Locked-out NHLers are really searching high and low for jobs these days...
Ottawa Senators winger Erik Condra obviously exhausted all other possibilities, and today settled on signing a lockout-long contract with EV Füssen (the Leopards, apparently) of the German Oberliga, which is the third tier of ice hockey in Germany. I honestly have no idea how good that is, but the third tier of pro hockey in North America is the ECHL, but maybe if you multiply the degree of difference between the NHL and the ECHL by the degree of difference between the NHL and the DEL you'll get some idea of the level of competition Condra will be dealing with.
According to the Sun's report (linked above), EV Füssen officials were surprised Condra agreed to head over there (as I'm sure many others are). The deal's a month-to-month contract, and Oberliga import players (of which each team is allowed up to two) earn about $2,600 per month, on average--although the Condras are being treated to sponsored return flights, and the team is providing a car and an apartment.
Browsing the Füssen roster, the team's leading scorer played for Concordia of the OUA before moving to Germany for pro hockey, so that may tell you something. Other players have played pro hockey in the United Kingdom and Netherlands, which aren't pro hockey hotbeds. I was able to find one player with AHL experience--Yanick Dube--but, admittedly, I didn't look too thoroughly.
Provided Condra can hit the net, he should do pretty well for himself over there. I certainly don't blame him for taking advantage of the opportunity to go to a European country while he has the opportunity and the freedom to do so, and to play some hockey--it's basically like a working vacation, but you don't have to work as hard as usual. I do question whether or not the 'it's better to play' wisdom prevails when he'd likely be playing against more intense competition were he to stick around in the Big Rig Brew Pub pick-up league, but... I'm sure it'll be a fun experience for Condra, his wife, and his new teammates.
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