Patrick Kane is headed to Europe.
Less than a week after Kane said he was close to signing overseas because of the NHL’s lockout of players, EHC Biel-Bienne in Switzerland announced that they signed the Blackhawks superstar on Tuesday.
Kane is the first notable Hawks player to leave for Europe during the lockout. Teammates Bryan Bickell and Michael Frolik are currently playing overseas right now. Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin also is playing for EHC Biel-Bienne.
Kane, though, will still participate in the Hawks’ “Champs for Charity” game this Friday at Allstate Arena.
“Pat is planning to play this coming Friday in the charity game in Chicago before heading to Switzerland on Sunday,” his agent Pat Brisson said.
Kane initially held off on confirming that he’d play in the charity game because he was close to signing in Europe. But Kane made a surprise appearance at the press conference promoting the game and said he was excited about playing with former teammates from the Hawks’ Stanley Cup-winning team.
Kane was hopeful that negotiations between the NHL owners and the players were on a path toward a new collective bargaining agreement. But talks broke down last week and it’s unknown when formal negotiations will begin again.
“Excited and thankful to join EHC Biel in the Swiss league. Looking forward to the experience,” Kane tweeted on Tuesday.