Earlier this summer, we asked “what about Marek Svatos?,” wondering if an NHL team could use a one-dimensional forward who is pretty strong in that one dimension: goal scoring. GMs around the league must have responded with a collective shoulder shrug because the Slovakian winger signed with Avangard Omsk of the KHL according to TSN.
Unrestricted free agent Marek Svatos has signed a one-year deal with Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.
Drafted by the Avalanche in the 7th round (227th overall) in 2001, Svatos spent his entire NHL career in Colorado. Last season, the 28-year old played 54 games and posted seven goals and four assists with a plus- 13 rating.
Omsk might be the only KHL team that can compare to SKA St. Petersburg when it comes to amassing NHL players. SKA features Evgeni Nabokov, Maxim Afinogenov, Alexei Yashin, Sergei Zubov and Denis Grebeshkov while Omsk boasts former star Jaromir Jagr, Martin Skoula, Brendan Bell and now Svatos.
As I mentioned in that Svatos piece from early September, I think that a contender could have used Svatos as a low-rent special teams player whose solid goal scoring skills could benefit a shallow power play.
Still, Svatos is by no means an irreplaceable player. Perhaps he’ll use this one-year deal as an audition to get back into the NHL or maybe he’ll ride into the foreign league sunset. Consider him a missed opportunity for some teams, but a minor one in that.
Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.
The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.
Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.
Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.
Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.
Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.
Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.
Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.
Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.
It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.
The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.
The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.
Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.
“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.
In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.