A pair of talented young KHL skaters are making their way back to North America.
Winnipeg’s Alex Burmistrov, who’s spent the last two seasons playing for Ak-Bars Kazan, has agreed to a two-year, $3.1 million deal ($1.55 AAV) with the Jets while Viktor Tikhonov, a former Coyotes first-rounder, has signed a one-year, $1.04 million deal with the Blackhawks.
More on Burmistrov, from the Jets:
[Burmistrov] has spent the past two seasons in the KHL with Kazan Ak-Bars after playing the prior three seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets organization where he tallied 23 goals and 58 points in 194 NHL games.
With Kazan, Burmistrov had 20 goals and 64 points in 108 KHL games.
A talented, skill forward that’s still only 23 years old, Burmistrov should help replace the void left by Michael Frolik signing with Calgary today.
As for Tikhonov, here’s more on his situation from ESPN Chicago:
Tikhonov, 27, has spent the last four seasons in the KHL. He had eight goals and 16 assists in 49 games with SKA last season. He was drafted No. 28 overall by the Arizona Coyotes in 2008 and played in 61 NHL games during the 2008-09 season.
In Chicago, Tikhonov will be reunited with former SKA running mate Artemi Panarin, who agreed to a two-year deal with the ‘Hawks in April. The two were instrumental in helping SKA win the Gagarin Cup this season.
Calgary GM Brad Treliving made another big move on Wednesday, signing versatile forward Michael Frolik to a five-year, $21.5 million deal on the first day of free agency.
The deal carries a $4.3 million average annual cap hit, up from the $3.3M Frolik made last year with Winnipeg. The Czech winger been with the Jets for each of the last two seasons and has enjoyed good success, first setting a career high in points in 2013-14 (with 42), then matching that total last year.
Frolik also averaged a career-best 17:20 TOI per night last year, playing on both the penalty kill and power play.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff acknowledged prior to the draft that Winnipeg wanted to keep Frolik, but that the lure of big money in free agency made it difficult.
“It’s just a matter of whether there is going to be a fit on the contractual side of things,” Cheveldayoff said. “He’s been with us, he’s part of our family, he knows what we bring to the table, we know what he brings to the table.”
With Calgary, Frolik will join a talented top-six forward group that includes Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Jiri Hudler, Mikael Backlund and Sam Bennett. The Frolik deal also comes just 24 hours after Treliving inked Dougie Hamilton — Calgary’s big pickup at the draft — to a six-year, $34.5 million contract extension.
Don Maloney is a busy man.
Having already inked former Canucks center Brad Richardson to a three-year deal, the Coyotes GM set about getting to the salary cap floor by adding a trio of veterans — forward Steve Downie (formerly of Pittsburgh), defenseman Zbynek Michalek (formerly of St. Louis) and goalie Anders Lindback (formerly of Buffalo).
The Michalek move — $6.4 million total, $3.2M average annual cap hit — is interesting, as the Coyotes dealt him to St. Louis at the deadline and promptly brought him back.
Lindback will presumably serve as Mike Smith’s backup next season and Downie… well, he’s now onto his fifth NHL team in eight years, having already spent time in Philly, Tampa Bay, Colorado and Pittsburgh.