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NHL roundup: Ovechkin says lockout could last a year

The SportsXchange

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin doesn't sound optimistic about the NHL lockout ending in the near future.

The collective bargaining agreement expired Saturday night and the players subsequently were locked out by the owners. The two sides haven't met since last Wednesday.

In the meantime, Ovechkin plans to play in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, and the Russian newspaper Sport-Express reports he will play for Dynamo Moscow..

"If the league continues to insist on their (demands), then it will take a full year," he told Sovetsky Sports, a Russian newspaper. "That's because we are not going to cave in. Then I will spend the entire season in the KHL. That's an absolute reality."

"I am not yet ready to answer this question," Ovechkin said. "But I think that you will know everything in a few days. It will all be officially announced."

---Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has reached an agreement to play in his native Germany for the Krefeld Penguins, TSN reported.

Ehrhoff was introduced at a news conference on Tuesday after the German Ice Hockey League agreed to pay about $26,000 in injury insurance for Ehrhoff.

Ehrhoff, who had 27 assists and five goals for the Sabres last season, is not under contract with the German team, and can return to the NHL at any time.

---The Florida Panthers became the second team to announce layoffs since the start of the NHL lockout. The Panthers did not specify how many employees had been laid off in its announcement on Tuesday.

"Due primarily to the NHL work stoppage, but also due to changes and efficiencies in our normal business operations, SSE and the Florida Panthers instituted a number of staff adjustments today including staff reductions," Panthers President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Yormark wrote in a statement released Tuesday.

The Ottawa Senators had announced layoffs earlier this week.
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