It's up to six now, Boston Bruins fans: the number of Bruins who have gone overseas to play during the NHL lockout has now exceeded a handful. Tuukka Rask becomes the latest Bruin to find work elsewhere, although he is not returning to his native Finland, which could come as a surprise to some fans.
Instead, Rask has chosen to play for HC Plzen of the Czech Extraliga. This story about his decision--which is in Czech but has been roughly translated through Google Translate to at least understand the most basic details, but not the nuances of grammar and syntax--reports that he arrived in the Czech Republic on Sept. 25 but is not expected to play right away. The reason: jet lag, or "inverted time," as the translation puts it.
HC Plzen does have some games coming up pretty soon, including ones on Sept. 26 and 28. Those two games are too soon for Rask to make his Czech debut because he needs to train and get over his case of inverted time. Look for him to perhaps play in HC Plzen's Sept. 30 game. Interestingly, HC Plzen will play HC Mountfield, Andrew Ference's temporary new team, in October and November.
Tyler Seguin also arrived at his new home base on Sept. 25, making it to Switzerland after an all-night flight. He talked to Swiss media, toured EHC Biel's arena and met head coach Kevin Schlapfer. Then, he was in attendance, but not on the ice, as EHC Biel beat HC Ambri-Piotta 4-1, improving their record after they started the season by dropping their first two games. He will play his first game with EHC Biel on Sept. 29.
More Bruins may leave in the coming days and seek playing time elsewhere. I will keep up with them as best as I can, even if that does mean wishing Google Translate understood the nuance of languages better than it does right now. Of course, I hope for this lockout to end soon--it's much easier to keep up with the Bruins when they are all in one place and information about them is available in English.
Emma Harger is a Boston Bruins fan who does enjoy learning more about Europe, but wishes it could be because of something other than a lockout.
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- NHL lockout