Earlier this summer, we asked “what about Marek Svatos?,” wondering if an NHL team could use a one-dimensional forward who is pretty strong in that one dimension: goal scoring. GMs around the league must have responded with a collective shoulder shrug because the Slovakian winger signed with Avangard Omsk of the KHL according to TSN.
Unrestricted free agent Marek Svatos has signed a one-year deal with Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.
Drafted by the Avalanche in the 7th round (227th overall) in 2001, Svatos spent his entire NHL career in Colorado. Last season, the 28-year old played 54 games and posted seven goals and four assists with a plus- 13 rating.
Omsk might be the only KHL team that can compare to SKA St. Petersburg when it comes to amassing NHL players. SKA features Evgeni Nabokov, Maxim Afinogenov, Alexei Yashin, Sergei Zubov and Denis Grebeshkov while Omsk boasts former star Jaromir Jagr, Martin Skoula, Brendan Bell and now Svatos.
As I mentioned in that Svatos piece from early September, I think that a contender could have used Svatos as a low-rent special teams player whose solid goal scoring skills could benefit a shallow power play.
Still, Svatos is by no means an irreplaceable player. Perhaps he’ll use this one-year deal as an audition to get back into the NHL or maybe he’ll ride into the foreign league sunset. Consider him a missed opportunity for some teams, but a minor one in that.