The NHL players who compete in Europe during the lockout are risking injury, forcing them to pay high insurance premiums.
Ilya Bryzgalov, Jake Voracek, and Ruslan Fedotenko are three Flyers who have committed to playing in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League. Other Flyers are considering European offers, including Scott Hartnell, Danny Briere, and Claude Giroux.
According to an underwriter whose New Jersey company insured about 75 players who played in Europe during the 2004-05 lockout, it costs $10,000 to $25,000 per $1 million to insure the players.
The younger the player, the smaller the injury risk - and the cheaper the insurance, said Chris Lack, an underwriter with Exceptional Risk Advisors of Mahwah, N.J. Lack said his company has insured about 10 players during this year's lockout and has "given about 100 quotes."
If the 32-year-old Bryzgalov was paying, say, $20,000 in insurance fees per $1 million, it would cost him $130,000 to insure the $6.5 million the Flyers were scheduled to pay the goalie this season.
Bryzgalov has eight years and $41 million remaining on a nine-year, $51 million deal.
Based on the $20,000 insurance estimate, he would pay $820,000 if he insured the remaining eight years of his Flyers pact.
The NHL Players' Association is cautioning its members that NHL teams can suspend them or walk away from contracts if they are injured in Europe because they would be considered "damaged goods," said a source close to the situation.
The NHLPA said the union is paying the players' family insurance that the NHL had canceled because of the lockout. The family insurance does not cover the players if they are injured while playing in Europe.
There were no formal talks between representatives of the owners and players on Thursday, the fifth day of the lockout.
Pronger update. Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger, who missed most of last season with post-concussion syndrome, visited a doctor in Pittsburgh a few days ago and showed some improvement, general manager Paul Holmgren said.
"He's doing better but not to the point where he can think about playing" right now, Holmgren said.
Asked whether there was a chance Pronger could do some skating in the near future, Holmgren said, it's "too soon to consider that."
Pronger, a likely future Hall of Famer who will turn 38 on Oct. 10, had been living in a house he rented in Haddonfield. He and his family have moved to St. Louis, where his children are attending school.
During the lockout, Pronger ($7.2 million this season), Andrej Meszaros ($4.75 million), Mat Walker ($2 million), and Andreas Lilja ($700,000) will get paid by the Flyers because they were injured and not cleared to play when the work stoppage went into effect.