It turns out Jose Theodore may not have had as much NHL interest as he was hoping.
Igor Eronko of sport.ru in Russia reports Theodore has signed a one-year deal with Avangard Omsk of the KHL.
There was a report just a couple days ago he had an offer from them, but those were shot down and countered with another report saying he had interest from as many as three NHL teams.
After having his season ended early with the Panthers last season, Theodore was hoping to bounce back as a backup somewhere this season. Ideally he wanted to stay with Florida but that didn’t happen.
Heading to the KHL to continue his career isn’t a bad move for the 2002 Hart Trophy winner at this point just so long as those NHL teams he was reportedly talking with weren’t that interested.
Former Florida Panthers goalie Jose Theodore may not be out of work much longer.
Francois Gagnon of RDS reports (link in French) the 2002 Hart Trophy winner has three NHL teams looking into signing him. Among the possible suitors are the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators, and San Jose Sharks. All three teams will start the season with questionable backup situations.
In Pittsburgh, Tomas Vokoun’s absence with a blood clot forces AHL veteran Jeff Zatkoff into the backup role. Nashville has Carter Hutton looking to backup Pekka Rinne while the Sharks have competition between Alex Stalock and Harri Sateri for the No. 2 spot behind Antti Niemi.
Those teams could get by with what they have already as backups, but Theodore provides the kind of veteran know-how coaches are more comfortable with.
There were rumors earlier of KHL interest in Theodore but he’s holding out for a NHL job. He wanted to stay with the Panthers, but they didn’t offer him a new deal and opted to invite Tim Thomas to camp this summer. Thomas is likely to sign with the team once new ownership takes over.
Florida’s goaltending situation would seem to be settled with Jacob Markstrom and Scott Clemmensen. That news doesn’t bode well for last year’s No. 1 guy Jose Theodore.
Theodore spoke with Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel and said things aren’t going great to return to Florida this season.
“The Panthers are still my No. 1 choice. I don’t know if the door is closed, but there’s been no discussions,” Theodore said. “Training camp is still a month away, so I’m not ready to think about [retirement].
For what it’s worth, Theodore is keeping a positive outlook on things comparing this to when he seemingly, out of the blue, signed with the Minnesota Wild in 2010. That said, if he’s banking on staying in Sunrise with the Panthers, he might be waiting a long time for a phone call.
GM Dale Tallon has essentially said they’re moving ahead with Markstrom as their top guy and with Clemmensen still there to provide relief, they’re not in any hurry to overcrowd the crease. Even with questions about whether Markstrom can live up to the hype, Theodore might want to consider locations other than South Beach.