Almost 150 NHL players have taken their talents abroad. Some will skate in arenas as far west as the Irish Sea, and some as far east as the Sea of Japan. Of those 150 players, three represent the pride of the New York Rangers.
Carl Hagelin has continued his domination of Sweden’s second-tier league, HockeyAllsvenskan. There he has posted 2 goals and 5 assists in 4 games played for Södertälje SK. Ironically, he skates alongside Rangers’ rivals Matt Read and Niklas Grossmann, both of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Rick Nash recently made his return to HC Davos in Switzerland. Nash has also wasted no time getting into game shape and is currently second on the team in goals scored, despite only playing in 7 games. To date, Nash has 6 goals and 2 assists.
Ryan McDonagh joined HC Barys Astana (Kazakhstan) of the KHL last week and has quickly put up 3 assists in 3 games. McD patrols the blueline with another rising defensive star, Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman.
Although there is a lot of anxiety about three of our boys being overseas, ultimately it is for the greater good. The travel in most of these leagues is pretty limited and there’s a lot less games. As the league continues to cancel games, I’d would presume more Rangers may head to Europe.
Whether it ends up being Lundqvist or Callahan, or whomever, I have no problem with Rangers crossing the pond. I still believe the NHL will resume play at some point this season and it will be better to have these guys sharp once the puck drops.
For more info on NHLers abroad, scope out my Guide to European hockey leagues.
*Please note all statistics are updated as of Saturday afternoon EST.