Jaroslav Halak is set to become the latest locked-out goalie to find work overseas.
According to multiple reports (see here and here and here), the Blues netminder has agreed to terms with KHL club Spartak Moscow.
In doing so, Halak will join Pekka Rinne, Ilya Bryzgalov, Semyon Varlamov and Sergei Bobrovsky (KHL) Tuukka Rask and Ondrej Pavelec (Czech Extraliga), Antti Niemi (Finland) Viktor Fasth (Sweden) and Jonathan Bernier and Rick DiPietro (Germany) as NHL netminders that have signed abroad.
Last year, Halak teamed with Brian Elliott to give St. Louis the best goaltending tandem in hockey. The pair combined to win the William Jennings Trophy (fewest goals allowed) while Halak finished sixth in save percentage (.924), fourth in goals against (1.97) and fifth in shutouts (six).
Halak got the call to start for St. Louis in its opening-round playoff series against San Jose, but only lasted two games before suffering an ankle injury that ended his postseason.
The injury was significant enough that its effects lingered until mid-July, possibly why the 27-year-old waited so long before signing with a European club.
In Moscow, Halak will join a Spartak club currently employing ex-NHLers Shaone Morrisonn, Branko Radivojevic, Oleg Petrov and Bruins prospect Alexander Khokhlachev.
Despite the multiple reports linking him to the KHL, Halak has instead signed in the Bundesliga — Germany’s second division — for a club called Lausitzer.
Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.
The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.
According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”
Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:
The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.
In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two:
Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?
While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.
Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.
That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench.
“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”
The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.
Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.
It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.