Tampa Bay Lightning RW Teddy Purcell Considering Playing in Europe

It would seem that the discouragement being felt after last week’s epic breakdown in negotiations is not exclusive to the fans.

When asked on Monday by Damian Cristodero from the Tampa Bay Times about his current assessment of the CBA Negotiations, Teddy Purcell was quite straight forward. In fact, he called the situation “hopeless.”

“I’ve been trying to stay positive the last couple of months that something was going to get done,” Purcell said after a skate at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon. “Hopefully, something still gets done, but I don’t want to take a whole year off. I know I want to go play. You just want to stay competitive.”

According to his discussion with Cristodero, there are two things that are currently influencing his thought process. Firstly, on Thursday, the league took all of its proposals off of the table after negotiations imploded in New York, and the fact that the league cancelled another stretch of games, this time until December 30th.

“When you found out last week they took everything off the table, everybody is going, ‘Where do you go from here? What’s the next step?’ It’s frustrating, but you can’t let it get you down. It will just drive you crazy. I don’t know if it’s a game or what the deal is going on. It’s painful.”

If the situation doesn’t shift by Christmas, you can expect that he will be in Europe not long after.

It seems that Purcell isn’t the only player that has Christmas set as their line in the sand.

Martin St. Louis is in a holding pattern until Christmas as well, allowing him a little longer to assess the situation.

“Right now to Christmas I just want to get a good week of work in,” he said. “I’m hopeful they’ll get us back to the table.”

However, there are players that still stand strong on the side of optimism. Steven Stamkos has no current plans of playing in Europe.

One can only hope that Stamkos is right. Both the NHL and the NHLPA are due to get back to the table sometime this week; however, no meetings have been scheduled at this time.

Currently, the NHL has cancelled a total of 526 regular season games, including the 2012 Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend. This equates to 43% of the regular season which was originally scheduled to begin on October 11th.


Original Story and Quotations Used Within Credited to Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times.

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Tags: NHL Lockout Tampa Bay Lightning Teddy Purcell

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