After signs that the NHL Lockout may be soon coming to an end, talks broke off and signs once again appeared bleak that we would see the National Hockey League any time soon, if at all, this year. Many players, including Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, already has signed overseas to play while the NHL Lockout remains in effect. These marquee players signed in Europe and Russia with the clause stating that they could opt out of their deal immediately to return stateside to resume their NHL careers, but is there a chance that we have seen the last of Alex Ovechkin in the NHL?
Unlikely, but possible.
The Dynamo Moscow team in the Kontinental Hockey League [KHL] that Ovechkin is playing for would love to see the NHL never lift the lockout. He would be happy if the league disbands and hockey is never played on a level such as that in North America ever again. That is highly unlikely to happen, but many of the clubs in Europe and Russia feel the same way.
These teams in the KHL and other professional leagues are thrilled with all of the bickering between the players and owners and have absolutely no problem capitalizing on their losses. Why would they? Just because one league cannot figure out a way to successfully negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, that does not mean that all other leagues are as dysfunctional or have that much friction and animosity toward each other.
As bitter as things have gotten at times, eventually, I still see the two sides reaching an agreement and brokering a new deal. It may not make either side much happier than they are right now, but it will get the NHL back on track. I am not saying that this will happen any time soon, or even at all this year. The 2012-2013 NHL season may already be lost.
If that is the case, it only strengthens the chances that some of the elite players will remain playing overseas for the rest of this season. It also likens the small chance that some of them may choose to never return.
After all, keep in mind that it was a few short days ago that Ovechkin tweeted his feelings that the NHL owners are clowns.