Vinny Prospal is the latest Blue Jackets player to give up on waiting for an end to the NHL lockout. Prospal, 37, has signed and already played a game for Ceske Budejovice, his hometown team.

The Blue Jackets now have five players dressing for clubs outside the organization. The others are forwards Brandon Dubinsky (Alaska Aces, ECHL) and Artem Anisimov (Yaroslavl Lokomotiv, KHL), defenseman Nikita Nikitin (Omsk Avangard, KHL) and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (St. Petersburg SKA, KHL).

Prospal has been among the most vocal Blue Jackets players since the lockout began in mid-September. This is the third lockout he's endured since coming to North America to play hockey in the early 1990s, making him one of a select few players. Only Jaromir Jagr has endured four lockouts.

"The game has never been at a higher level," Prospal told The Dispatch two days into the lockout. "The fans, the exposure ... the circus that comes around the actual games, it's never been bigger. It's an unreal amount of money we're generating every year, and it's growing. That's the part that makes my mind wonder.

"We have one guy (Bettman) who keeps saying we have the greatest fans in the world, but this could seriously bite them in the butt. They might end up paying a hefty price for it this time. Some people live for this sport, and this is no way to treat them."