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It’s not an easy decision, though, because there are no guarantees there will be games this season in North America and the European leagues are already underway.
“The mentality from our European agents is this might be one of those years where you’re not as concerned about the money, you’re just concerned about playing competitive hockey,” Scott added. “You’re kicking the can down the road, and then you can turn around in 2021-22 season and say, ‘I didn’t waste away in 2020-21, I had 80 points in this Finnish league and I just wanted to play.’
“There’s certainly a sentiment among some players they just need to keep playing so you’re seeing a bit of knee-jerk reaction from some North American players going to Europe simply as a hedge against the risk of there not being a season in the AHL or ECHL. If you’re willing to bet on the AHL having a season, then you’re better off waiting, staying in shape and skating to stay ready.”
And there are no guarantees that if a player does sign overseas they’ll get a full year because the health risks with the novel coronavirus overseas are the same as they are here.
Scott had one younger player, who still has a chance to make the NHL, giving serious consideration to playing in Russia in the KHL but opted not to do it.
“I had a player who had a very lucrative KHL deal on the table and AHL teams aren’t really excited about signing players right now because there’s a bit of moratorium right now. They’re trying to figure out whether they’re going to be a go,” said Scott. “This player had a lucrative KHL, but there’s so much COVID-19 in the KHL right now amongst coaches, trainers and players. They’re going to play regardless.