With the NHL and NHL Players' Association seemingly still far apart in their negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, multiple players have suggested that playing in Europe is a real option if a lockout shuts down the 2012-13 season.
Consider Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane among those who would consider playing in Europe if a labor dispute prevents them from suiting up for the Blackhawks.
Agent Pat Brisson informed the Sun-Times via email on Thursday that the Hawks' two young stars would consider playing in Europe "under the right circumstances and [during the] appropriate time."
The current CBA expires on Sept. 15. The league made the last proposal on Tuesday and is awaiting a response from the NHLPA, which may come Friday. But by all accounts, little progress has been made overall.
Brisson also told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Thursday that Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby also would consider playing in Europe if the 2012-13 season is lost. He also informed the paper that European teams have inquired about about many players with his agency, CAA.
The Hawks' preseason is scheduled to open on Sept. 25 against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Hawks' annual training camp festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22.
Toews and Kane are the young faces of the Hawks' franchise.
Toews missed a substantial part of last season because of a concussion, but returned in the playoffs and hasn't experienced any symptoms this summer. He was having a Hart Trophy-worthy campaign last year before getting hurt. Toews finished with 29 goals and 57 points in 59 games.
Kane recorded 66 points last season. Although it was the lowest points output of his young career, Kane proved he can handle playing center in certain situations.