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Press Box: More NHL players sign with overseas teams

The SportsXchange

Several more locked out NHL players have signed with Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, according to NBC Sports, and Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby is exploring his playing options as the NHL lockout reached its second day.

. Yahoo! Sports reported that Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils will sign with SKA on Wednesday. He played for Ak-Bars Kazan during the last work stoppage.

Ruslan Fedotenko's agent, Allan Walsh, said the Philadelphia Flyer will play for Donbass Donetsk. Walsh also said that Winnipeg Jets forward Alexei Ponikarovsky will also sign with Donbass.

Also, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin will join Pittsburgh Penguins' Evgeni Malkin and Ottawa Senators' Sergei Gonchar in Magnitogorsk.

The KHL is expected to attract more locked out NHL players as the season has already begun.

The NHL work stoppage is in its second day and there are no formal talks planned.

---San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton told ESPN.com that he plans to play in Switzerland as the NHL lockout continues Monday.

Thornton will return to HC Davos, the same club he played for during the 2004-05 work stoppage. Thornton has a home in Switzerland.

Logan Couture, the Sharks' only All-Star from last season, is close to signing with Geneva in the Swiss League, according to NHL Home Ice.

AUTO RACING

--- Tony Eury Jr. has been replaced as Danica Patrick's crew chief for the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Nationwide Series team, JR Motorsports announced Monday. JR Motorsports replaced Eury with Ryan Pemberton.

The team recently hired Pemberton as its competition director, and he will be the team's crew chief this weekend.

JR Motorsports confirmed Eury's exit in a statement: "Unfortunately Tony Jr. is no longer with the company," Dale Earnhardt Jr., Eury's cousin, stated in the press release. "I had hoped he would be here for a long time, but as we've discussed the direction of JR Motorsports moving forward, it was clear our differences in ideas were too vast to overcome."

Patrick finished 12th at Chicagoland in the Nationwide Series on Saturday, and she is 11th in the points standings.
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