The Chicago Tribune describes how having gotten married, welcomed a baby daughter and settled into a new home in Chicago all within the last couple of years, about the last thing Patrick Sharp wants to do is travel thousands of miles away to play hockey.
For the Blackhawks forward and many other players, that scenario is inching closer to reality as the NHL lockout dragged into a second week with no resolution in sight.
“I consider myself a hockey player and if the lockout goes on for any significant time I’d like to play somewhere,” Sharp said Wednesday, not long after participating in an informal practice with teammates and other NHLers at Johnny’s IceHouse West. “I’m in a situation where you need to take it day-by-day and week-by-week. I want to keep my skills sharp. I’m 30 years old and I love playing the game and want to play as much as I can. I’ve had some contact with friends over in Europe and there’s a chance I can go. (But) with a young baby and new family it’s still a little early to make that decision.”
Thus far, two Hawks have agreed to play in Europe, with Michael Frolik and Michal Rozsival each joining teams in the Czech League. Sharp said he has an idea of which country he would head to but is not in a hurry to make the move, saying it’s possible he won’t decide until mid-November.
“There are a lot of details and a lot of options to be explored,” Sharp said. “As a player going over there it’s more or less to gain the experience, to play some games and be ready to go when or if the NHL season does start.”