EURO TRIP — Another Month with EC VSV for Grabner, Update on Others

Kevin Schultz

One of the interesting things about NHL players heading to Europe is that the European teams need to cover massive insurance costs. In some cases, it means the teams literally cannot afford players, which is why you don’t see Sidney Crosby crossing the Atlantic due to the massive $400,000 price tag of insurance that is separate from any wages he’s paid (and yes, concussions are a concern for Sid too). But in many cases, teams that aren’t used to paying NHL style wages have a second financial issue when it comes to finding the money to pay the insurance.

In europe, Michael Grabner is currently playing for EC Villacher SV in the top Austrian league. Yesterday the team announced another month extension to the “Live in Villach” Tour (pictured right). As the Google translated version of the article tells it*, four of the team’s sponsors have footed the bill for Grabner’s insurance, with two of them each picking up a third of the cost. Grabner may not be Sidney Crosby, but it still takes a pretty serious effort to finance just one month of an NHLers’ EuroTrip.

More updates about players you may remember from such hockey teams as the New York Islanders after the jump.

* – Yes, we’re doing this again because let’s face it Google translate may be imperfect but neither it nor our fellow humans in Europe are so completely illiterate as to be writing things that are completely untrue and unintelligible. We’ve reached out to Grabner to confirm. (Update: and confirm, he has)

As reported by Katie Strang, Josh Bailey is heading to Europe to play ice hockey. He will be playing for the Bietigheim Steelers in the second division. That makes nine Islanders skating overseas during the lockout. Among them is John Tavares, pictured scoring a power play goal with SC Bern in the video below. Bern is currently 9-8 and sitting at fifth place in the 12 team League A in Switzerland. Tavares has a 6-9-15 line in 12 games with the team. Also skating for Bern is Isles captain Mark Streit, who has four goals and five helpers in 16 games.

Here’s a look at how the rest of the Islanders are doing with their lockout teams:

Jesse Joensuu
is spending the lockout in Finland, playing for Ässät in the Finnish Elite League. He’s 7th(!) in the league in scoring with 11 goals and 10 assists in 17 games. Joining him in Finland is Frans Nielsen, playing for Lukko. Nielsen has 10 assists in 13 games. Neither team is doing quite well as Lukko is currently 9th and Ässät is 11th out of 14 teams.

Playing for HC Karlovy Vary of the Czech league is Andrew MacDonald. He has five points in seven games and is +1.

Lubomir Visnovsky is at home in Slovakia playing for HC Slovan Bratislava, which is actually part of the KHL. He’s got four goals and five helpers in 13 games. Slovan is third of seven teams in its division.

And Rick DiPietro… He’s on the Riessersee roster.