conditioning there as opposed to seeking playing opportunities in Europe.
Interestingly, the Swedish Elitserien came out today to say that it would not alter its contract rules in case of an NHL lockout. Per league rules all contracts must cover the entire season and no short-term contracts are allowed. This would mean that any prospective NHLers looking to play in Sweden would need to play in the Elitserien for the entire season. In case the lockout lasts only a couple of months, it is unlikely that the league will see some of its home-grown players returning to their native until the NHL season starts. However, if the potential lockout would cover the whole season, then Swedish NHL players, and other NHLers for that matter would probably look to sign in the Elitserien.