2112 Hockey Agency – Euro Prep Sheet– updated January 26th – 2017
Some basic points about living in Europe, Asia and Russia. We have tried to minimize the confusion for players traveling for the first time and pass on some learnings/wisdom from veteran players.
Mail – mail is basically useless now but sometimes parcels from back home will be sent to you so you will need to create a mailing address. Your team can assist you with this by allowing you to use the teams mailing address alternatively you can go to www.mbe.com where you can rent a post office box for a short period of time.
Cell – Skype – Viber – Million dollar question what to do with your cell phone. I suggest when you arrive that you find a local cell company such as Vodaphone. You need to purchase a SIM card for around 20.00 dollars. Once you have the SIM card then you can use your own iPhone – Droid or Blackberry. Normally you have to prepay your cell service in Europe and abroad. For example, you can top up your phone with 100 dollars but make sure your package has enough text messages – data and airtime.
Viber seems to be the top way for people to communicate between Europe and North America download http://www.viber.com/products/windows. Skype is also good a good option.Also for texting tell your friends to download www.whatsapp.com
Banking – someone from your team will assist you in setting up a bank account as well. This can be complex but once your account is set up then the team can transfer your cheques electronically. One trick is to deposit money on your Visa or MasterCard for example and then you have access at your money pretty well anywhere in the world.
Currency – However many countries will use the Euro click the following link. http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic-information/money/euro
American currency can be used in certain places but with conversions business’s they can scam you. Use local currency when possible. Credit Cards are safe in most Euro countries however you will see places such as Latvia they will only accept cash. We use Debit Cards for everything in Canada but you won’t have the same use of your debit card for other than taking money out of ATM’s.
*** Please note Switzerland is not part of the EU.
Jet Lag – So many urban legends exist what to do in regards to this topic. Don’t eat meat the day before – drink 10 ounces of water per hour when you fly – don’t drink booze – try not to sleep etc. The truth is this affects everyone different. Personally jet lag only affects me when flying home to Canada.
Food – You can find McDonalds – Pizza Hut – KFC – and Subway in almost every major city however trying to local food is all part of the cultural experience. Dining out in Norway – Russia – Finland – Sweden and Switzerland for example can be 2 to 3 times the prices of North American prices.
Subway for example was 27.00 dollars for a foot long in Norway.
Condiment Idea – When you go grocery shopping you will notice things North American style condiments are not available. Frank’s Hot Sauce, French’s Mustard, Heinz Ketchup, and Kraft Peanut Butter etc.might be hard to find. A few NHL players that have gone to Russia and Europe have come up with a great idea. Go to Costco etc and buy huge bottles of mustard or ketchup then go to UPS and they will put all your condiments in a properly packaged box. Then you ship the box before you leave to the team office. It might cost you 200 or 300 dollars but it will be money well spent.
Grocery Shopping – Once you enter your condo in Europe and Russia the fridges are much smaller than basic fridges in North America. You won’t be able to stock up on lots of milk and meats etc. If you cook lots you will be shopping three times a week.
Pets – First of all please speak to your Vet about what you should do with your dog. Normal flights from Toronto to Europe are 7 hours on average. Some people will suggest giving your dog Benadryl before you fly to knock them out but once again get a 2nd opinion from your vet. Taking your dog to Sweden for example is not that simple. However you can fly your dog into Denmark and pick him up at the airport and drive into Sweden. But if you fly the dog to Stockholm your pet will have to stay for 30 days in quarantine. Good link to click on http://goeurope.about.com/od/travelwithpets/a/pet_travel.htm
Vehicle / Drivers License – Most teams will provide you and your family with a vehicle to use or share with another import player. IDP (International Drivers Permit) is a worthless booklet from an age gone by. Yes, I get one where it’s required (Italy) but don’t bother for Germany. Any policeman who’s not a total idiot can understand the info on my driver’s license.
Where it’s not required, it does nothing for you, offers you no protection in an accident or if stopped by police. Cheap, yes, about $15 from AAA + passport photos. Valid for 1 year.
Local Transit – A common response from Europeans when they come to Canada or the USA is what is really different between their country and ours. The answer normally is we drive everywhere and in Europe people will walk or use a train. Parking is difficult in major cities and you will find that using a train or walking is actually much easier than driving.
Passport / Visa – This can be a lengthy process if we are not involved in the assistance of this. Playing in the KHL is more complicated matter and a Visa is required. Speak to your agent in regards to these issues.
Insurance – This is part of your contract negotiations but you want to request full coverage for you and your family.
Taxes – We can assist you with tax preparations and advice. However we are not accountants either and it is best served you get professional advice on this. An example in Czech they only pay 15% and when you come home your tax bill could be anywhere from 20 – 30 percent. But another example in Croatia they pay 40% and you may have no additional tax bill when you return.
Girlfriend / Wives working – Also a tough one unless you can work for cash at a bar or restaurant. Sometimes someone from your team can assist with helping with this. But overall it is somewhat difficult.
Slingbox – I love my TV and the shows and programs however you will not find most of these shows in Europe. Slingbox is a great invention and allows you to watch TV from North America in amazing quality. Click this link on how Slingbox works http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/slingbox.htm
Commissions – Please speak to your agent about this but we can split this over 2 installments if that makes things easier. Some countries pay us directly therefore potentially no commission invoice for you. Otherwise we will invoice mid-season to allow you to get some pay cheques in the bank.
More questions please contact:
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Web – www.2112hockeyagency.com
Cell – 204 573 8080 – Cell / SMS / WhatsApp / Viber
Twitter – www.twitter.com/2112hockey