He was in a fight last night. Maybe that was the last straw.
Klepis in his own words, as reported by the media earlier this season, was hoping for a trade to be worked out and for an opportunity with another NHL organization; that trade didn't happen and he was playing on a PTO (25 games I believe and he had played 19) in the AHL; he was going to have to sign an AHL contract, another PTO or leave; if he wanted to play in the AHL, he could have signed his QO this summer and would have had a two-way contract as had been offered.
The decision to leave and go to Europe was announced on December 2, the day after the last day to sign an RFA to an NHL contract (per the CBA); while it could be coincidence, seems the logical explanation to me; he had discussed in the earlier interviews he would consider the option of returning to Europe (he got married this past summer, too, and based on his reports, his wife was still back in the Czech Rep)
For all the knocks he takes, I give him credit for showing up at camp without a contract and for giving it a shot in Hershey; still, I'm not surprised that a deal did not materialize and that he is headed back to Europe.
(addn: just listened to the 2nd intermission with Leone and Walton, as well as Walton's pregame; they sound a bit surprised that Klepis left, thought he might stick around for the season, but also commented on his wife not being with him, more money short-term possible in Europe, etc.; they don't know any specifics other than back to Europe; from what Walton said, he told his teammates earlier today; about being surprised, I would be surprised if they knew about the RFA Dec 1 rule; sidenote: the AHL works quickly on a Sunday, he's already off the Bears roster and listed as released from his PTO; Leone mentions Gordon...my thoughts, although deep on paper at RW, with Barney struggling and Klepis gone, this might free up a roster slot for Andrew Gordon (4 games in a row with a goal with SC) to get called back up)
FWIW, I watched the fight and then read about it this morning, he held his own and it is not like he fought Bonvie, he fought McLean Actually entertaining reading his description of the sequence of events in Leone's write-up. He also played well last night.
"I didn't want to fight the guy," Klepis said. "He dropped his gloves and jumped me. I didn't want to just look like a little guy, so I dropped them, too. It wasn't really a big fight. I think I hit him once pretty good. That was it. Then I pulled the jersey a little bit."
"McLean got a game misconduct because his jersey wasn't tied down. Klepis admitted his wasn't, either."
I take that back Leone did report about the Dec 1 rule in his blog entry before the game; I didn't hear him mention it during the intermission interview combined with the surprise expressed I assumed he didn't know.
interesting info from Leone, so Klepis was considering signing an AHL contract...
""As of [Saturday], it was his intention to sign a [full-season] contract with us this Monday," Bears president-GM Doug Yingst said...."Klepper came in ready to play the game and decided he would leave and take this European opportunity and have the opportunity to play in the World Cup."
..."For the last couple days I didn't sleep, even in the night," Klepis said. "... "Going back to Europe, it's got pluses and minuses. Staying here has pluses and minuses, too. I'm just going to try to reach my goal and get back to the NHL next year."
..."It's not about money," Klepis said. "If it was about money, I would go to Russia, for sure...."
"I just want to play hockey, enjoy it again, start over again. I love Hershey, love the team. I love everything about Hershey. It's just the way I was treated by Washington; I wasn't happy about it."