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Many Penguins could soon play overseas

Evgeni Malkin, shown with the Russian national team during the IIHF world championships, is playing for his hometown team of Mettalurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL while the NHL has its players locked out. (AP)

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By Josh Yohe
Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, 11:18 a.m.

Forwards Evgeni Malkin and Dustin Jeffrey now officially represent Penguins playing overseas during the NHL lockout.

Soon, they won't be the only ones.

A number of other Penguins could soon be playing in professional European leagues within weeks, or even days.

“I definitely have my agent looking around,” Penguins center Joe Vitale said. “I don't know exactly what's going to happen, but yeah, I'm interested. It could happen pretty soon.”

Malkin is currently playing with Mettalurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL while Jeffrey signed with Tilburg Trappers in the top Dutch league over the weekend.

Other Penguins - notably forward Tanner Glass and defenseman Deryk Engelland - have recently said that they are actively looking for alternate avenues for work.

Even Sidney Crosby, who spent the past week training in Colorado, is open to the possibility of playing in Europe and likely will should the NHL lockout drag on for months.

Forward Pascal Dupuis played in Switzerland during the 2004-05 lockout and said he is open to that possibility again.

“We all want to play hockey,” Engelland said. “We want to play in Pittsburgh, obviously. But I would definitely like to find someplace to play, no matter what that is.”

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