The 26-year-old has yet to play for the Flames since signing a one-year, $3.77 million deal in May. The lockout has prevented him from both suiting up and making good on a number of performance bonuses (Cervenka inked an incentive-laden deal; his base salary is $925,000.)
Cervenka had spent the lockout playing for Slavia Praha of the Czech Extraliga, scoring 13 points in nine games, but is now primed to return to the Russian league in which he made a name for himself.
In 2009-10, Cervenka teamed with Jaromir Jagr to play for Avangard Omsk, and the pair emerged as one of the league’s most dynamic scoring duos. Last year, with Jagr in Philly, Cervenka shouldered the load solo and wound up leading the KHL in playoff scoring (22 points in 20 games.)
“[Flames assistant GM] John Weisbrod went to see him play early in the KHL Playoffs and came away confirming everything we had heard from our scouts in Europe,” Flames GM Jay Feaster said upon signing Cervenka. “We made an aggressive pitch to convince him that Calgary was the perfect place for him to start his NHL career, and we are extremely pleased Roman agreed.”
With Lev Praha, Cervenka will play alongside fellow locked-out NHLers Zdeno Chara, Jakub Voracek and, perhaps most interestingly, new Flames teammate Jiri Hudler.
Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.