Goaltender Anders Nilsson, who left the New York Islanders as a restricted free agent to sign with Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL, could be headed back to North America.
According to Igor Eronko, Nilsson refused to sign an extension with the KHL club.
The Chicago Blackhawks own Nilsson’s rights after the Islanders dealt him as part of the Nick Leddy trade in October.
In 38 regular season KHL games, Nilsson posted a 20-9-8 record to go along with a 1.71 G.A.A. and a .936 save percentage.
The 25-year-old left the Islanders following the 2013-14 season after New York refused to meet his demands of a one-year contract.
Nilsson was not interested in spending another year in the American Hockey League.
“I have done for three years in the AHL and I do not think it would be good for my development to play a fourth year in the AHL,” Nilsson in April 2014. “That’s what I’ve said to them, since we have not started to go into contract negotiations.”
Nilsson appeared in 23 games for the Islanders over two seasons posting a 9-9-2 record to go along with a 3.05 G.A.A. and a .898 percentage.
According to a report out of Russia the New Jersey Devils have made a contract offer to Sergei Kalinin.
The 24-year-old forward has spent the past six seasons with Omsk Avangard of the KHL.
Kalinin had 12 goals and 13 assists in 58 games this season.
In 213 KHL games all with Avangard, Kalinin has 31 goals and 68 points.
Vladimir Sobotka, a teammate of Kalinin’s, won’t be returning to the NHL this season. There were rumors the 27-year-old was considering a return to North America for next season; however, Avangard’s GM told TASS that Sobotka is “likely” to remain in the KHL.
Sobotka had 10 goals and 38 points in 53 games this season. He added four goals in 10 games for the Czech Republic at the World Hockey Championship.
The Kontinental Hockey League wants to expand to China according to a report by The Associated Press.
The KHL is hoping to use a successful Chinese Winter Olympic bid as a catalyst for expansion.
Beijing is expected land the 2022 Olympics and if successful, “will essentially be forced to develop hockey from nothing,” said KHL president Dmitry Chernyshenko per the Tass agency.
Chernyshenko says the league would like to host a regular season game in China next season with adding a Chinese club being a long-term goal for the KHL.
(Related) Report: Burmistrov headed back to the NHL
Alexander Burmistrov is headed back to the NHL according to a report out of Russia.
The 23-year-old, who has spent the past two seasons with Ak Bars Kazan of the KHL, last played in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets during the lockout shortened 2012-13 season.
He hinted at a return to the NHL last summer following his first season in the KHL.
Burmistrov’s KHL teammate Evgeni Medvedev, who signed with the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, is the one who broke the news to Russian reporters.
The center bolted for the KHL citing issues with then Jets’ coach Claude Noel.
Winnipeg still owns the rights to Burmistrov, who left the team as a restricted free agent after parts of three seasons.
He had 20 goals and 43 assists in 107 KHL games.
Burmistrov appeared in 194 NHL games with the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise scoring 23 goals and 58 points before heading overseas.
Pending unrestricted free agent Peter Regin has signed a one-year deal with Jokerit in the KHL.
Regin was on a one-year $650,000 contract with the Chicago Blackhawks this season.
The 29-year-old appeared in four games with the ‘Hawks registering an assist.
Regin also played in 69 regular season games with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League scoring 10 goals and 31 assists. He added three points in five Calder Cup playoff games.
Originally a third-round selection (87th overall in 2004) of the Senators, Regin appeared in 243 regular season NHL games with Ottawa, the New York Islanders and the Chicago Blackhawks registering 23 goals and 67 points.
Jokerit’s roster features a number of former NHLers including Linus Omark, Niko Kapanen, Niklas Hagman Jere Karalahti and Ossi Vaananen.
Steve Moses, the club’s leading goal-scorer this season, recently signed a one-year deal with the Nashville Predators.