Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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Another Tampa Bay Lightning player heads overseas
Posted Oct 30, 2012 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Oct 30, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Brendan Mikkelson became the fourth Tampa Bay Lightning player to bolt for Europe during the NHL imposed lockout that is now in its seventh week.
The 25-year-old defenseman signed a deal to play with Vasteras HK in the Swedish second division, according to Swedish website VLT.se, for the duration of the lockout. Mikkelson has been one of the regular players in town who have been skating at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon since the lockout went into effect on Sept. 16.
According to the report, Mikkelson was recruited by former Calgary forward Mikael Backlund, who played with Mikkelson while the two were in the Calgary system.
“I have very good references about him, especially (Mikael Backlund),’’ Vasteras general manager Niklas Johansson said. “His reference was the deciding factor.’’
Other Lightning players in Europe include defenseman Victor Hedman (Russia), forward Adam Hall (Germany) and goaltender Anders Lindback (Finland). With all NHL games canceled through the end of November, and no scheduled talks between the league and player’s association, others are expected to head overseas. That includes former league MVP Marty St. Louis, who has said he would look to Europe by mid-November if there was no progress in NHL talks.