No NHL, no problem, say players

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

TORONTO -- Where do they go from here?

That was the question being asked of NHL players following yesterday's union meeting, and not many are sure what direction they'll take if the lockout drags into next season.

Many, however, plan to play.

With talk about a new WHA, Europe and players forming their own league swirling around the meeting, many are studying their options for next year.

"(Jeremy Roenick) wants to form his own league, but he wants to be president, GM and coach," Kings winger Luc Robitaille said with a laugh.

"Guys will play and they will find a way. We all love to play this game. We have over (350) players in Europe and I'm sure there will be some people trying to form other leagues. A lot of guys want to play to stay in shape, but nothing is like the NHL."

With so many players facing an uncertain future if a new deal isn't reached by the fall, it wouldn't be surprising if many of them start to sign deals now to play overseas next season.

WILL FIND JOBS

"There's definitely other options," said the Flames' Jarome Iginla. "We, as players, want to play. We've been locked out for a year and guys are going to look to play different hockey. We have 350 guys in Europe and there's going to be more next year."

Some NHLers aren't convinced that if the league decides to use replacement players it would work.

"If they used replacement players what league would that be in?" asked St. Louis defenceman Chris Pronger. "Because I'm not sure if that happened, you would be able to call it the National Hockey League."

Added union boss Bob Goodenow: "If they decide to use replacement players, that's their legal right. (But) I think it would be disastrous and devastating to the game."


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