Sharks Crossing the Atlantic With Cancellation of September Preseason Games

On Wednesday the NHL announced the cancellation of all preseason games this month. For the San Jose Sharks, that means 3 games, which could have been used to help get players and rookies into top Sharks form. The organization has responded by sending 16 players who would’ve been in rookie training camp to play for the Worcester Sharks in the AHL. Where the rest of the team will go is still up in the air, but for many the answer is Europe.

Without training camp, which should have started today, many Sharks are heading overseas.  Joe Thornton and Logan Couture have both shipped off to Switzerland, with others going to Sweden, Slovakia, Finland, and the Czech Republic. With the development of professional hockey leagues of NHL level abroad, there is money to be made playing outside of the NHL.

That’s what it all comes down to after all- money. In 2004 players accepted the loss of a quarter of their salary, and a league-wide salary cap. With the opportunity to make more money elsewhere, the NHL is going to have to put up a stronger fight than they have in the past. Players have already rejected substantial offers from the league. But it’s no secret that as regular season games start being cancelled, the NHL will be losing money. So who’s going to give in first? The league or the players?

To a mere mortal like myself, it doesn’t matter all that much. If we were talking about the $8 minimum wage that I make working at the local frozen yogurt store, it’d be another story. But when these players are dealing with millions of dollars, all I really care about is October 12. October 12 marks the start of the regular season, with the Sharks starting on the road against the Anaheim Ducks, a mere 2.5 miles from where I live. I need to be at that game, but in order for that to happen, that game needs to happen. This lockout needs to end.

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