According to the Daily News, New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin has signed with Södertälje SK of the Swedish Elite League during the current NHL lockout here in North America. He will be headed to Sweden to join the team some time next week.
Hagelin, age 24, is the second of the Rangers to depart to overseas while the lockout drags on in the NHL, as Rick Nash is currently playing over in the Swiss A-League as we speak. In addition, it is also speculated that goaltender Henrik Lundqvist may join brother, Joel, in the Swedish Elite League in the near future if the state of the NHL's CBA does not improve.
Speaking of which, the NHL and NHLPA did meet today for the first time in over two weeks since a lockout was officially declared back on September 15. The two sides agreed to discuss non-economic issues so that tempers will not boil and, instead of another stalemate, progress will actually be made. While it is not much, they did agree on some player health and safety issues according to several reports.
Baby steps, yes, but at the very least the two parties are now in a negotiating state, and possibly after tackling some of the smaller issues regarding the new CBA, they will be ready to move on to the economic debates, which is where the heart of the argument lies. Until that's complete - and that portion of it will take a while, even once the ball begins rolling - we simply cannot look at anything as major steps forward in the right direction.
The NHL and NHLPA have agreed to meet on a non-economic basis throughout the weekend to see what can be accomplished in that time period.
Also, the League announced yesterday that the remainder of the preseason schedule has been cancelled. Now it's only a matter of time until regular season matches start getting x'd off the calendar as well.
The Rangers were scheduled to open their regular season campaign on Friday, October 12 in Los Angeles.