September 17, 2012

European vacation: Locked-out Bruins heading overseas

By Jesse Connolly

Over the final 48 hours of the now-expired CBA, NHL teams made a number of moves that saw literally hundreds of players assigned to their affiliates throughout the American Hockey League. 

David Krejci, seen here represting the Czech Republic at the 2010 Winter Olympics, is reportedly close to signing a deal with HC Pardubice. (Getty Images)

Now, less than two full days into the lockout, a number of players who weren't sent back down to the farm are seeking employment in Europe. At least one Bruin has already been confirmed to be heading overseas.

* The Bruins' backup-to-be, Anton Khudobin, has signed on with HC Atlant Moscow Oblast of the KHL. A native of Khazakhstan, Khudobin has been in the B's organization for parts of two seasons. He went 21-19-3 for the P-Bruins in 2011-12 and also made his Boston debut in April -- a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. 

Khudobin played for Magnitogorsk Metallurg in Russia during the 2004-05 and 2006-07 seasons, with a stint in the WHL with the Saskatoon Blades sandwiched in between.

* CSNNE's Joe Haggerty is reporting that David Krejci is close to inking a deal with with HC Pardubice. A native of Sternbrek, Czech Republic, Krejci had 23-39-62 totals in 2011-12 for Boston. 

The 26-year-old pivot represented his country in the 2010 Winter Olympics and again in 2012 at the IIHF World Championship. Krejci played for a junior squad in Kladno prior to joining the QMJHL in 2004.

* Dennis Seidenberg stated earlier in the offseason that he'd be inclined to play in Europe in the event of a lockout. It's likely that No. 44 will join Adler Mannheim of the DEL.

Seidenberg's younger brother, Yannic, is in his fourth season with Mannheim. The siblings -- both blueliners -- hail from Villingen-Schwenning, Germany, a little more than two hours away from Mannheim.

* Entirely unconfirmed web rumors -- no, not from that dolt Hockeyy Insiderr -- say that captain Zdeno Chara might be playing for Slovan Bratislava, a KHL club located in Big Z's home country, Slovakia. Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky has already joined the team.

Finnish scribe Matias Strozyk said on Sunday -- prior to Visnovsky's news being official -- that Visnovsky, Chara and Marian Hossa were "probable" to join Bratislava, whose captain is Chara's longtime buddy and Olympic teammate Miroslav Satan.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.