A group of Bruins has completed an on-ice session at Harvard’s Bright Center. Local non-Bruins, including Ryan Whitney and Keith Yandle, also participated in the skate.
So far, none of the Bruins has signed an overseas contract. Players who could do so in the coming days and weeks include Anton Khudobin (Russia), David Krejci (Czech Republic), and Dennis Seidenberg (Germany).
“I’ve thought about it all along,” Seidenberg said of signing with Mannheim, his younger brother’s German club. “I just don’t want to leave too early. I want to wait it out for a couple more weeks. Then we’ll see where things are at.”
Andrew Ference played for Budejovice in the Czech Republic during the 2004-05 lockout. Ference said a Czech return is possible. Ference’s family would remain in Boston if he went overseas.
“We’ll see how the next week or two shakes out with meetings and negotiations,” Ference said. “I think everybody will have a better sense of exactly what some long-term plans are. There’s always the immediate lockout period. Then it takes a few days for things to sort themselves out and get talking again. We’ll see where it goes from there.”
Two high-profile flights are already in the works. Joe Thornton and Rick Nash are scheduled to suit up for Davos. The two played for the Swiss club in 2004-05.
If more signings take place, there could a run on overseas work. Native players like Seidenberg would not be considered imports. They could wait and sign in Europe at any time. But for North Americans like Ference, there are only so many openings. One player wondered why Thornton and Nash were so quick to bolt.
* Even if the lockout lifted promptly, Ference said he would sign a short-term deal in Europe, just to see game action. Ference believes the players who went to Europe in 2004-05 were better off than those who remained in Canada or the United States and didn’t play. For Ference, who will reach unrestricted free agency next summer, staying in game-sharp is a priority.
* Currently, Gregory Campbell does not have an overseas plan. Campbell said he will return to his offseason home in Ontario sometime next week.
* The players would have peaked physically on Friday, when training camp was originally scheduled to open. They are dialed in to do so for fitness testing. In short order, they will taper their workouts.
* The players are scheduled to skate at the Bright Center for the rest of the week. The sessions are closed to the public.