We know you’ve been dying to find out which of the “several” KHL teams would land free-agent forward Nikolai Antropov — well, the answer is HC Barys.
The club (based in Astana, Kazakhstan) announced today that Antropov has agreed to a two-year deal.
Antropov, 33, played 26 games for Barys during the lockout, scoring three goals with 13 assists.
In 788 career NHL games with the Jets/Thrashers, Rangers, and Maple Leafs, Antropov had 193 goals and 272 assists.
Forward Nikolai Antropov had three goals and 16 points in 26 KHL games during the lockout and it looks like he’ll probably head back there, according to Slava Malamud and Sport-Express. He reportedly has several KHL teams to choose from.
Antropov is coming off a four-year, $16.25 million contract with the Winnipeg Jets. When he originally signed with the then Atlanta Thrashers in the summer of 2009, Antropov was a potential top-line center that could play alongside Ilya Kovalchuk.
Although Kovalchuk ended up being dealt to the New Jersey Devils before the conclusion of Antropov’s first season in Atlanta, the now 33-year-old forward still scored 24 goals and a career-high 67 points in 2009-10. Unfortunately for Antropov, he slipped in the Thrashers/Jets’ depth charts as the years went on and ended up with just 18 points in 40 contests last season.
Antropov was originally selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1998 and has 465 career points in 788 NHL games.
The Jets have activated leading goalscorer Evander Kane from injured reserve for tonight’s game against the Maple Leafs, marking the first time the 20-year-old will have suited up since Jan. 19.
While Kane went on IR in mid-January, it’s believed he suffered the concussion against the New York Islanders on Dec. 20. He played the rest of the Isles game and 14 more before the concussion symptoms worsened.
“I don’t think it was affecting my play,” Kane told the Winnipeg Free Press. “It was a long time ago. I got over it quickly. I just wasn’t feeling the same as I was most of the year so I wanted to try to take a step back and rest up and get better.”
According to Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun, Kane will skate on a line with Nikolai Antropov and Kyle Wellwood.
The return couldn’t come at a bigger time for the Jets as they look to stay alive in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. One of the teams Winnipeg’s chasing is Toronto — currently in 7th place with 62 points — while another, Washington, will host the Jets on Thursday. The Caps sit ninth in the East with 58 points, though they’re just one back of Southeast Division-leading Florida.