Lars Eller will be joining five of his Canadien teammates overseas. He has signed a lockout contract with Jyväskylä JYP of the Finnish SM-liiga. The hockey club announced the signing on it’s website early Monday. JYP is the defending SM-liiga champion.
With European teams about to take the November schedule break, Eller’s debut will be delayed until November 16th against Tappara Tampere. He’ll be joining Boston’s Rich Peverley plus Montreal area natives and former NHLer’s Eric Perrin and Ramzi Abid.
Jyväskylä is a university city of 130-thousand located 270 kilometres north of Helsinki in the lake country of central Finland.
Eller is the eighth member of the Canadiens roster to head overseas including Andrei Markov(currently injured) and Alexei Emelin who are playing in the KHL, Tomas Plekanec in the Czech Extraliga, Yannick Weber and Raphael Diaz are in Switzerland. Tomas Kaberle and Max Pacioretty have since returned home.
With the NHL officially locked out until at least December first and more likely until the New Year, expect an avalanche of European signings over the next week or so. David Desharnais and Scott Gomez are known to have already had contact with European teams. Desharnais is apparently interested in Russia while Gomez has approached at least one team in Germany. Gomez has been working as a colour commentator for his hometown Alaska Aces TV and radio broadcasts.