||05-20-2013 03:09 PM
European Free Agents Signing in the NHL
Now that the WHCs are over, we should see some European free agents signing with NHL clubs soon.
There's been a handful of rumors, so far, but no real action.
-Andy Strickland reports that St. Louis and RFA Jori Lehtera have picked up negotiations this past week.
-I've seen a few sources speculate that Nashville will likely sign UFA Ole-Kristian Tollefsen is likely headed there.
-Also rumors that Russian UFAs Anton Belov and Joacim Eriksson will sign with NHL teams
-Mark Crawford also said that many NHL teams were interested in big Swiss forward Simon Moser
PLAYERS POSSIBLY COMING TO NORTH AMERICA
-Juha-Matti Aaltonen, RW [27, 6'00", 196 lbs, Rogle, Elitserien (42-12-19-31-22)]: Has rumored interest from several teams, Dallas is among them and possibly the leading candidate.
-Joacim Eriksson, G [23, 6'02", 196 lbs, Sklleftea, Elitserien (30-1.67-.931)]: Drafted by Philadelphia, he is now an UFA. Unnamed interested teams.
-Jakub Klepis, C [28, 6'01", 201, Dynamo Moskva, KHL (29-4-5-9-14)]: Former Washington Capitals player is rumored to be signing with Anaheim, per Elite Prospects. Previously played 66 NHL games with Washington.
-Andrei Kostitsyn, RW [28, 6'00", 190 lbs, Traktor, KHL (44-13-8-21-82)]: Per Igor Enronko, has a contract extension with Traktor on the table but might be interested in hearing NHL offers first.
-Simon Moser, LW [24, 6'02", 209 lbs, Langnau, NLA (35-10-11-21-44)]: Is rumored to have either signed, or accepted a training camp invite with Nashville.
-Linus Omark, LW [
-Karri Ramo, G [26, G, 6'03", 207 lbs, Omsk, KHL (45-1.96-.925)]: Finnish RFA was acquired in the Mike Cammalleri trade. His KHL contract has expired and Calgary has made noise about bringing him over this season.
-Bernhard Starkbaum, G [27, 6'01", 196 lbs, Modo, Elitserien (46-2.06-.933)]: Is rumored to have NHL interest. Edmonton and Philadelphia are both reportedly interested.
-Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, D [28, 6'02", 209lbs, Farjestad, Elisterien (54-2-7-9-94)]: Rumored to be signing with Nashville. Previously played 163 NHL games with Columbus and Philadelphia.
-Nikita Zaitsev, D [21, 6'01", 176 lbs, Sibir, KHL (49-7-11-18-41)]: Was a rumor earlier this offseason that he would be signing with Philadelphia soon, though all is quiet now. He did sign a KHL deal for next year, though.
PLAYERS SIGNED NHL CONTRACTS
-Anton Belov, D [26, 6'04", 216 lbs, Omsk, KHL (46-9-17-26-30)]: Signed with the Oilers.
-Ilari Melart, D [24, 6'03", 227 lbs, HIFK, SM-liiga (50-7-11-18-80)]: Per their own website, has signed with Columbus.
-Michael Raffl, RW [24, 6'01, 192 lbs, Leksand, Allsvenskan (49-24-22-46-40)]: Per an Austrian newspaper, he has signed with Philadelphia.
-Stefan Warg, D [23, 6'03", 220 lbs, Vasteras, Allsvenskan (52-4-15-19-40)]: Per capgeek, has signed with Anaheim.
-Antti Raanta, G [24, 6'00", 187 lbs, Assat, SM-liiga (45-1.85-.943)]: I've seen a few rumors that Columbus is interested, including beat writer Aaron Portzline saying he'd heard whispers and to keep an eye on it in the coming weeks. Minnesota is one of the teams interested in him and he should make up his mind by June 1st. Signed with Chicago.
PLAYERS STAYING IN EUROPE
-Jori Lehtera, C [25, 6'01", 201 lbs, Sibir, KHL (52-17-29-46-46)]: St. Louis RFA only played 7 games in North America after signing his deal. Per Andy Strickland, he is currently mulling over an offer from St. Louis. Is making a multi-million dollar salary in the KHL, so one would have to expect Blues' deal would need to be 1-way for him to even consider returning to North America. Re-signed in the KHL.