It’s almost as if the KHL traded away walking fat joke Kyle Wellwood for middling forward Petr Prucha, even if it’s a coincidence. Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov reports that the KHL’s SKA St. Petersburg signed Prucha after he was waived by the Phoenix Coyotes while the St. Louis Blues are hoping Wellwood will clear waivers this afternoon so he can join the team.
SKA St. Petersburg seems like a clearing house for former NHL talent. Their current roster includes Maxim Afinogenov, Evgeny Artyukhin, Sergei Brylin, Petr Cajanek, Denis Grebeshkov, Vitaly Vishnevski, Alexei Yashin and Sergei Zubov. The team also previously employed Evgeni Nabokov. (They also have a guy named Denis Denisov on their team, which is pretty funny.)
Neither Prucha nor Wellwood are impact players, but both guys have their fair share of fans. Prucha only managed one assist in 11 games so far this season while Wellwood was averaging a little under nine minutes per game with eight points in 25 games for Atlant in the KHL.
Bad news today for Coyotes and Petr Prucha fans as the Coyotes have waived the Czech winger. If you were a fan of the Coyotes “Czech line” featuring Martin Hanzal, Radim Vrbata, and Petr Prucha chances are you’ve been disappointed for most of this season as the line was broken up this year. Hanzal missed some time due to injury, Vrbata has found chemistry with other players and Prucha… Well, Prucha has had a hard time staying in head coach Dave Tippett’s lineup and he’s been the same streaky player Rangers fans remember seeing when he played in New York.
In 11 games this season, Prucha had zero goals and one assist. While many players on Phoenix have been having down offensive seasons, Prucha’s struggles were mighty and it showed with a lack of ice time. Prucha averaged just over 11 minutes a night this season and if you needed a sign that things were going south, he was a healthy scratch in last night’s game.
As for potential interest in Prucha on waivers, he’s making just over $1 million this year and his deal runs out at the end of the season. For a team looking for a potential jump offensively he could make for a good, low-cost addition if you’re in need of depth. Banking on Prucha for steady second line work might be a bit too risky.