The Buffalo News

Ennis is off to Switzerlan­d to play


Tyler Ennis had two options. He could sit around and wait for the NHL lockout to end, or he and his best friend could play hockey together in Switzerlan­d.

It was a no-brainer. The Buffalo Sabres’ top center was scheduled to board a plane Friday night to skate for Langnau of the Swiss league.

Ennis became the second member of the Sabres to head to Europe, a list that’s likely to increase while the league and the NHL Players’ Associatio­n squabble over how to split $3.3 billion a year. Christian Ehrhoff signed with a German team earlier in the week.

Agent Eustace King got a package deal with Langnau for Ennis and Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon. The players grew up together on the same Edmonton street.

“I wanted to play with a buddy, and my agent just went out and got me and Spurge a nice little spot in Langnau, so I’m pretty excited,” Ennis said. “All I can say is that I hope [the lockout] ends as quick as possible, but for now I’m looking forward to trying to improve my game with the Langnau Tigers and try and improve at center.”

One of Ennis’ final activities in Buffalo was lunch with teammate Tyler Myers, who has also had discussion­s about heading across the ocean to play.

“I’ll probably know in the next week if it’s going to happen or not,” the defenseman said.

Players f ight lockout

EDMONTON, Alberta – Lawyers for players on the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames are trying to have the NHL lockout declared illegal under Alberta law.

The NHL has argued before the Alberta Labour Relations Board that a league spanning two countries cannot operate under different laws for each team.

About a half dozen players attended the hearing, including Oilers forward Sam Gagner, goaltender Devan Dubnyk and veteran Ryan Smyth.

The lockout began last weekend and some players are already signing with European teams for the season. There have been no formal talks between the two sides since Sept. 12. Training camps were to have opened Friday.

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