When the league officially locked-out the players in September, the possibility of NHL talent competing in various markets around the world became a reality. It was a foregone conclusion that, once paychecks were lost and games were cancelled, waves of players would leave their home and head towards the best opportunity offered to them. The destinations have differed greatly from one man to the next, but their motivation has been the same; a need to play the game they love, to hone their skills which would otherwise diminish by a prolonged absence from competitive sport, and to support their families financially.
Well, Dustin Jeffrey, a forward who’s been hampered by injuries since his NHL debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins, has flown the coop and headed to the KHL’s Medvescak Zagreb. The Zagreb Bears(Medvescak) is a team located in Croatia. Jeffrey has said he will only play until the end of the lockout, and he now joins Malkin as the second Pittsburgh Penguin currently playing overseas.
Looking at the status of CBA negotiations, I can assure you a number of guys on the Pittsburgh roster will depart in the near future. For now, we can only hope the NHL and NHLPA decide to quit being ignorant and lazy, and provide the necessary effort it will require to iron-out the vast array of issues they disagree on.
Dustin Jeffrey is expected to play for the first time this Friday.