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Vinny Heads Home

Vinny Prospal has signed a deal that will take him back to the Czech Republic to play for his home town club, HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice, through the lockout.

Justin K. Aller

According to The Fourth Period magazine, Jackets forward Vinny Prospal has joined the squad for HC Mountfield Ceske Budejovice. He'll be suiting up alongside fellow NHLers Andrew Ference, Milan Michalek, Martin Hanzal, and touching base with former Jacket Radek Martinek, who has also signed with the Extraliga club. Prospal also played for the club during the last lockout, where he was their scoring leader during the 2004-2005 season.

Vinny had been in Columbus for much of the last few months, in hopes of getting back to business here with the Jackets, but the prospects for that seem to be growing dimmer by the day. His decision to return to his home town is another signal that the lockout is more likely than not to stretch deeper into the regular season.

On the other hand, it does mean that Vinny will be keeping himself sharp with full game action, not just drills and scrimmages, and at least means that should a season get back on track, he'll be ready to step onto the ice with his usual passion and drive.