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.
Dan O'Toole: "So if I have this right, only acceptable goal celebration in NHL is to put hands at your sides and then feel shame."
At this point, it could mean he's the new coach of Anaheim for how complicated that translation was! Doesn't live up to "the glass rod of failure", though.
Originally Posted by Krishna
Any info on what Nikita Zaitsev is doing?
Around april he was supposed to be signing with the Flyers and then nothing happened
I remember that story. He might be another good one to add into the first post. I thought I might sticky this for the next few weeks. But keep this to older RFAs and UFAs, please, and we'll keep putting the younger signed draft picks in the 'Prospects' thread.
Right. It's also been said that the Blues wanted to bring Lehtera over after his season was over to play, but he declined because of his concussion. He wants to be in the NHL, the Blues want him, it just comes down to money and a roster spot.
Aaltonen has no place in the NHL. Not good enough for the top6 and not gritty enough for the bottom6.
Originally Posted by caley
Per Elite Prospects, RW Hugh Jessiman, mostly known for being the worst pick in maybe the best first round of the NHL draft ever, has signed with Medvescak Zagreb of the KHL. The hulking Jessiman (6'6", 231 lbs) had 10 goals and 29 points in 68 games with Binghamton of the AHL while under contract to the Ottawa Senators this past season. He was originally selected in the first round, 12th overall, by the NY Rangers in the 2003 draft. He is scheduled to become an UFA this summer.