Claude Giroux, Danny Briere sign in Germany; Joe Pavelski joins the KHL for NHL lockout

There were a few players in the NHL whose signing overseas gives fans that "uh-oh" feeling that the lockout's going to be a marathon.

Sidney Crosby, still on the fence about Europe, is probably the prime example. But we've also felt the same way about Danny Briere of the Philadelphia Flyers.

Maybe it was the HBO 24/7 glimpse into his family life or the whole "playing house with Claude Giroux" thing, but you got the sense that Briere would have really, really preferred not to leave his family in North America to play hockey overseas. This doesn't make him unique among NHL players, but he's just one of the most prominent examples — with the divorce, the death of his mother and other aspects of his life on the record.

But on Thursday, Briere opted to leave for Eisbären Berlin, a club in Germany's top league, the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (per ESPN). He played for Bern in the Swiss league during the last lockout.

Seeing Briere leave … well, it just underscores this lockout is going to be a lengthy one.

Joining him in Berlin? Flyers star Claude Giroux.

It's a move that surprised Broad Street Hockey's Travis Hughes, who assumed he'd play for either Jaromir Jagr's former KHL team Avangard Omsk or the Czech Extraliga team he owns, HC Kladno.

Another surprise arrived from the San Jose Sharks: Joe Pavelski has decided to sign with Dinamo Minsk of the KHL. From CSN Bay Area:

Pavelski, a Wisconsin native, will become just the third North American-born player to join that league, as Winnipeg's Evander Kane is also on the Dinamo roster. Andrew Ladd, also on the Jets, signed with Avangard Omsk earlier on Thursday.

Nashville's Pekka Rinne, a Finland native, is Dinamo's goaltender, as the NHL lockout is in its third week.

Who knows, maybe Pavelski is boys with Tim Stapleton or something.

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