Number of NHLers in Europe hits 185

Updated: October 2, 2004, 11:09 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Five more locked-out NHL players agreed Saturday to play in Europe, bringing the total to 185.

Sergei Zholtok of the Nashville Predators and Darby Hendrickson of the Colorado Avalanche joined Riga 2000 in Latvia, while Duvie Westcott of the Columbus Blue Jackets signed with Jyvaskyla in Finland.

Lasse Pirjeta of the Pittsburgh Penguins will skate with HIFK Helsinki in Finland and Radovan Somik of the Philadelphia Flyers will play for Martin in Slovakia.

Most of the NHL players in Europe have lockout clauses that permit them to return to North American if the labor dispute ends in time to salvage a season.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press