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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 September, 2004, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
More NHL stars look to Europe

The number of NHL players who have returned to their home nations in Europe to get a game during the labour dispute lock-out has risen to 174.

Czech forward Jaroslav Svoboda, Slovak defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky and Russian wing Dmitri Afanasenkov are the latest stars to make the switch.

Visnovsky, who won the Stanley Cup last season with Tampa Bay, will play for Lada Togliatti of the Russian League.

Svoboda, 24, who played 91 NHL games with Carolina over the past three seasons but signed with Dallas in August, has agreed to play for Olomouc in the Czech League.

He played three seasons with Olomouc's junior team and one year with the club in the Czech second division.

Visnovsky, a four-year veteran with Los Angeles, has returned to skate with Slovan Bratislava, where he played from 1994 to 2000.

The majority of the NHL veterans who have signed with European clubs have clauses in their contracts allowing them to return to North America if and when the lock-out imposed by NHL club owners ends.

The Czech league has the most players who have returned with 49, including Jaromir Jagr of the New York Rangers.

Sweden is second with 40 players, top among them Peter Forsberg of the Colorado Avalanche with MoDo.

The Russian league is third with 37 players, including Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers skating with AK Bars Kazan.





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SEE ALSO
NHL stars head for Europe
22 Sep 04  |  US Sport
NHL shutdown begins
15 Sep 04  |  US Sport
NHL set for shutdown
10 Sep 04  |  US Sport
NHL lock-out looms
26 Aug 04  |  US Sport


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