The European market can be very confusing compared to the North America market, for example team's in Europe do not trade players - once your contract has expired you become a free agent and your entitled to sign for any European or North American club you want. Below 9HM have complied an explanation of what to expect when being placed in Europe or North America:
What should I expect in Europe?
Obviously money varies from league to league, however the majority of professional leagues will offer accommodation, equipment and flights as standard. Again additional incentives apply from club to club, a number of larger clubs will offer an apartment for yourself, a car, goal bonuses, playoff win bonus etc. With the current economic downturn though a lot of clubs in Europe are looking to cut their overheads where possible, so where they would normally offer a car for one player they are now asking two to three players to share a car. Further incentives are also available, for example in the United Kingdom selected teams are able to offer university courses as part of a contract, for further details please ask at negotiation.
What are the facilities/rinks like in Europe?
Most rinks in Europe are generally average to a good standard, unlike the regular multi-purpose arenas in North American 'AA' leagues, European arena's are mostly purpose built ice facilities. Teams generally also train in the same facility throughout the season. Further details on European rinks visit hockeyarenas.net.
When can I sign in Europe?
France: May 1 to November 15
The Netherlands: May 1 to December 1
Denmark: May 1 to December 15
Norway: May 1 to December 31
Germany: May 1 to January 31
Finland: May 1 to January 31
Sweden: May 1 to January 31
Switzerland: May 1 to 24 hours before start of playoffs
United Kingdom: May 1 to January 31
What European league's am I eligible to play in?
Austria Ligaen: 10 non-EU players, unlimited EU players
Austria Nationalliga: 3 ITC’s (3 non-EU players)
British Elite League: 10 ITC's (Only 'AA' minor pro or European Elite players)
English Premier League: 4 ITC's, only EU players eligible
English National League: 2 ITC's, only EU players eligible
Finland SM Liiga: 5 ITC's
Finland Mestis: 2 ITC's
France (All leagues): Unlimited EU (European Union) players, maximum 3 non-EU players
German DEL: 12 ITC’s, can use 10 ITC's in one game, unlimited EU (European Union) players
German Bundesliga: 5 ITC's, unlimited EU (European Union) players
German Oberliga: 2 ITC's, German netminders only
Italy A1: Unlimited ITC's, points system
Italy A2: 3 ITC’s (2 non-EU players, 1 EU player)
Norway Ligaen: 4 non-EU players, unlimited EU players
Sweden Eliteserien: 2 non-EU players, unlimited EU players
Sweden Allsvenskan: 2 non-EU players, unlimited EU players
Sweden 1st Division: 2 ITC’s (non-EU or EU players)
Switzerland Nationalliga A: 8 ITC's, can only use 4 ITC's during one game
Swizterland Nationalliga B: Unlimited ITC's, can only use 2 ITC's during one game
The Netherlands: Unlimited ITC's, tax system
Eindhoven Kemphanen (Eredivisie)