Pavol Demitra’s run in the NHL appears to be at an end. The former Vancouver Canucks forward is headed to Russia according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Pavol Demitra has signed a one-year contract with Yaroslavl of the KHL, agent Matt Keator confirms to ESPN.com
With Demitra headed to the KHL, that removes another veteran NHL forward from the free agency pool for teams to pick from. Demitra’s recent NHL career has been one fraught with inconsistent play and a bromance-like connection to fellow Slovak Marian Gaborik. Overall, Demitra has been a steady performer being a consistent 25-35 goal scorer with the St. Louis Blues in the late 90s. Injuries have kept Demitra from being an über-reliable player over his career. In his 16 (!) seasons in the NHL, Demitra has played a full 82-game schedule just twice.
This year, while it seemed that Demitra’s career was really starting to wind down, he found a second wind during the 2010 Winter Olympics, helping Slovakia to reach the bronze medal game, only to lose to Finland. In the seven games Slovakia played in the Olympics, Demitra had three goals and seven assists and was, by far, one of the team’s best players. That great play didn’t find a way back into the NHL, however, and many teams seemed reticent to give an oft-injured, yet talented forward a shot to give it another go.