With the lockout having been underway for a few days now, there already have been a number of high-profile NHLers who have gone overseas while being locked out by Gary Bettman and the owners on this side of the pond. It was only a matter of time before we saw some of the Kings head over to Europe and it looks as though Anze Kopitar is the first to go.
Kopitar has signed with Mora IK of the Swedish Hockey Allsvenskan League. More significantly, Kopitar will be reuniting with his younger brother, Gasper, who will be entering his first season in Sweden. Given the circumstances, this is about as good as it gets for Anze. While it’s a far cry from playing for the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, the older Kopitar will surely make the most of his time in Sweden, especially having the opportunity to play with such a close family member.
The Swedish Hockey Allsvenskan League is a second-tier league. The Swedish Elite League is not allowed signing NHL players during a lockout. Had that not been the case, perhaps Anze Kopitar would have signed with Sodertalje SK where he played for two seasons before beginning his career in Los Angeles.
From the Kings, Anze Kopitar is the first to sign elsewhere and likely will not be the last.
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