Whether it’s for larger contracts, a desire to continue playing professional hockey somewhere, or the pull of playing in one’s homeland, there have been plenty of former NHL players to leave the league and put their talents to use overseas. We’ve seen many of these guys go to places like the KHL (Russia) Swiss League, or Swedish Elite league, among others to continue their professional careers. This is a list of some of the better players the NHL has had at one point to move on to different leagues and continue playing professional hockey.
The majority of the guys on this list chose the overseas route when NHL franchises no longer wanted or had use for them, but the love of the game still possessed them to be on the ice. Whether it’s been moves at the end of a long storied career like Datsyuk’s, leaving in the middle of their prime to play at home like Kovalchuk, or simply looking to broaden their world experiences and play at a high level like others on this list, I’m sure these guys won’t be the last great NHL players to leave and find playing time elsewhere.
Seeing big names like these ones play overseas can help hockey bettors in a variety of ways. Knowing where premium talent like Datsyuk and Kovalchuk are playing can help you better handicap KHL lines if that’s your bread and butter, but it can also give insight on how significant those losses can be to their former NHL franchises who have to move on. A guy like Datsyuk leaving Detroit signifies a huge shift in the culture there and it’s tough to expect we don’t see a the Red Wings take a huge step backwards in the standings, and from a betting perspective in the coming years.
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