Vancouver Canucks forward Chris Higgins says he won’t signing in Europe because the risks of injury outweigh the benefits.
“No, I am not looking for a place to play,” Higgins told the Vancouver Sun. “I don’t think I could live with myself if I got hurt over there, God forbid. I’d rather be a little out of game shape than be coming back hurt. So that’s how I kind of look at it. I hope for the best for the players already over there.”
Most National Hockey League players that sign in Europe do not earn a salary because most teams cannot afford to pay them a salary after paying for insurance.
“It’s a risk/reward thing [going to Europe],” player agent Matt Keator told the Ottawa Sun in September. “The risk is [if] you get injured and you’re not 100% when you come back or you’re not deemed fit to play then you don’t get paid [by your NHL team] when you come back. You have insurance to back you up.
“The reward is that you get to stay in shape, stay sharp and hit the ground running when (the NHL) starts again.”
A player like Rick Nash, who has five years and $39.8 million remaining in contract, would cost a Europe team more than $100,000 a month to insure.
HC Ambrì-Piotta, the team Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider signed with in Europe, had to get corporate sponsorship to pay the insurance because they couldn’t afford it.