With the NHL in full lockout mode, fans have already seen a number of big name players take their games overseas. The only way to watch Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Rick Nash, and Joe Thornton, among others, for the next few months is to find out if Time Warner Cable carries Russian and Swedish sports channels.
The Buffalo Sabres now have a few players of their own to add to the growing list of overseas stars; Tyler Ennis and Christian Ehrhoff have both taken their talents to the motherland.
Ehrhoff is heading back to his home country of Germany to play for Krefeld Pinguine of the German elite league. The "Prodigal Son," according to the team's website, just played in his first game for Penguine (Penguins) on Friday, a 3-1 loss. Meanwhile, Tyler Ennis is heading off to Switzerland to play for Langnau of the Swiss league. He will be joining a childhood friend, Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who grew up on Ennis street many years ago in Edmonton.
Ennis and Ehrhoff aren't the only regular Sabres to find work during the lockout, however. You may recall that Buffalo assigned every player they could to Rochester right before the lockout started, so young contributors such as Cody Hodgson, Marcus Foligno, Luke Adam, Zemgus Girgensons, Cory Tropp, Brayden McNabb, and Jerome-Gauthier Leduc will all be getting AHL experience while their older brethren wait for the lockout to end. Joel Armia, Dan Catenacci, and Mikhail Grigorenko will be playing with their respective junior clubs, as they are not eligible to play in Rochester due to age restrictions or military obligations.
During the last lockout, the Sabres befitted from having young players such as Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, Jason Pominville, and Derek Roy play together in Rochester, so perhaps there's some sort of silver lining for Buffalo fans to not having the NHL in our lives.