Havlat goes home, signs with Czech team

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

Senators winger Martin Havlat is staying home until the lockout is over. While Havlat had planned on signing with Geneva of the Swiss Elite League, he's accepted a deal to play with the Czech Elite League's Znojmo, which plays about 45 minutes from his home in Berno.

Havlat couldn't accept the deal in Switzerland because Phillip Anschutz, who also owns the Los Angeles Kings, is insisting that any player who signs with any of the European clubs he has stakes in cannot have an escape clause in his contract.

If the NHL season resumes, Havlat will return to Ottawa immediately.

"It's important for me to keep playing," said Havlat yesterday. "I'm a young player and I need to do this if I'm going to keep improving. I'd rather be in Ottawa, but right now this is a good place for me."

Signed to a one-year, $2.3-million US contract on Sept. 15, Havlat has been resting at home since suiting up for the Czech Republic in the World Cup.

MINOR NOTE: Josh Langfeld, Brian Pothier and Chris Kelly all signed minor-league deals with the Senators' affiliate in Binghamton. Those contracts will be voided if the NHL lockout ends.

bruce.garrioch@ott.sunpub.com


Videos

Photos