The New York Islanders think they finally have a strong starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak. They still need a backup though and it looks like Anders Nilsson won’t be an option.
Nilsson, 24, has reportedly agreed to terms with Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League, per Sports.ru’s Igor Eronko.
If that’s true, it would mesh with earlier reports that Nilsson was planning to head to Europe after the Islanders balked at his request for a one-way contract. He would have been a restricted free agent this summer after posting a 3.11 GAA and .896 save percentage in 19 games with New York.
Colorado Avalanche forward Mark Olver will also play in the KHL in 2014-15 after signing with Sochi, according to player agent Darryl Wolski.
Like Nilsson, Olver was scheduled to become a restricted free agent. He spent the 2013-14 campaign in the minors, but the 26-year-old had 10 goals and 22 points in 74 career contests with the Avalanche.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Here’s a detailed look back at Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin‘s first 10 years in the NHL. (NHL.com)
Speaking of Crosby, he’s signed a multiyear partnership with adidas. (Newswire)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play a key role in easing Connor McDavid into the NHL. (Edmonton Sun)
After two polar opposite seasons, the jury is still out on Patrick Roy as a head coach. (Denver Post)
Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys pulling off pranks on his teammates. “I play better when I’m looser, laughing and having fun,” he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Art McDonald, a Canadian who won recently won a Nobel Prize, talked to the committee members about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (SB Nation)
The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.
He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.
He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).
In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.
No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?