Paul Bissonnette has assured himself this summer won’t be like last year.
The 30-year-old has signed a one-year contract with the Ontario Reign – the new AHL affiliate of the L.A. Kings.
“I’m happy about it. It’s good to be returning back to some familiar faces,” Bissonnette told PHT on Wednesday. “I’m very happy and excited to be headed to California.”
At this time last year the Welland, Ontario native was without a contract and considering an offer to play with the Cardiff Devils of the British Elite Ice Hockey League.
He admitted last month that the stress of not having a contract to play in North America at the start of the hockey season caused him to deal “with a bit of depression”.
Bissonnette eventually signed a professional tryout agreement with the AHL’s Portland Pirates.
After being released by the Pirates in December, Bissonnette signed a deal with the Manchester Monarchs – the L.A. Kings affiliate. The veteran of 202 NHL games scored one goal and six assists to go along with 167 penalty minutes in 48 games with the Monarchs.
He also appeared in 11 playoff games as Manchester captured the Calder Cup.
“It was pretty special, especially after a tough start to the year,” Bissonnette said. “It was a good way to finish out and kind of look at it in a positive light.”
Photo courtesy of Paul Bissonnette.
After struggling in his first professional season in North America, goaltender Oscar Dansk is heading to Sweden for the 2015-16 season.
Dansk, originally a second-round pick (31st overall) by the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2012 NHL Draft, spent the 2014-15 season between the AHL’s Springfield Falcons and ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings.
“I got away from my game a little bit because I felt like I wasn’t playing really well, so (I) tried to find a solution,” Dansk told The Columbus Dispatch. “I maybe should have just built on my game and made it stronger. I got away from my game, which probably hurt me in the long run.”
In 21 AHL games Dansk went 7-7-5 with a 3.57 G.A.A. and a .880 save percentage. The 21-year-old was 1-8-0 while posting a 3.73 G.A.A. and a .889 save percentage in 11 games with Kalamazoo.
“He didn’t have a great season in Springfield, so there was some concern,” said Blue Jackets’ goaltending coach Ian Clark. “Sometimes he slips mentally and starts to overcompensate, but when he’s strong in his game and he’s trusting in his game, he’s a very good goaltender. We’ve got to get rid of those fluctuations where his mind flips. His core assets are real strong.”
Dansk will play next season on loan to Rogle BK, a first-division Swedish League team.
“I’m just going to work every day,” he said. “I have a schedule with fewer games over in Sweden, so I’ll have more time in practices to really nail down a few things and just take my time and not rush into things.”
The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to add depth up front.
In addition to the signing of free agent forward Jeff Tambellini, the Bolts locked up center Mike Angelidis on Sunday.
According to Tim Wharnsby of CBC Sports, Angelidis’ deal is a one-year, two-way deal. The 30-year-old will earn $650,000 at the NHL level and $250,000 in the American Hockey League.
Angelidis spent much of the 2014-15 season with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch scoring 20 goals and 38 points to go along with 138 penalty minutes in 64 games. He appeared in three games with the Bolts registering 12 penalty minutes while averaging 7:21 in ice time.
The Ontario native has appeared in 10 career NHL games, all with the Lightning, over three seasons.