Tag: Niklas Hagman

Mark Flood

Jets defenseman bolts for KHL

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After playing in a career-high 33 games last season, Mark Flood is taking his game to Russia and the KHL.

Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reports Flood has signed a deal with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl to help that team restart its program. Flood finished last season with three goals and four assists in limited duty with the Jets. He’s a puck-moving defenseman with a little bit of offensive game but enjoyed greater success in the AHL in his journeyman career.

Flood won’t be the only former NHL’er in Yaroslavl as he’ll join Niklas Hagman, Sami Lepisto, and Curtis Sanford there next season. Seeing that team rebound after the tragic plane crash that claimed the entire team will be a story to take note of in just months as the KHL season begins.

Malkin, Chara, Datsyuk among stars attending exhibition honoring Lokomotiv victims

Boston Bruins v Pittsburgh Penguins

As the anniversary of the Lokomotiv tragedy approaches, the team is rebuilding itself as a KHL contender with ex-NHL players such as recently-signed forward Niklas Hagman. Still, the players and staffers who were lost on Sept. 7, 2011 are irreplaceable, so many NHL players will honor their memory during a “Memory Night” exhibition game in Switzerland.

Dougas Flynn reports that the August 4 contest will pit the Swiss league’s Kolten Flyers against a team full of star players including Zdeno Chara, Evgeni Malkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Bryzgalov, Sergei Gonchar and Alexander Semin. Former NHL players (retired or overseas) also planning to participate include Alexei Kovalev, Alex Yashin, Sergei Fedorov and Sandis Ozolinsh.

The most noteworthy Kolten Flyers player is Michael Nylander.

Niklas Hagman heads to KHL

Niklas Hagman

It looks like Niklas Hagman is headed to Russia.

According to RIA out of  Russia (via Kukla’s), Hagman has signed a deal with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the KHL. Hagman finished last season with nine goals and 14 assists playing for both Calgary and Anaheim finishing the season with the Ducks. Lokomotiv is returning to the KHL after the air tragedy that saw the entire team killed in a plane crash last year.

If you’ll remember, he was one of the key components of the now infamous Dion Phaneuf trade between the Flames and Maple Leafs. Hagman along with Matt Stajan, Jamal Mayers, and Ian White went to Calgary in exchange for Phaneuf. Now only Stajan remains in Calgary. That deal didn’t exactly pay off.

Blake, Hagman won’t be Ducks next season

Jason Blake, Dan Boyle

This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but now it’s confirmed: Jason Blake and Niklas Hagman will have to find new employers. The two veterans are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents this summer and the Anaheim Ducks plan to move on without them.

Both are likely to take significant pay cuts in 2012-13 – if they get signed at all.

Blake is coming off of a five-year, $20 million contract that he never lived up to. He ended up with just seven goals and 12 points in 45 games this season. He’ll turn 39 in September, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he ends up retiring over the summer. That being said, he might bounce back as an adequate bottom-six forward and veteran presence if he can stay healthy.

Hagman is coming off of a four-year, $12 million contract and he only declined over the life of that deal. He ended up with just nine goals and 23 points in 71 contests in 2011-12 – a far cry from his back-to-back-to-back 20-plus goal campaigns. A team might be willing to roll the dice on Hagman in the hopes that he’ll bounce back, but only if he’s relatively inexpensive.

Weiss on playoff-bound Florida: “It was worth staying”

Atlanta Thrashers v Florida Panthers

When Stephen Weiss played his first full season in Florida — as a 19-year-old — he was part of a young, 25-and-under core than included Jay Bouwmeester, Niklas Hagman, Kristian Huselius, Olli Jokinen and Roberto Luongo.

That was nine years ago.

Since then, the organization’s undergone sweeping changes, with Weiss remaining the lone constant. And now that he’s the franchise’s all-time leader in games played, assists and points, Weiss is relishing the decision to stick with the team — namely because the Panthers are going to the playoffs for the first time since 2000.

“It’s been tough, a long 10 years. You wonder if you’re doing the right thing,” Weiss told WQAM 560 Miami. “It was worth staying, trusting Dale [Tallon]. We have some young kids coming up who will be pretty special. I want to be a part of that. But it’s been tough. You go home early in the summer and wonder if you’re doing the right thing for yourself and your career.

“You want to be loyal by at the same time there’s only so many years to play. And you want to be able to play for the Stanley Cup. I’m excited to get my first taste.”

Weiss has seen plenty of tough times during his Panthers career, but perhaps none as bad as the 2011 trade deadline. Florida shipped out veterans Radek Dvorak, Dennis Wideman, Bryan Allen, Chris Higgins, Cory Stillman and Bryan McCabe, leaving Weiss to wonder what the gameplan was moving forward.

“I think the low moment was last year around the trade deadline when we got rid of like seven veterans,” he said. “It was a complete rebuild again. That was a tough moment, but there have been a lot.

“I never wanted to go anywhere else. At the same time, at the end of every season when it’s still not working out, you wonder if you’re doing the right thing. When I saw what Dale was doing this summer, bringing in all those guys — I knew what kind of quality guys we had — I was pumped.”

Weiss could be even more pumped after tonight. The Panthers have a chance to lock up the Southeast Division title and the Eastern Conference’s third overall seed — all they need is a win against Carolina.