It’s now been nearly two months since the NHL lockout began, and with no specific end in sight, many players – including some of the Buffalo Sabres – have taken their talents overseas and are working things out over there until the NHL and NHLPA come to an agreement.
One player who went overseas is Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers, who joined EC KAC of the Austrian Erste Bank Hockey League. KAC is the winningest team in the league, having last won the championship in 2009. After plane delays held back Myers’ debut in the league, he finally played his first game with the team on October 19.
In six games with EC KAC, Myers has scored a goal and an assist, going minus-3 so far with the squad. He’s also notched 18 penalty minutes, including a 10-minute misconduct in the team’s latest game on Friday against the Graz 99ers, who hold fellow Buffalo Sabres player Thomas Vanek.
Vanek elected to sign with Graz, his hometown team, after entertaining offers from several other clubs. He made his return to Austria – his first time playing back there since he was much younger – on October 5 in a game against Medvescak Zagreb. He also scored on the power play in that game, but still went minus-1 in his debut.
The 28-year-old has now totaled three goals and nine assists in 10 games with Graz, including an assist in the game against EC KAC (and Myers) on Friday afternoon.
In addition to Myers, three other Buffalo Sabres defensemen are also playing overseas right now.
Christian Ehrhoff joined his hometown Krefeld Pinguine, playing in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. (Fun fact: Ehrhoff is one of three players on the Penguins with the first name Christian!) This isn’t Ehrhoff’s first time playing in Germany, as he made his DEL debut in 1999-2000.
The 30-year-old defenseman has scored eight goals and five assists in 15 games. He’s also managed a plus-5 rating in that stretch.
Alexander Sulzer is also playing in the DEL, for ERC Ingolstadt. He’s scored five points in six games and is plus-3 on the year. This isn’t Sulzer’s first run in the DEL – he played 18 games for the Hamburg Freezers in 2002-03 before joining the DEG MEtro Stars from 2003-2007.
The last Sabres defenseman overseas, Andrej Sekera is suiting up for HC Slovan Bratislava of the KHL. The 26-year-old has notched six points in nine games with the team. This is his first year in the KHL, although he previously played for HC Dukla Trenčín of the Slovak Extraliga prior to coming to North America.
Sabres forward Tyler Ennis has also taken his talents overseas, although an undisclosed injury pushed back his Swiss League debut until October 30. He recorded an assist in his first game with the SCL Tigers.
Finally, goaltender Jhonas Enroth has suited up for several games in his hometown country of Sweden.