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updated: 9/18/2012 9:43 PM

Toews keeping his options open to play in Europe

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  • Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews remains hopeful that the players and owners can come to an agreement to get the NHL season started at some point sooner than later.

      Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews remains hopeful that the players and owners can come to an agreement to get the NHL season started at some point sooner than later.
    Associated Press/file

 
 

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will weigh his options before making a decision whether to join the growing number of NHL stars who are heading to Europe to play during the lockout.

"That's something I've been thinking about that's in the back of my mind right now," Toews said. "It's definitely an option."

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Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin became the latest star to commit to Europe, agreeing Tuesday to play for Dynamo Moscow in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, according to the Russian newspaper Sport-Express.

Reigning league MVP Evgeni Malkin already has signed with Metallurg of the KHL, while Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk is playing with Ak Bars in Russia. Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk has joined SKA St. Petersburg.

San Jose all-star Joe Thornton is heading to Switzerland to play for HC Davos, as is Rangers star Rick Nash.

Toews remains hopeful the players and owners still can come to an agreement.

"Like everything we're going through right now, it's a very uncertain time," Toews said. "I'll take it day by day and see where that might progress. If it gets to the point where I feel it's absolutely necessary, I'll make a decision, but I don't feel too pressed right now."

Toews called it sad what is happening again in the NHL.

"Hockey has had amazing growth all around the United States and especially in Chicago, but at the same time you do what you have to do," he said.

"You don't know how long you're going to play and if your own employer won't allow you in the building and play for silly reasons, its understandable that guys are going to go out there and look for jobs.

"Same thing for myself. Sooner or later, if this keeps going, it might be something I'll have to look into."

Hawks center Dave Bolland also will keep an eye on the situation before deciding his next move.

"We'll see what happens and figure it out," Bolland said. "Nobody knows how long this will take. Hopefully it doesn't go too long."

Europe isn't for everybody because of insurance and things like that. Florida's Brian Campbell went during the lockout in 2004-5 but doubts he'd go now. Campbell likely would have trouble finding someone to insure his contract that pays him $7.1 million a year.

"I don't know if that's an option for some guys to go over there with insurance and everything," Campbell said. "Right now that's not an option."

tsassone@dailyherald.com

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