- Craig Custance
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As the bigger European leagues snatch up NHL stars looking to play hockey during the lockout, not much opportunity is left for third- and fourth-line players. So those players have to get creative, which Drew Miller did this week in signing a deal to play in the United Kingdom.
The Detroit Red Wings forward is headed to Scotland to play for the Braehead Clan and is expected to see action this weekend. The Clan play in the Elite Ice Hockey League, the highest level of hockey in the UK.
"There's not as many (European) jobs as you think available. He wanted to play and this opportunity came up," said Miller's agent, Jason Woolley, a former NHL defenseman. "I think it's healthy for the mind. It's great experience to get away, away from the NHL, CBA and lockout talk. You can't control anything, now you just go and play hockey."
As both the NHLPA and NHL appear to be digging in for a prolonged lockout, more NHL players may have to follow Miller's lead to keep playing. Woolley said Miller is picking up his own insurance and is looking at playing in Scotland as a unique experience, not a serious income generator.
Miller's wife, Colleen, is joining him on the trip.
"Take your wife, go over and see that part of the world and chalk it up to experience," Woolley said. "You may never get that opportunity again."
Miller, a former Michigan State standout, had a career-high 14 goals in 80 games last season for Detroit.
9dScott Burnside and Craig Custance