Tarasenko to Play in KHL if NHL has a Lockout
If the NHL closes its doors at the start of the 2012-13 season Vladimir Tarasenko will still be playing hockey. Tarasenko stated that if the NHL fails to start the year he will return to Russia to play in the KHL until the NHL finally resumes play, as reported by Andy Strickland.
The news isn’t surprising. Tarasenko was tough to pry out of the KHL in the first place. It’s really no wonder that he’d prefer to return to the KHL and get some action in instead of sitting idly by while the owners and NHLPA try to sort out the mess they’ve created.
It’s also safe to assume that other players around the league might attempt to find playing time in the KHL, or other European leagues, while the NHL has a work stoppage. Last work stoppage we also saw numerous players join various leagues in America as well, including the AHL.
Would an NHL lockout sour Tarasenko’s feelings for the NHL? It’s possible. We know that he could have continued to play in Russia, his home, for more money than he could in the NHL. We know that various coaches and news outlets in the KHL have attempted to sway his opinion to get him to stay. It’s reasonable to expect that these coaches/reporters might again try to change Tarasenko’s mind if he is back skating in Russia again.