The Phoenix Coyotes’ Lauri Korpikoski, Rusty Klesla, and Radim Vrbata all have enjoyed stints in Europe over the course of the lockout, but they’re back in Arizona now, waiting to see what happens next, according to an Arizona Republic report.
“I’m still positive. I still think there’ll be a season,” Vrbata said.
Rusty Klesla is equally hopeful, adding that the chance of the lockout ending is the reason that he returned.
Although locked-out NHL players’ experiences in Europe have varied widely, Korpikoski, Klesla, and Vrbata were upbeat about their stints. Even Vrbata felt the overall experience was good, despite being limited to just two games due to bruised ribs.
Each of them might end up returning to their respective European teams and leagues, but they aren’t likely to come to a decision soon. The players and owners have until mid-January to reach an agreement if the season is to be saved.