To whom it may concern,
From a pro hockey player's perspective, I think if another player goes to Europe it could mean a few different things. Here is my list of reasons to leave...
1. More money
a. (than semi pro level aka AHL or ECHL)
b. (more money on next NHL contract, aka Jagr, or bargaining power with NHL team)
2. Experience Europe
3. Career Change
a. (some teams in Europe pay for your college degree while you play, helping you to another career)
4. Next best level of play for more money
So, as I look back at these reasons, I have to assume the most powerful reason to leave for Europe from all angles is money. It is always sad to see a team mate leave your team prematurely, but teams change constantly year to year, even month to month sometimes. You just need to stay positive and be happy for the guy who leaves and wish them the best of luck, since they made a decision that they felt they needed to make to take their career or life in the direction they feel is for the better. So in the case of some guys going to Europe this year (Bud, Elks, and Oscar) I sincerely wish them the best of luck and hopefully I'll have the privilege of playing with them again in the future.
And I want to give Bud a special thanks for coming to my wedding this weekend in Vancouver and showing everyone here how to dance and sip out of a centerpiece.